Hi I’m Shelley. In case you haven’t noticed, Rodney has been doing all the writing on our site so far. You will soon find out, Rodney is the technical one and I’m the real one. Well, he’s real too, just not as much as me, but that’s why it works for us. He can help me explain the reason why we perform a ‘Functional Movement Screen’ on all our clients, and I can tell him when people have stopped listening to him. Sorry Babe, but at least you notice it now!
You may have read the “About Us” section on our site, and though it kind of sums us up there is so much more. Our goal is to connect with anyone coming to youtrainyou.com, so we’ll do our best to let you get to know us, and what we believe works when it comes to working out and eating well.
We are parents, trainers, and we love food! So if you have kids (or grandkids!) running around, want to get into or back into shape again, and love all kinds of food, then you’ll enjoy our site. We’ll get to all that in time. For now let’s talk about working out at the Gym vs. at Home. I have done both, and choose to workout at home these days. I’d like to explain from my own personal experience why I went this route.
It Starts with Why?
I wanted to write this post because I feel like I can identify with a lot of people who are heading into a gym for the first time, or you are dusting off the gym kicks, cause it’s been too long. Well, as I said I can relate, as I have been both these people.
I started going to the gym in my early twenties. I was what you would call a cardio queen, with a touch of machines (Rodney came up with that…. eye roll..). I did not go near the weightroom, it smelled like rubber mixed with a hockey bag… Gross!! It’s one of those things, I wish I knew then what I know now.
Fast Forward 15 years and I’m interrupting two dudes having a conversation about how Front Squats ‘hurt their collar bones too much’ to ask them how many sets they have left, so I can do one of my Fav’s…. Yep Front Squats! Oh how the times changed!
Move ahead another couple of years and Rodney and I workout exclusively at home. We have a set of adjustable Dumbbells each, multiple different exercise bands, a Suspension Trainer (you may have heard of a TRX, we have something very similar), doorway pull-up bar, stability ball, ab wheel, an array of foam rollers and self-soft tissue work equipment, and a few yoga mats. That may or may not sound like a lot, but you don’t need everything we have to get started.
I did a little calculation (well Rodney did, he likes Math…) on what you would need to invest to get started. For under $1000.00 you could have everything you would need, which includes almost everything I listed above. Now my calculation is done in Canadian currency, and our provincial tax rate is 15% (we live in Newfoundland), so you may be able to build yourself a nice little home gym for even less than that.
Rodney and I have both worked out for years in a gym setting and now, for the past 2 years, we have trained at home. We prefer in home, but that’s not to try to convince you, it’s just what works for us.
What I hope to do with this post if give you my personal pros and cons of working out at the gym vs. at home, then you can decide for yourself. Our advice can help you either way.
Okay, here we go!
The Gym Pros
Gyms definitely have their advantages when it comes to equipment selection, classes, hiring a personal trainer, and childcare options. Let’s go through the things I loved about the gym.
- No equipment Cost – You pay a monthly membership fee and that’s it!
- A multitude of equipment – dumbbells, cable stations, squat racks, kettlebells, some useful machines, and lots of cardio equipment options. This allows for lots of variety within a well-thought-out strength training program.
- Atmosphere – You may be a person who likes to belong to a group, you may motivate each other to stick with it or it may be a social thing for you.
- Most gyms have a list of classes you can choose from.
- You can hire a personal trainer to help you with your goals, or you can just keep reading our content, we’ll help you get there!
- A lot of gyms have child care services available now.
- Front Squats! I do miss those! And Trap Bar Deadlifts!
The Gym Cons
- Gym membership fees every month, no matter if your there or not – Lets face it, we have the best of intentions but, life sometimes gets in the way. Ever see a gym fee on your bank statement and think,”I won’t cancel it because I’ll get there next week”. Next week never comes for some of us, or it’s sporadic attendance at best.
- WAITING….WAITING…WAITING for equipment – This one drove me crazy once I understood a proper strength training program. You are there with a plan to follow, with 45-60 mins to do so. As a parent with an already busy life, the gym is last place we need to be waiting.
- Childcare doesn’t always work – Sydney (our now 2 year old) learned pretty quickly that if she screamed her head off long enough they would come get us from the gym. We were getting 35-40mins tops to get our workout in. See why the waiting drove me crazy?
- Dealing with the gym atmosphere – Whether it’s the dude checking out his arms in the mirror between sets while your waiting to use the squat rack, or it’s the lady in the tight pants posting pics of her butt on Instagram in the mirror, blocking the cable station. Not hating ladies but Mom’s gotta get stuff done. Yes these things have all happened to me in my gym days!!! Haha just kidding but you people know who you are!!
- So many mirrors……. mirrors everywhere – And they have special mirrors to make men feel like they are bigger than they are, and skinny mirrors for us girls to trick us into thinking we look better than we do!!! Not funny!!
- THE STARE – Why?? I’m just trying to take care of my health and yes, I enjoy the benefit of looking my best too but, I just want to get it done. Every client (I work with all females) I’ve had told me that they didn’t feel comfortable at the gym for this reason. There is always that random dude just staring!!!! I guess it has become common place because of the vanity associated with the atmosphere. You know the stereotypical gym atmosphere, it holds true in every gym. I once heard male personal trainers say things like, “Is the studio busy??” This was code for are there any hot females to look at today? I mean, seriously!!! We are supposed to be professionals. All I know, is that I never feel uncomfortable at home. I wear what I want and do the exercises I want and get the results I want!!!
The Home Pros
I just got up from a little afternoon nap, by the way, that I earned from my workout earlier and now it’s Rodney’s rest time. It’s a Saturday. We have our 2 year old who’s napping like an angel and an 11-year old who is recovering from his workout with some chill time. Yes the whole family gets involved here. Here is why I love working out at home:
- We never have to wait on any piece of equipment ever again – We can design a program and it doesn’t need to change on a certain day because there are no squat racks or adjustable benches available.
- No commute – A trip to the gym can be upwards of 2 hours when you factor in travel time. Our workouts at home are always 30-60mins, cause we are already at the gym.
- It’s comfortable – No crowds, no stares, it’s your home!
- The kids get involved – Our 11-year old has his own workouts he does with us, and our 2 year old tries to imitate everything we do. It ends up being a great way to spend family time together at home.
- Post-workout naps – this rarely if ever happens in our house, but I don’t know your situation, perhaps you can sneak one in. Good luck doing that at the gym!
- Save Money – Although it’s an initial investment for equipment, you save a tonne of money in the long run if you no longer have a gym membership every month. Here is an example:
- Average gym membership of about $60/mth x 12 months = $720 per year x 5 years = $3600. That’s only for five years, imagine 10, 15 or even 20 years. Home equipment will save you thousands in the long run.
- The gym is always with you – Having your own equipment allows you to workout at any time on any day. This has led to much more consistency of workouts for Rodney and I, and it could for you too!
The Home Cons
By no means is working out at home convenient all the time. We have run into hiccups along the way that have made us miss the gym at times. Here are some downsides of working out at home:
- Distractions – We’ll just fold the towels first, maybe we should start supper, perhaps I should work on my workout at the gym vs. at home post, or the always tempting,”let’s just chill for tonight and get back at it tomorrow.”
- The Kids don’t exactly co-operate all the time – We usually manage to get through the workout, but at times it can get pretty chaotic.
- Program limitations – While we still have lots of variety in our programs, we definitely do miss certain exercises and pieces of equipment (i.e., squat rack, cable station, adjustable bench, seated row, and lat pull-down machines).
As you can tell, and already knew, I recommend working out at home over the gym. I’m not knocking the gym for those of you who are younger, retired maybe, social, or have the time. I say good for you and enjoy it! I enjoyed working out in the gym at one point. I just found that if I couldn’t make it there on certain day, then no workout happened. At home, if something comes up, I can get it in later, because my gym is always with me. No commute, cleaning machines, side chats or hovering for equipment.
I love using what we have here in our home which is not much (see ‘It Starts with Why?’ for the equipment we use). We usually do an exercise at the same time, reducing our time. We do strength training workouts 3-4 times per week which take us between 45-60 minutes depending on how much go we have. We also do Higher Intensity Interval Training for our ‘cardio’ twice per week (takes about 15 minutes). This is usually just our bodies or our stairs.
I worked out in a gym, using every piece of equipment, worked with 3 personal trainers for at least 24 sessions each, and now have become a personal trainer myself. To me, working out at home has been the best!!!
What Works for You?
I want to make it clear that working out at home is what works for me. As I mentioned, I worked out in the gym for years, and enjoyed certain aspects of it. It just got to the point that working out at home became more convenient, more comfortable, more time efficient, and even more effective than working out at the gym. Why more effective?
I use to average 3 days a week at the gym strength training. Like we say, life would get in the way sometimes and I wouldn’t make it there. Now that Rodney and I workout at home, we average 4-6 days a week. More frequency of quality workouts = more effectivness. That’s at least 52 extra workouts a year!
If you are just starting out with trying to get in better shape, or are trying to get back into working out again, consider everything I have talked about. Maybe a small investment in some equipment, with a little bit of help from youtrainyou.com, and you’ll finally be taking care of yourself the way you have always wanted, consistently.
As always, please feel free to leave comments or questions below. We look forward to hearing from you 🙂