So you’ve decided it’s time to get fit and start exercising?

Well done, that’s the easy bit! But actually getting up and DOING it is the most difficult part.

THEN you have to choose exactly what exercises you’re going to do and where you’re going to do them!

With so many options available, it can be a headache deciding and make you want to sit back down on the sofa again!

I’ve had experience of being a gym member, and home workouts, including making my own home gym. Let’s have a look at your options shall we?

You Need To Understand Your Fitness Goals

First things first, what are you trying to achieve by working out/getting fit/whatever you want to label it as?

Are you trying to get rid of that little belly pooch that’s been literally ‘hanging around’ for a while?

Do you just want to lose a bit of body fat so you can fit into last year’s swimming shorts?

Or are you going full beast mode and wanting to get shredded?

Your end goal pretty much makes up 90% of your decision-making.

For example, if you’re looking to build serious muscle mass, a gym with weightlifting machines and free weights might be your best option.

However, if you’re wanting to improve your cardio health and stop feeling like you’re dying when running after the kids in the garden for 2 minutes, then home workouts could be enough.

You need to understand the WHY before deciding on your equipment and environment.

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Why People Choose to Workout At Home

So then. Here’s the WHY part. Why would YOU choose to workout at home?

Personally, I’ve been working out at home for years. I started with BeachBody’s Insanity (some of you might be old enough to remember it. If not, look it up!), then Tabata workouts and now I have my own garage gym with cardio machines, kettlebells, dumbbells, weights bench, pull-up bar and pulley system.

What made me decide to take this approach? A few things really, but the biggest 2 reasons are the ease and convenience of being able to walk 15 yards to workout, and the cost.

That might be the same for you, it might not.

Working out at home can be a great alternative to joining a gym, especially if you prefer having privacy, convenience, and flexibility.

But, it can be difficult to create an environment at home that keeps you motivated and helps you to hit your goals.

Here are some factors to consider when setting up a home gym or workout space.


  • Convenience
  • Comfort & Privacy
  • Cost
  • Variety


  • Lack of Motivation
  • Distractions
  • Equipment
  • Space

The Pros of Working Out At Home

Some people will find home workouts to be their best option. Here’s some reasons why:

  • Convenience: You can work out whenever you like – first thing in the morning or even at midnight if you like. You can split your workouts to fit your daily schedule and better still, there’s no commute!
  • Comfort and Privacy – No need to feel self-conscious or feel like everyone is watching you mess up that last rep! Create your own space you feel comfortable in. Play your own music, or watch a TV show. Plus you can exercise in your pyjamas if you want!
  • Cost Savings – No recurring membership fees draining your wallet every month. You can make your home gym as cheap or expensive as you like – a few adjustable dumbbells or resistance bands are enough to get going. Or you could just do bodyweight workouts or workout videos where there’s no need for any equipment.
  • Variety– Choose a workout routine that suits YOU instead of relying on generic classes or a trainer. There are so many options to choose from – exercise videos, workout apps and even exercise video games.

The Cons Of Working Out At Home

Working out at home isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. There are some disadvantages:

  • Lack of Motivation – Being in a gym can push you to do that extra rep or set. It can be all too easy to just drop the weights or do things half-hearted because there’s no one watching. Working out alone at home takes away some of the accountability and inspiration from exercising around others.
  • Distractions – There’s always a million and one things you could be doing rather than working out. It’s easy to find excuses NOT to get in your workout. Something as mundane as cleaning the bathroom or painting your nails can be seen as a reason not to get in your exercise session.
  • Equipment – Even with a home gym, you can’t match the huge equipment variety at a public gym. Depending on what you’re aiming for, your progress might start to plateau and you’ll find you need more and more equipment.
  • Space – If you live in a big city apartment or a smaller property, your ‘free’ space is limited. It’s hard to fit in large sets of weights, benches and cardio machines without sacrificing your sofa!

You Should Cancel Your Gym Membership. Here’s Why.

Why People Choose Gym Workouts

This is a balanced argument so let’s understand why people choose gym workouts shall we?

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve had gym memberships in the past. Most people probably have.

I enjoyed using the gym. Plenty of equipment, machines, weights, a buzzing atmosphere, and a pool & sauna too.

Going to the gym was part of my routine and it worked for me, I kept myself in good shape.

It was also the only way I could get access to a space where I could work out. I lived at home with my parents at the time and I’m not sure they wanted me taking over the dining room with weights and gym equipment!

For you though, things might be different.

Joining a gym is a massively popular choice (especially in January!) There are plenty of good reasons for the popularity of gym workouts:


  • Equipment & Facilities
  • Classes
  • Personal Trainers
  • Focus & Motivation


  • Cost
  • People
  • Opening Hours
  • Atmosphere

The Pros of Gym Workouts

  • Equipment & Facilities – Gyms offer a wide range of workout equipment, from dumbbells to squat racks, and cable machines to cardio equipment. You can target different muscles and keep your workouts interesting and challenging. Not to mention the pool, sauna and steam rooms too.
  • Classes – Most gyms offer group fitness classes like spin, yoga, boot camps, martial arts, and more. These classes provide a high-energy workout and can boost accountability and motivation.
  • Personal Trainers – Personal trainers are certified and experienced professionals who can offer coaching on proper form, technique, exercise programming, and nutrition guidance. This can help prevent injury and improve results.
  • Focus & Motivation – Forking out money every month can be enough motivation to get to the gym on it own. The fact there’s not much else to do at the gym other than work out makes focussing on your session a bit easier. You’ve got no distractions from the kids, visitors or the latest TV episode to pull you away.

The Cons of Gym Workouts

There are some downsides to gyms though:

  • Costs Add Up – Gym memberships can be expensive, with an average cost of £58 per month in the UK. There may also be enrollment fees, equipment rental fees, and personal training costs to add on top too.
  • Opening Hours – Most gyms have set hours. If your schedule doesn’t fit in with the opening hours then you’re limited to when you can workout. Some gyms are open 24 hours a day but the cost increases for these compared to standard memberships.
  • People – It can get a bit too ‘peopley’ at times. The gym WILL get crowded, especially during peak hours. You end up stood waiting around for machines and equipment. You feel under pressure to use the equipment and move on because someone is waiting. This means you rush your sets and don’t get the workout you wanted!
  • Atmosphere – For beginners, locker rooms, mirrors, and fit bodies everywhere can be intimidating and induce anxiety. Having eyes on you the whole time is enough to make you feel conscious about what you’re doing and make you feel uncomfortable.

Why You Shouldn’t Train At Home – GO TO THE GYM!

Simple & Effective Home Workouts

So by now you’re on your way to deciding if it’s home or gym. But what can you actually DO at home?

Here’s a few examples:

Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises are the cheapest and easiest option for working out at home.

You don’t need any equipment. You don’t need a huge amount of space. And you can customise what you’re doing based on your ability level too.

Some popular bodyweight exercises include push-ups, lunges and squats. All 3 will improve your strength, mobility and balance.

You can also try the 8 Bodyweight Exercises EVERYONE Should Do! (Hit Every Muscle) to target all of your major muscle groups.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are probably the first piece of kit you should consider if you’re working out at home.

They’re a low-cost way to build strength. And with a decent set of bands, you’ve got the potential to progress to thicker bands for more resistance.

There are literally hundreds of ‘gym v home’ resistance band videos on TikTok, Pinterest and Youtube that will show you how to do variations of gym movements that can replicate exercises like bicep curls, rows, and squats.

HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to burn calories and cover your living room in sweat!

No need for equipment and HIIT will improve your cardio and muscle strength.

My go-to’s for a good HIIT workout is still Beachbody’s Insanity. It’s old but gold!

You can also try this 15 Minute HIIT Workout | No Equipment + High Intensity to get started.


Yoga is great for improving flexibility, core strength, and balance.

An old work colleague of mine swears by it, not just for the physical benefits, but mental benefits too.

You can try using a yoga mat and following along with online videos to get started.

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Typical Gym Workouts

And now for your gym sessions:

Weight Training

Probably the most popular reason that people join a gym, especially teenage boys, is weight training.

If you want to build muscle, gain strength, and transform yourself into Arnie (well maybe a bit of a push but aim high!), weight training is a great option.

Any respectable gym will have racks upon racks of dumbbells and kettlebells. Plus there’s cable machines and weight stack machines which you’ll definitely struggle to fit into most home gyms.

Weight training not only increases muscle strength and size but increases your metabolism and burns more calories at rest even when you’re not working out. It can also help to improve your bone density and reduce your risk of injury.

Treadmills and Ellipticals

Treadmills and ellipticals are great options for low-impact cardio.

These machines are perfect for those who want to improve their cardio health, burn calories, and lose weight. Why else do people go to the gym??

You can adjust the incline and resistance for interval training including HIIT.

Why not try this 20 Minute Intense HIIT Treadmill Workout to burn 1000 calories.

Personal Training

Hiring a personal trainer used to be seen as the kind of thing that rich people did. Now it’s more common and affordable to get a personalised plan from a professional.

A PT can help you to achieve your goals faster and more efficiently. They can also help you to avoid injury by coaching correct form improve your motivation.

I’ve never used a PT myself but my brother-in-law is a PT and owns his own gym so I’d be getting grief if I didn’t mention them in this!

Group Fitness Classes

Group fitness classes are great if you want to try new challenging workouts and sweat all over others around you.

Working out in a group can be a big motivating factor for some people and pushes them further than working out alone. You don’t want to be the first to drop out so push yourslef that bit further.

Examples include yoga, pilates, zumba and spin classes.


Most big commercial gyms have a pool making swimming an alternative workout option.

Swimming is a good full-body, low-impact cardio workout that can also help to improve build muscle, and reduce stress.

Comparing the Cost Of Home Workouts vs Gym

For me personally, the biggest consideration for the gym vs home debate has to be the cost. That’s probably the same for the majority of people too.

On average, a gym membership costs around £58 per month or just under £700 per year, while basic home gym equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, yoga mats, pull-up bars, and benches can cost around £300. Obviously, there are more expensive options too.

Trial memberships and even discounted student memberships can reduce the monthly costs of joining a gym. Plus some gyms offer early bird or off-peak memberships if that suits you.

But, a home gym setup can pay for itself after just a couple of months depending on what kit you add.

A gym will give you access to equipment that is either too expensive or just too big for a most peple’s homes. But working out at home can save you money in the long run.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth spending more now to save later or if you’re happy to spread any cost over a monthly payment.

The Bottom Line

So should you join a gym or workout at home? As you’ve probably figured, there’s no universal right or wrong answer.

It all depends on your budget, your personality, goals and schedule.

If money is no object then go all out and get a PT. But, if you’re introverted and don’t like too many people in one place then staying home and working out is probably your best option.

However, if you’re going to focus on bodybuilding, joining a fully stocked gym probably makes the most sense. But it’s still possible to get great results exercising at home.

I know that both options work from first-hand experience. You just need to make your choice and stay consistent in your routine.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are home workouts effective for weight loss?

Yes, home workouts can be effective for weight loss. You don’t necessarily need to go to a gym to lose weight. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home that can help you burn calories and shed pounds. In fact, many people find that working out at home is more convenient and less intimidating than going to a gym.

Can you get the same results working out at home?

Yes, you can get the same results working out at home as you can at a gym. It all depends on your goals and how you structure your workout routine. If you’re looking to build muscle, you may need to invest in some equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands. But if you’re just looking to stay in shape and maintain your weight, bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges can be very effective.

What are the benefits of working out at home?

Working out at home has several benefits. First and foremost, it’s convenient. You don’t have to worry about commuting to a gym or finding a parking spot. You can work out whenever you have some free time, whether that’s early in the morning, late at night, or during your lunch break. Additionally, working out at home can be less intimidating than going to a gym, especially if you’re new to exercise. You don’t have to worry about feeling self-conscious or being judged by others.

What are the disadvantages of joining a gym?

Joining a gym can be expensive, especially if you sign up for a long-term membership. Additionally, you may have to deal with crowds and wait times for equipment, which can be frustrating. Some people also find the gym environment to be intimidating, especially if they’re new to exercise. Finally, if you’re not committed to going to the gym regularly, you may end up wasting your money on a membership that you don’t use.

Is it necessary to go to a gym to build muscle?

No, it’s not necessary to go to a gym to build muscle. While gyms have a wide range of equipment that can help you build muscle, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can be just as effective. For example, push-ups, pull-ups, and squats can all help you build strength and muscle mass.

Which is better for beginners: gym or home workout?

For beginners, a home workout can be a great option. It’s less intimidating than going to a gym, and you don’t have to worry about feeling self-conscious or being judged by others. Additionally, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises that are great for beginners, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. As you become more comfortable with exercise, you can start to incorporate more equipment into your routine, such as dumbbells or resistance bands.

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