Home workouts are popular for their convenience, which is why I worked out at home for several years. But when I started to exercise at the gym, I noticed these six great benefits over home workouts, and now I’m in the best shape of my life!
1. Fewer Distractions
Your home is full of distractions – your computer, your TV, your cats and dogs, and the guacamole in the refrigerator (yes, please). Maybe you have the willpower to set aside a chunk of time to exercise, and that’s great, but will you have the willpower to take your workout to the next level when the couch is in the next room?
Gyms don’t offer much else to do besides exercise. You’ll be deciding between bicep curls or the lateral pulldown machine, not bicep curls or a bucket of ice cream. Make it easy to make the right decisions by going to the gym.
2. Higher Investment of Time/Money
When a person invests in something, they will care about it more. When you pay a membership fee for a gym, not exercising also means you’re wasting money, which is a form of pain that increases your commitment to going. And remember, the difference between six pack abs and a keg belly is commitment. People will still buy gym memberships and never use them, but it isn’t because they like wasting money.
Going to the gym also requires an extra time investment to drive there. This seems like a downside compared to a home workout at first, but the boost in motivation (to not waste your trip) more than makes up for the time spent driving. Combined, the higher time and money investment in a gym will help you exercise more frequently and intensely. This has certainly been my experience after doing home workouts for a few years and switching to the gym.
3. Diversity of Equipment
You’re not going to hear from me that you can’t have a great workout at home; I’ve done it many times. But gyms offer the diversity of equipment that will enable you to target any muscle group you desire. With just a few dumbbells and a bench, you can do quite a wide variety of exercises at home, but it still falls well short of a fully stocked gym.
At the gym, you’ll see a lot of fit people. If you have the right mindset, this is instant inspiration of what your body can look like with consistent exercise. Even if you’re envious of them, this can fire up your competitive nature to get in better shape. Just don’t try to do everything at once and injure yourself. Consistency brings results, not a single session that leaves you crippled the next morning.
5. Group Exercises
The local YMCAs near me have a plethora of group exercise programs. These are great because they run on a schedule, which removes your need to decide when exactly you will go exercise (a surprisingly big hurdle for many).
Second, it can be very encouraging and fun to socialize with others who want to be physically fit. Making exercise fun is a reward your brain will associate with going to the gym, which will decrease your resistance to exercise in the future. And even if you don’t talk to anyone, it will still be fun to share in the challenge of physical exertion with others.
6. It’s Easier To Commit
For me, this has been the biggest benefit of going to the gym. All I have to do is decide to drive to the gym, and I don’t worry about the exercise part until I arrive. There’s no confusion about what you’re there to do.
But when you exercise at home, you can start or stop at any time; this is convenient, but it makes it more difficult to commit to exercising and exercise can mesh too much with your home activities. Back when I did home workouts, I’d cut several workouts short just because it was very easy to do so; when I go to the gym, I always get a solid workout.
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