Will it all be worth it?
You can't help wondering sometimes as you assess your current gym situation.
Let me guess…
- You're tired of the obnoxious amounts of people jockeying for the opportunity to use a piece of equipment.
- You're tired of having to ask, or even being asked, “hey, can I work in with you?”
- You're sick of seeing that monthly bill hit your checking account, reminding you how much you pay for your membership.
- You can't stand the fact that you have to worry about breaking any gym rules (I'm looking at you, Lunk Alarm).
- You want to rage when you realize you left your headphones at home and now you have to listen to whatever generic crap they have trickling out of the speakers.
Any of this ringing a bell?
Well I have good news for you…
You don't have to suffer any longer, because you have a way out.
It's called a home gym.
I'm sure you've heard of it. You've probably even thought about it. After all, you're here aren't you?
Well let me break it down into 8 bite-size pieces why you need a home gym.
Face it – we are busy people. We have to pick and choose how we spend our time based on whatever life throws at us.
Imagine a life where you don't have to do the following:
- Pack a bag for the gym.
- Drive to the gym.
- Wait to use equipment.
- Take a shower at the gym.
And it doesn't stop there. All those things that you don't really think of really add up to a significant amount of time.
Consider this… You exit your car and walk across the parking lot into the gym. Once inside, you scan your access card and walk to the locker room. When you get there you check about 5,000 lockers before finding an empty one and unloading your stuff. If you're lucky enough, you avoid getting into a conversation with that awkward old guy talking sports or politics while toweling off in front of you. Finally, you leave the locker room… and then you walk some more to the actual gym.
Man, when you really break it down, that adds up to a lot of time. Oh, and then reverse it on the way out… even more time!
With a home gym, you basically eliminate all those pesky time-sucks, allowing you to focus on what matters… training and getting on with your day.
Be honest for a second…
You've skipped some workouts because “something popped up.”
We've all done it. Sometimes there's no avoiding it. Life does sometimes get in the way.
But wouldn't it be nice if we could reduce that struggle?
Picture this example with me… you plan to work out in the morning before work, but something unexpected pops up, a meeting perhaps. You hate working out in the evening because the gym is mega crowded and you don't like fighting the traffic to get there. Therefore, you skip your training that day.
That sucks, doesn't it?
With a home gym, the ability to adjust to your day is significantly easier.
You can workout literally whenever your time permits. Your gym is open 24/7.
Got a meeting in the morning? No problem, workout at night. Up at 3 AM with a yearning to lift? Just go do it. Miss a session or two and need to make them up throughout the week? Mmmhmm, got that covered.
Look, here's the bottom line:
Having a home gym exposes excuses because the shear convenience of having one provides you with so much flexibility.
#3. Your Gym, Your Rules
- “Don't Drop the weights.”
- “No chalk allowed.”
- “No curling in the squat rack.”
- “No grunting.”
- “Clothing required.”
Commercial gyms have a lot of rules, both stated and unstated. Some are legit while others are ridiculous. If you belong to a globo gym, these rules can limit your training style, kill your personal expression, directly impact your performance, and otherwise make you feel controlled while training.
With a home gym, you are in complete control of everything.
- Wear whatever you want, and as much or as little as you want.
- Listen to whatever music you like as loud as you like.
- Grunt, sing, cuss, and yell.
- Drop your weights and deadlift like a normal human.
- Make it rain with chalk.
- DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!
You're the boss… pretty awesome, right?
#4. Equipment Selection
I don't know about you, but when I belonged to a commercial gym, I often wished that the equipment was better suited for my training style. There was either not enough of want I needed or way too much of what I didn't need (leg extensions, ab machines, fixed barbells, etc…).
The thing about commercial gyms is that they are programmed to accommodate the general population. Sure, there are going to be pieces that work well in your training, but let's get real here… your performance could be enhanced if you had access to the exact equipment your training required.
A home gym gives you that option in spades. You have the opportunity to pick and choose your equipment in order to precisely meet your specifications, whether it's powerlifting, CrossFit, Olympic lifting, etc…
Customizing your equipment around your training style is superior to customizing your training style around your equipment.
They say money doesn't buy happiness, and I tend to agree, but it can buy badass home gym equipment.
First and foremost, you're going to save money by simply not having a monthly gym membership. How much depends on your current arrangement, but consider this… According to an October 2016 report, StatisticBrain found that on average, a gym membership costs $58 per month.
If there's one thing we can agree on, an extra $700(ish) per year sounds pretty sweet.
How you use that extra cash is up to you obviously, but one way would be to add on to your home gym over time. For most home gym owners, equipment is accumulated slowly in order to, among other things, respect the budget. Of course it would be awesome to build a dream gym day 1, but unless you've saved up the necessary coin, I wouldn't advise it. While home gyms are good, debt is not. Spend wisely, respect your budget, and pace yourself. Remember, it's perfectly fine (and recommended even) to add to your growing equipment collection at a pace commensurate with your buying power.
Once you're home gym is open for business, take those membership savings and put them to good use… whether that's with additional equipment, a family vacation, retirement savings, or something entirely different… The end result is more money in your pocket to deploy how you deem fit.
#6. Focus & Mental Fortitude
Commercial gyms are amazing at tempting people with a load of distractions. From the dozens of people surrounding you to the TVs on every wall… from the girls in yoga pants to the bros flexing in the mirror… from the quarter squatting “powerlifters” to the geriatric aerobics classes…
It's just so easy to get lost in the chaos of the globo gym and lose focus on the reason you're even at the gym… to train!
A home gym eliminates the majority of these pestering diversions because it's just you and the iron.
Yes, there are going to be distractions regardless of venue… I mean, we live in a world dominated by smart phones and the like… but your focus will be improved in a home gym setting.
Now, with that said, commercial gyms do actually provide some people with a little extra motivation. Maybe impressing a girl or hitting a big PR for the whole room to see.
A home gym can't necessarily replicate that feeling unless you're streaming live on social media, posting videos for the masses, etc… But what a home gym can offer you is the opportunity to build a rock solid mental game because you are, for the most part, riding solo. You set and achieve your own goals, period.
Oh, and for the record, I'm absolutely an advocate for training partners. The camaraderie that can be built in a home or garage gym setting is pretty cool.
Focus and mental fortitude… two things I can pretty much guarantee in a home gym.
I don't consider myself to be a particularly die-hard germaphobe, but let's accept a fact here: gyms are germ cesspools.
Most commercial gyms have thousands of members, each of whom leave their mark on everything they touch.
Think of how many people use those dumbbells each and every day… or how many sweaty backs rest on those yoga mats… or how many uncovered heads of hair smather the bench you lay on.
The good news is that gyms offer disinfectant wipes.
The bad news is that many people don't use them.
In my experience, people are pretty good about wiping down benches, yoga mats, etc… but you won't see someone wiping down things like dumbbell handles, cable attachments, and the like. I mean, those are some of the most commonly used items in the entire gym!
It's kinda disgusting, honestly.
Think about those public showers, toilets, and sinks.
Anyone who has had athlete's foot can agree with me… it SUCKS. Like really, really sucks. 0/10, would not recommend.
There in lies one of the biggest benefits of having a home gym. The germs are limited to yours! At the very most, they're limited to the few buddies who train with you or the few family members/friends you have living with you.
#8. It's FUN!
Simply put, building a home gym is fun.
Seeing your gym come to life is awesome.
From the initial decision to build your own gym to the constant evolution of your equipment and layout, it's just fun.
There's a certain element of pride when you're able to show off your homegrown gym. It will be the envy of the neighborhood and your friends will be practically beating down the door to see it. It's actually a very rewarding feeling when someone asks if they can come over and work out with you.
Aside from building your gym and seeing it come to life, perhaps the most fun thing about it is actually using it! There isn't much else like it: enjoying something you've created. Just ask someone who drove a hot rod they meticulously restored… or the baker who tested a prized batch before putting it on the shelf… or your grandma after she completed the 1,000 piece puzzle consisting of only the sky… it's just a cool feeling that cannot be replicated.
So, what now?
I have one simple question…
Are you convinced that a home gym is a great option in your training and overall daily life?
If so, I encourage you to take that first step. Start the journey now to create your very own home gym.
Click around the site for useful garage gym advice, equipment reviews, and inspiration so that you can make your home gym your dream gym.
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