Home Gym Vs Gym Membership

Have you ever wondered if it's worth it to have a home gym and cancelling your membership? Or perhaps considering to sign up for a gym membership but wondering if you should get a home gym instead?

Let's briefly discuss that.

To give you a simple answer, it depends on what you're trying to do.

If you're one of those people that comes in, stretches, walks and jogs on the treadmill, and leaves, um... yeah... buy a treadmill. Let's say your gym membership is $30 per month. You can get a decent treadmill for $500. That's equivalent to about 17 months of your gym membership. And, after that, you're saving the unnecessary $30/month.

Now, if you're somebody who likes to be well-rounded in your fitness, you might want to stick to your gym membership. Here's why:

You're going to be using dumbbells, barbells and various weight plates, different types of benches, machines, other tools like mats and bands, and then cardio equipment. And, if you're at a gym that has additional features, you're going to spend some time in the sauna and spa. If you were to buy and install all of that in your house, I mean, that'd be great, but you better have an extra $100,000 lying around. Perhaps more. The $30 per month is worth it in this scenario.

However, I personally chose a home gym, for a few reasons. Again, it's going to depend on you. Not only on what you're trying to do, but also on your income, your house space (if you even are a home owner), and so on.

I chose a home gym because I don't actually use machines at the gym. That alone saved me thousands of dollars. On top of that, I can afford the equipment I bought, and I own my own property. HOWEVER, I'd like you to still take a look at the equipment that makes up my home gym, because it can actually be affordable: most of the time I'm a minimalist, and I basically "bunched" everything together, that I'd need for my fitness routine.

Before I list the things that make up my home gym, I want to basically encourage you to strongly think about what you do for your fitness routine, and decide from there, on what you're going to do about a gym membership vs home gym situation.

Here's what makes up my home gym:

  • My awesome barbell power rack. This one is a MUST if you're going with a home gym. With this cage, I can do any barbell activity: squats, bench press, deadlifts, etc. On top of that, it has a pull up bar on top. And, not just a pull up bar, but one with side handles and a curved handle, giving you the ability to do neutral grip and wide grip.

  • Olympic barbell. This one's obvious: the power rack does not come with one, so you need to get it separate.

  • Weight plates. This one's also obvious: neither the barbell nor the power rack come with it, and the barbell is useless without the weight plates. Also, MAKE SURE TO GET THE BARBELL CLAMPS! THIS IS SOOOO IMPORTANT - I learned that the hard way...

  • An adjustable bench. Because it's adjustable, I can do a variety of different exercises, and I can have it in my power rack for the barbell, or outside of it and use dumbbells, or even sit ups.

  • Some dumbbells. In my opinion, dumbbells are essential no matter where you are physically. However, this one is a little tricky, because it can either be cheap or extremely expensive. If you want a variety of weight, it could cost you up to $1,000, and on top of that you'll also need a rack to hold them up (or leave them on the floor but I have OCD so I can't do that). On the other hand, if you want just a few different dumbbells (for example, a pair of 10's, a pair of 25's, and a pair of 30's), that isn't so bad.

  • Yoga mat. You better be stretching!

  • Cardio equipment: jump rope (my favorite cardio), punching bag, and a treadmill. I have, and use, all three.

  • Grip exercise tool. I work my forearms because that muscle is very important and quite often neglected. Working your grip strength improves brain health (memory, concentration, etc), and, surprisingly, makes your other muscles stronger too! Truth is, you're only as strong as your grip. And, I'm an MMA fighter, so grip strength is important in the cage!

  • Flat screen TV, and/or bluetooth speakers. I'll either turn something on the TV or listen to my favorite tunes.

My favorite part is definitely going to be the power rack. And, like I stated previously, I don't use machines and only free weights / calisthenics, so that definitely saved me some money (and home space!)

- Ethan

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