When you begin a new workout program or move into a new area, you need to decide whether you are going to join a commercial gym or if you are just going to workout at home.
There are basically 3 areas to consider when you are trying to decide between working out at a commercial gym rather than at home:
The last reason that you may want to consider working out at a gym rather than at home is for motivation.
A big advantage of working out at home is that it is really easy to work out at any time that you want to. Unfortunately, it’s also really easy not to work out at any time that you want to.
If you know that your weight training equipment is off in the basement and ready to be used at any time, then tomorrow seems like a great time to start. If you are paying for a gym, you will be more likely to go because you have some money in the game.
Some people, on the other hand, will pay for their membership and then feel secure that they have access to a gym whenever they want. Because they know that they can go whenever they want, they never actually get around to it, especially if the monthly membership isn’t too expensive. That just seems like a waste of money to me but I have observed it on many occasions.
Having people around when you are lifting can be very motivating. Seeing people that are in better shape than you will make you want to get yourself into better shape. It is easier to do a workout in the colder climates in Winter when you have a gym membership, especially here in Maine.
I know a lot of people who will not go out to run at this time of year, but they will use a treadmill or elliptical machine. Knowing that they have a warm place to work out can make it much easier to get somebody to keep in shape. Even when lifting weights, it is often easier to go to a gym than an unheated basement because that can get very cold during the Winter.
A gym’s locations can also be a motivational factor. If you pass your gym on your way to and from work, then you will be more likely to stop. If your gym is a half hour out of your way, you will be more likely to skip it.
You need to discover what sort of motivational triggers work for you. Both a home gym and a commercial fitness center will be worthless if you never actually take advantage of them.