Should You Buy A Home Gym
One of the only requirements I had, when we were house shopping, was it needed an area that could be used for a home gym. I didn’t care if it was a garage, a basement, a bonus room or a shed outside. We moved into our house July 2014 and got the home gym setup December of the same year. Since then I would guess I have worked out in there about 700 times. I am clearly a big fan of home gym’s but I will say they aren’t for everyone. So, Should you buy a home gym?
Why You Should Buy a Home Gym
Time is such a valuable resource and finding ways to get some of it back is always a positive. Our old gym was less than 3 miles away but even that short distance would add at least an extra 20 minutes onto our morning by the time you get packed up, drive there, park, walk in, check in, change and throw your stuff in a locker. With the gym in the garage, you are there in three seconds, no bag to pack, and you can wear the same clothes multiple days in a row without getting judged 😉
Having the gym in your home makes working out more part of your life. The gym is open 24 hours so you can hit a 2:00 am workout before your 5:30 am flight if you would like. You can have the baby monitor in the gym with you should someone decide they want to get up early. You can run in there and hit an interval workout and take less than 15 minutes out of your day. By having the gym in your house you significantly lower the activation energy required. The lower the activation energy the more likely you are to do it.
3. You Make The Rules
Now, some gyms are better than others but none will be as laid back as you. Use chalk if you want to, workout shirtless (or naked if you’re into that), drop the weights from overhead, rerack or don’t rerack the weights, grunt, sweat, yell, scream, flex, dance, selfie and on and on.
4. No Lines
Today is the first day on your new program, you got a double dose of caffeine, you are focused, you are pumped up and ready to go. You get to the gym and head over to the only squat rack to find three guys taking turns curling in between sets of texting and Instagram. In your gym, all the equipment is there and waiting on you whenever you are ready.
5. No Membership
Gym memberships range in price quite a bit from about $10/month at Planet Fitness up to $150/month at a CrossFit box. Either way, I love paying for something upfront and never getting another bill for it. The longer you use your home gym, the more money you are making.
6. Better Equipment (Sometimes)
You might have less equipment, but there’s a good chance it will be higher quality than what you were working out with before. It is rare to workout at a gym that has nice bars and plates and you won’t realize how crappy they are until you get your hands on the real deal. Commercial gyms will have a lot of really nice expensive machines but they always seem to go cheap on the bars and plates.
Why You Should NOT Buy a Home Gym
1. You Want Company
If you are someone who always likes to workout with a group or just feels motivated by simply being around other people, a home gym might not be for you. If you are currently doing a boot camp or crossfit type class spend some time working out by yourself and see what you think before making any purchases.
2. You Aren’t Consistent Now
If your current gym is 5 minutes away and you only make it there a couple times a month, you probably should not make the big investment. Having it in your garage is not going to make you start to love working out. If you truly believe the only thing holding you back from consistency is not having it at home then do a 90 day at home bodyweight program. If you make 90 days and enjoyed the process then you might be ready for some real equipment.
3. You Love Some Machines
Typically a home gym is going to be much much smaller in square footage than a big box commercial gym. What that means is you only have room for the basics. Squat rack, barbell, dumbells, kettlebell or two, some bands and that is about it. More than likely you aren’t going to have room for a leg press, cable crossover, lying leg curl, etc..
4. No Space
If your gym doesn’t feel like a gym, it can be distracting. I believe your gym should be a gym and only a gym. If you need to get the dumbells out from under the bed and move the coffee table you won’t keep it up. If you need to move the car out of the garage to workout you be less likely to make your workouts happen. Again we want the lowest activation energy possible to get started.
5. Upfront Investment is Too High
A decent home gym is going to cost some money upfront. Depending on needs and wants your cost will vary. I would say you should plan to spend at least $500 with most of that cost being in a nice barbell and some cheap plates. The good thing about home gyms is you can keep adding to them as you go. Get some more plates, get some dumbells, a jump rope, etc. You don’t have to buy everything at once.
I was told that I would never use my home gym and that it was a waste of money. Turns out it has been one of the best investments I have ever made. My workouts and better, more consistent and more intense. If you are thinking a home gym is right for you I would recommend reading my buying guide to give you some ideas.
Do you have a home gym? Ever thought about setting one up? I love t