Cardio versus weight lifting…
Resistance bands versus dumb bells…
Treadmill versus elliptical…
There are so many different comparisons when it comes to health and fitness- especially when it comes to health and fitness, actually. I find that people (myself included) can get very passionate about it, because it truly does transform you from the inside out. God has used my health and fitness journey in much bigger ways than I ever expected.
But today I wanted to tackle the age-old (well, not that old) question of the home gym or home workout versus the gym, and why I choose to work out at home. Please do note that this is my opinion, and while it is the perfect fit for me, I know that every one of us is different, and different things work for different people.
My goal in this post is to encourage those that may be in the same place that I was not even a year ago, and let them know that there IS indeed hope for change.
Let me begin by saying that I tried SO many different things in the past for health and fitness. I tried two at home workout programs, did them for a while and stopped. I had a gym membership. I took group classes through college. I walked. I ran. Nothing stuck.
But now I have been going strong for nine whole months, only missing a few days of workouts due to being sick. And let me tell you, that is huge coming from someone who never was consistent in working out. So why do I choose to workout at home and not at the gym? Let me paint a picture for you of what going to the gym was like for me.
1. Paying monthly was a huge drawback for me. My budget was tight then, and still can be now. Some gym memberships were cheaper, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of monthly payments…I have enough of those as it is.
2. I did enjoy group classes. Let me hit on one positive note- I did enjoy the group kickboxing class that I took! I was in it with a few friends, which made it even better. A group atmosphere gets me going for sure.
3. I felt ashamed. I’ve always been overweight, and when I went into the gym I felt like I was surrounded by incredibly fit people and that all they would see was the way my stomach and arms seemed to bulge out as I ran on the treadmill.
4. I was really intimidated. Outside of the group class, I really had no idea what to do in the gym. Of course there was always the treadmill, but in my mind I thought “if I’m just going to run, I can do that for free outside.” I didn’t know how to use the equipment, and I didn’t want to wait in line for the equipment either. This led to random awkward crunches, sit ups and leg lifts in the corner.
5. I never got results. I may have lost a pound or two from my kickboxing class, but I gained all the weight right back after. No results or motivation ever stuck.
6. I had no direction in the gym. Because I wasn’t sure how to use the equipment, and I hadn’t taken the time to learn about how to work my body properly, I wandered aimlessly around the gym from machine to machine, never fully being able to get into it.
7. It was time consuming just to get to and from the gym. Never mind the time actually “working out” I had to get ready, get in the car, drive there, park, work out, come back, drive back home. It led for a long excursion, and a lot of times I talked myself out of it.
These were a few of the big reasons why I moved away from using a gym and to working out at home. Of course, gyms are not evil places. I am ALL FOR people getting fit, healthy, and growing in their lives. We desperately need people to consider their health more than ever in this country.
But, as with most things, one size doesn’t fit all. Gyms are not for everyone, just like home workouts may not be for everyone. The important thing is that people are getting active in their lives and being intentional about getting results, and getting healthy. If you are getting results, keep going! If not, stop and consider if what you are doing is working or not.
So since I ditched the gym, and started getting healthy in February, I began doing workouts at home with different programs. And let me tell you, that is definitely my sweet spot. Here are a few reasons why home workouts were perfect for me.
1. I can roll out of bed and workout. I don’t have to get ready, I can just put workout clothes on, walk into my living room and push play, before my brain knows what I’m doing and I try to talk myself out of it.
2. I have guidance from some of the top trainers. There are a lot of people who have heard of people like Shaun T (creator of Insanity), Tony Horton (creator of P90X), and Chalene Johnson (creator of TurboFire and motivational speaker). I get to train with them every day through these programs. I get their guidance and motivation every day, and let me tell you, it ROCKS.
3. I only pay once for my program, and I can use it however many times I want to achieve the results that I need. This is a big one for me, because while investing in a fitness program may seem like a lot at first, if you break the cost down to compare the price over a year, you will be paying less “per month” than what you would be paying per month for the year at the gym…and, let’s be honest…are you going every day? If you are, PROPS! Keep rocking it! I know for me, I started strong and ended horribly. So the cost is well worth it to me, because I can use the program over and over again!
4. The programs actually get me incredible results. Since February I have lost over 35 pounds and am still going. I feel so much more energy and life than I did when I started, and I am stronger. These programs actually work, and I’m keeping consistent with it!
5. I get to workout in the comfort of my own home. No one is watching me, judging or wondering what the heck I’m doing (except maybe the downstairs neighbor). I can be awkward if I want, and no one cares!
6. I have incredible motivation and support from challenge groups. Every month I am blown away by the motivation and support of those I lead in challenge groups. They keep me going, and I work in turn to pay it forward to them!