If you're used to getting a sweaty workout sesh at the gym, it can be hard to adjust to home workouts – well, adjusting to any new strength training program is daunting! But add in a busy schedule, full-time job, kids, etc., and it makes working out 10x harder! Fortunately, creating an effective home fitness routine is completely possible.
Strength training at home, or working out at home in general, is ideal for those leading busy lives or those who just want to avoid the cost and crowd of signing up for a gym membership! However, it can be difficult getting into a good home workout rhythm. But don't stress, keep on reading to learn about the advantages of working out at home vs gym, plus tips on how to create an effective at home strength training program that will help you reach your fitness goals all in the comfort of your own home!
Working out at home vs gym
There's no clear winner on which ones better - strength training at home or the gym - because they both have their pros and cons! Knowing them will help you decide which one is a better option for you.
Pros of working out at the gym
- Variety of equipment: There's no denying that the amenities offered at the gym are a huge advantage over home workouts. Although strength training at home without equipment, or minimal equipment, is possible, the gym has a variety of weights and machines that most lack in their home. Most people don't have cable machines or a StairMaster at home, which can decrease the variety in your workouts (for those that get bored).
- Community and motivation: Once you step into the gym you get a boost of motivation because you're just sweating along with everyone else! Even seeing the person next to you lifting weights or running can motivate you to push yourself harder.
- Focus: At the gym, there's only really one thing you can do, exercise! This will help you stay completely focused on your workouts and other distracting things at home that may lure you away from your workout.
Cons of working out at the gym
- It can be expensive: Gym memberships (depending on the one you choose) can be quite costly. Some gym memberships can cost you upwards of $100 a month! And that's not including annual fees!
- It's a hassle and time-consuming: It can also be a hassle to actually get there. You have to pack a bag, drive there, go to the locker room, warm-up, etc. Your total time spent at the gym is much longer as opposed to working out at home.
- It's crowded: The gym is filled with people! For some, this may cause anxiety, and sometimes stress if the machine or weights you wanted to use are taken for a long time.
Pros of working out at home
- It's convenient: There's no need to pack your gear, a change of clothes, or drive anywhere. You can simply get up, change, and start moving! Not only that, but you choose when you want to work out. Instead of working around the gym, you work around your schedule and can do what works for you.
- It doesn't cost as much: There's no monthly or annual membership. You might spend a few bucks on staple pieces of gym equipment, but you can do with what fits within your budget. And they're only a one-time payment!
- Variety: Gym workouts aren't alone when providing variety. There are so many ways to spice up your strength training at home. You can work out outdoors, follow along with a live or pre-recorded fitness class, do yoga, etc. You don't have to stick to only one style of training.
Cons of working out at home
- It's easier to make excuses: The gym is a commitment, once you're there, there really isn't any going back. On the other hand, at home you can easily make an excuse to skip your workout and avoid it completely.
- Space can be an issue: You don't need a lot of space to work out at home, but it can be an issue if you live in a smaller space and want/need larger pieces of equipment.
Can I still get results with home workouts?
Yes, yes, yes! The key to success is proper nutrition, consistently exercising, and getting enough rest! Because even though your workouts at home might not be as intense as gym workouts they still put stress on your muscles and joints.
As long as you're staying active - no matter the intensity - you'll maintain and possibly even build strength. Even with no equipment, you can still walk or run outdoors, hike (most trails are open), and do bodyweight exercises. You just need to start and after a few days, you'll start building a habit of working out at home!
How to start strength training at home
Everyone's discipline and motivation levels vary from person to person. Some may not have the same motivation to work out at home as they do at the gym, but there are tricks that can help!
The first thing to do to start is to write your goals down. Writing down your fitness goals will help you realign yourself with your goals and help give you that motivation you need. Once you've written down your goals, it's time to start planning your home fitness routine!
Below are the best tips to help you get started strength training at home and stay motivated...
Create a dedicated workout space
Instead of just having all your workout stuff in your room, or closet, designate a space in your home to workout! Having a dedicated space, no matter how small, is a good way to make sure you're getting the most of your home workouts.
You can do this by having a container filled with important fitness gear, that way you have everything in one spot and spend less time looking for things. Also, make sure that the space around you is free of things that may get in the way of your workouts. For example, if you're doing a HIIT workout and doing jumping jacks, you want to make sure nothings in the way that can get knocked down.
Invest in staple pieces equipment
There is a small silver lining to working out at home... You can start investing in workout equipment to start building your own home gym!
Don't worry, you don't have to spend tons of money on equipment all at once. If you don't have any equipment at all, just start by slowly buying only the essential items. Although bodyweight exercises (like tricep dips) can do wonders, a little bit of equipment can help take those exercises to the next level. Plus, splurging on some equipment is definitely going to motivate you to commit to your new home workout routine.
Here are a few examples of essential training equipment (that won't break the bank):
Stability ball: They are inexpensive and excellent for strengthening your glutes, quads, core, and arms. The stability ball makes you work harder because multiple muscles are working to keep you steady while performing the exercise - So you're working a little bit harder than normal.
Set of resistance bands: If there's one thing you should invest in it's this! Resistance bands are an excellent strength training tool because they provide constant tension when performing any exercise. They come in various resistance levels and sizes, they're portable and versatile, and they really work and activate various muscle groups! They come in various shapes and sizes - There are long and mini-bands, latex, and fabric, some even come with handles. Long resistance bands (with or without handles) can be used for stretching or upper body workouts that target the biceps, back, chest, shoulders, triceps. Short or mini resistance bands can be used for lower body workouts and activating the glutes.
Jump rope: Any good fitness routine includes some type of cardiovascular exercise. Yes, even those weight training do some form of cardio! Having a jump rope is terrific not only for cardio but for strength and stability. There are even weighted jump ropes for those that want to make it a little more difficult.
Pair of dumbbells: Free weights are slightly more expensive than the above-mentioned equipment, but all you need is two dumbbells or maybe even one kettlebell. Make sure to pick a weight that fits your fitness level, or is even slightly more challenging. It's good to have weights to challenge your muscles as you make more progress at home. If you have a smaller budget, opt for a resistance band set. But if you have a little extra to spend, invest in some dumbbells. You can buy more weights as you make progress, so you don't have to spend an insane amount of money all at once.
These are just suggestions, if fitness equipment doesn't fit in your budget then don't buy any. Just start saving up and buy equipment as you make progress with key bodyweight exercises!
Have a set training routine and schedule
If you want to succeed with being consistent with your home workouts then plan and write down your workouts for the week! Every Sunday or Monday, depending on when you take your rest day, take a few minutes or an hour to plan your workout for the week. For example, if Monday is usually your lower body day write down every exercise and the number of sets and reps to do. Even plan your rest days and active rest days! By doing this, you have no excuse to not work out because it's planned to fit your schedule and on the day of your workout all you have to do is do the workout - no last minute stress planning!
Planning workouts is not everyone's favorite thing to do though. It could be time-consuming for some. Or maybe you don't even know how to plan your workouts for your goals. A great alternative to this is having a personal trainer or better yet, a fitness app! Fitness apps are a great alternative to trainers because they are inexpensive and have workouts for you ready to complete, plus they'll add variety to your home fitness routine!
We can't speak for other apps, but the Fit With Iulia app is designed to make your life a little easier.
By giving you new planned goal-focused workouts every week! There are six workout programs in total designed with a specific goal in mind and based on where you're working out - home or gym! There are also other features that will help you stay consistent with your workouts like progress tracking! This feature allows you to track your progress directly on the app by entering the number of sets and reps completed and the weight used. Then you can access your history to look back at the exercises you worked on along with the stats you've inputted! Again this is just a suggestion, it’s not needed, but can be beneficial for those who need a little extra push or have no idea where to start.
Distractions can get in the way of your workout, like pets, the tv, or your phone going off. This can lead to skipping or cutting your workout short. So, try to minimize those distractions! This can be done by dedicating your workout space to an area family members or pets can't get into or working out when no one's home. Whatever your distractions are, try to minimize them if you can!
Have an accountability buddy
Your gym buddies can still be your home gym buddies! Just stay accountable to each other through the phone. Like you can plan your workouts together, or message/call to remind each other to workout.
Working out alone at home can get boring, including your friends or family in your workout routine is a good way to keep things fun and it will keep you accountable and motivated.
Strength training at home just 30 minutes to an hour a day 3x a week will help you stay active, maintain and build lean muscle mass, burn calories, and boost your metabolism. And as you can see, it's very possible to keep up with your strength training at home. It just takes a little adjustment and a few small changes to help you stay motivated!
So remember, write down your goals, set a dedicated workout space with minimal distraction, plan and schedule your workouts that fit your lifestyle, and stay accountable with your workout buddies!
Need more ideas on how to improve home fitness?
Porch has some tips from experts on how to improve your home workout routine – Fit With Iulia is one of the experts!