Last month I was intrigued by a special offer on LivingSocial.com for a 2-week membership to a boxing gym. Although I was already doing the MMA home workout program Les Mills Combat I decided to give “boxing for fitness” a shot.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be money not so well spent as the promised 1-on-1 fitness training turned out to be one coach trying to help several different groups of people at the same time. I honestly felt like I would have gotten more out of a 30 minute workout at home than the 90 minutes I spent in that chaos.
Aside from the lack of attention, I did have some fun trying to get the hang of the speed bag and I really took out all of my agression on the big punching bag to the point where my hand got bruised. But I never went back after that one “class.”
Here is why I believe that home workouts are much better than gym memberships:
- No strings attached: I can buy a Beachbody home workout program like Les Mills Pump or Insanity and use it as long as I want and then start a new program whenever I feel like it without suffering any kind of penalty. The gym membership was only available as a contract for 12 -18 months, though. So I would have been stuck with a monthly bill for at least a year even if I stopped training there.
- More bang for your buck: The gym membership had a monthly fee of $60. I did the math in my head very quick and said “Thanks, but no thanks.” A year’s membership fees inlcuding the sign up fee of $100 would have cost me $820–that is 3 times as much as I paid for my whole library of Beachbody home workout programs (I currently have 10!). Besides, my workout DVDs have one low price for unlimited training. You can’t beat that.
- 1-on-1 attention from trainers: Yeah, I know, Shaun T. is not really in my living room when I do the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. But it sure feels like it. He is giving me non-stop advice and motivation and makes me work my butt off. At the gym, however, you are lucky if you get enough feedback to get your heart rate up. Unless you can find the rare breed of a personal trainer who can truly keep his eye balls focused on you.
- Time savings: When I work out at home I don’t have to worry about wasting my valuable time in traffic, but I can rather spend it on a longer workout. Plus I don’t have to wait on my “trainer” to tell me what to do next while he is chatting up the hot chick on the other side of the room.
- Gas money savings: Current gas prices are no picknick and every mile you can avoid to drive will help you save money on gas (not to mention you are also doing your part to reduce air pollution). Driving to the gym is a trip you can avoid if you work out at home like I do.
- Convenience: At home you can pop the workout DVD in your player and get your sweat on whenever it fits into your schedule. So you won’t have to rearrange your life while trying to fit some fitness into your daily schedule. At the gym you have to follow their schedule, which can throw a real curve ball into your weight loss efforts if you are already very busy.
- Health hazards: Let’s be honest, everyone sweats, sneezes or coughs occasionally. At the gym all those bodily fluids end up on exercise equipment and all over the locker rooms. Picking up a virus this way is almost a given unless you have the immune system of Superman. At home, on the other hand, all you have to worry about is your own mess and germs, which is still less risky than being exposed to the junk of hundreds of other people.
For me working out at home is most definitely the best option. If you “need” to be around other people when you exercise, you might have to foot the bill for an annual gym membership. But ultimately, only you can decide what really works for you and what solution would set you up for long term success on your weight loss and fitness journey.