Gym Vs. Home – What’s Effective?

“For a workout to be effective and beneficial, it must be done in the gym”. 

Okay, let’s just call this what it is -preposterous! Yes, there are certain types of training and strength building that are best accomplished inside of a well-designed gym with a variety of quality equipment available. That said, it is possible to build a quality home gym that supports a decent sweat! 

Money Woes?

coins-currency-investment-insurance-128867I feel this topic is timely given the budgetary issues many of us are experiencing as a result of our current economy. The holidays are on the way and many are probably wondering how and where to “tighten the belt” to avoid financial stress.

There may not be a lot of room for affording the “extras”. So, what does this mean when it comes to personal health and well-being? It means you do not need to feel as if the cost of a gym membership is reason to abandon or avoid participating in daily physical activity. Consider the possibilities when it comes to a work-out at home. Initially, this might seem like a pretty big challenge, but with some thought and preparation you will be ready for action in no time!

A Personal 24 Hour Fitness Space

pexels-photoWhen it comes to designing a home gym, there are some aspects that deserve consideration before investing a lot of time or money into choosing the necessary equipment. First, think about the set-up. Ask yourself the following questions: How much space is available? What does my budget look like? And what are my fitness priorities? Once you consider the answers to these initial questions, you can begin considering what equipment you will need based on space, available financial resources, and priorities.

Making the Dollar Work for You

exercise-weight-woman-sportHere are some cost-worthy and cost-saving training tools to keep in mind as you contemplate what your home gym could look like.

  • $100-$250: Training tools for this budget might include resistance bands, stability balls, a door-frame mountable chin-up bar, and ankle and wrist weights. The resistance bands are available in a variety of resistance weights; generally they are color-coded to indicate the level of resistance. Stability balls are readily available at many retailers and are excellent tools for training the core (abs and lower back). They can also be used in combination with resistance bands to add an extra challenge. The chin-up bar is an excellent tool to train the muscles of the back in absence of large machines that target those specific muscle groups. The ankle and wrist weights are simple ways to add resistance to a variety of exercises. Lastly, don’t overlook the use of your own body weight as a resistance tool!
  • $500: This budget allows more flexibility to purchase a set of dumbbells, either fixed or selectorized. An adjustable bench is also easily purchased within this budget. Here, it is important to consider the space available. A bench and set of dumbbells will need adequate room.
  • $1000: Within this budget, it is possible to purchase training items such as a barbell, a variety of weight plates, and a power-rack bench that allows for multi-functional movements.
  • $2500 or more: This budget easily accommodates the purchasing of a multi-function home gym. Again, space is the biggest consideration. It is important to make sure the allowable space accommodates not just the machine, but the different pattern of motion the machine has available. If the budget is on the higher-end, consider buying a quality piece of cardio equipment (bike, treadmill, elliptical, etc.).  When researching cardio equipment, avoid the no-name brands and choose quality over hyped-up features.

Regardless of the available budget, it is possible to design a great space that allows for a high-quality, effective at-home workout. So start to research your options, begin to think creatively, and prioritize your personal needs…imagine the possibilities!

Erin Nitschke

Passionate wife, mother, college educator, writer, blogger, and health and fitness professional.


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