Should I Work Out At Home Or In A Gym?

Should I Work Out At Home Or In A Gym?

One of the most common questions I get from our subscribers is whether they should work out at a gym or health club, or train at home. Does it matter where you work out? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. The most important thing is that you do work out and are consistent but there are reasons to choose a health club rather than home, and visa versa.

If you are seriously out of shape and self confident about your appearance, it is better to start training in the privacy of your own home. Once you start to lose weight and improve your appearance, your self-esteem will also improve. When you get to the point that you are more comfortable with your appearance, you can always chose to join a health club then.

If your goal is to gain weight or significantly increase your muscularity, there is no substitute for a gym. Health clubs and gyms have hundreds of thousands of dollars of state-of-art equipment that allow you to properly train even the toughest muscle groups. It is especially hard to get a good leg work out at home if you are interested in increasing your muscularity. Can it be done at home? Yes, but you would need pretty extensive equipment including a squat rack, leg press, leg extension and leg curl machines, a calf raise machine, and significant amount of free weight.

Are you easily distracted at home? Is the phone always ringing? Do you have small children that need constant attention? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, a health club is definitely for you. Constant distractions and interruptions make it impossible to focus and get a good work out.

Do you have an insane schedule, constantly pressed for time? Training at home may be the answer. You save some time by eliminating travel to and from the gym. You also have the option of training very early, or very late if necessary.

Do you just need to lose a little weight and tone up? You make the call. Training either at home or at a health club is fine to achieve this goal. Basic exercise equipment like a few dumbbells, a floor mat, bench and VCR is all you need if you plan on exercising at home.

One of the top five reasons people join a gym or health club is to socialize. If you want to get in shape and meet and interact with other people, there is no substitute for a health club unless you can convince the neighborhood to get in shape and come over and join you. Remember, your primary goal is to get in shape. Exercise your lips after you exercise your body.

Is money an issue? Joining a health club can be expensive. Believe it or not, all you need is a VCR and a few aerobic or toning tapes to get quick results. There are literally hundreds of tapes to chose from including Tae Bo, Buns Of Steel, Denise Austin, Kathy Smith, Cory Everson and Richard Simmons to name a few. Do you like to dance? There are many great tapes that not only will tone and reshape your body but teach you the latest dance steps. Some suggestions are MTV's "The Grind Work Out," Christy Lane's "Fun And Funky Freestyle Dancing," Paula Abduls "Get Up And Dance," and "Life Of The Party" which teaches you the Macarena, the Hustle, the Electric Slide, YMCA/Touch Step, the Train, the Jitterbug, the Twist, the Chicken Dance, the Electric Slide, and the Conga.

Unfortunately, most home exercise equipment is used to hang clothes on, and most gym memberships are paid for and never used. Before you part with your hard earned money, ask yourself one question, "Have I truly made the decision to get in shape and am I willing to dedicate the time to achieve and maintain my fitness goals?" If your answer is yes, improving your health and appearance is money well spent and a very wise investment.


Dr. Osgoodby was a finalist in the "EAS Body for Life" Contest. Stop by his web page at to see his before and after pictures and subscribe to his monthly newsletter.


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