Home Garage Gym vs. Commercial Gyms – Pros and Cons

Jeff Baldelli
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The Advantages of a Commercial Gym

Most people have two primary goals in mind when they go to the gym – to look good and to get in shape. If that’s you and you’re the proud owner of a top-notch home gym and you’re thinking about giving up your membership at your local gym, before you do so, consider the following.

Resistance Variety

First, when you work out at a commercial gym, you have access to a very wide range of different exercise machines, some of which you will probably never find in a home gym. This means that you can always find a new exercise to pull out the last few muscles you were missing at home.

Workout Instructors

Second, in a commercial gym, you can always turn to an instructor to guide you and teach you the proper way to exercise. You can’t get this kind of help from your home gym unless you have someone who’s knowledgeable around.

Better Facilities

Next, it’s important to keep in mind that in a commercial gym, you have access to better and cleaner facilities.

Commercial Gyms are Easier on a Fixed Monthly Budget

Every store or service is going to have a budget-friendly option, and the same applies to the gym. Standing in front of two doors – your choice of a Commercial Gym or a Home Garage Gym – you may just find yourself driven into the arms of the latter, since, it is the frugal-oriented choice.

But does it work outside of the checkbook? How does the Home Gym compare to the Commercial Gym?

The biggest benefit of the Commercial Gym is in the price: it is cheaper and easier on your budget when you sign up for a membership for the month. While this service may cost you more than the Home Gym option, it definitely pays off when you consider the use of the facilities and services for as many months as you commit to.

But this does not mean that the Home Gym doesn’t have a fighting chance. In fact, it has the necessary tools to be as effective, if not more, than a Commercial Gym can be.

So what are the pros and cons of using multiple Home Gyms against Commercial Gyms?

Drawbacks of a Home Gym

Space issues : because of its smaller size, a Home Gym will limit the amount of equipment you can use. Without space restrictions, you can choose to include multiple variations of machines to diversify your workout routine.

Commercial Gyms May Offer Fitness Training

Seldom do you find a gym that offers you want a home gym can. Facility classes are a great option for people who just want to step in, use the equipment, and get their session over with. These classes range from stretching to weightlifting, so there’s something for everyone.

In addition, you’ll find additional benefits on the commercial side. Gyms have the freedom to hire trainers to help their members reach their goals. While you may have the idea of a personal trainer, most people will have a gym trainer assigned to them. These trainers follow a set routine and range from elevating weights to maintaining progress. You may also find massage therapists, chiropractors, and dietitians on staff.

Of course, you’ll pay more for these services, but when you consider how much you’d spend at home, it’s an even trade.

Features Each Home Gym Offers

Most home gyms don’t come equipped with classes, but they do offer features. Most include a treadmill, a bench, and a set of weights. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to consider what else you might want to buy. Hiring someone to install your home gym may be an option.

Commercial Gyms Provide a Sense of Community

It sounds simple, but many people never really realize how much a sense of community can impact their workout.

There’s nothing quite like going into a traditional gym to work out and having a bunch of people around you doing the same thing. It motivates you to actually do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being home alone, but working out alone can get boring sometimes.

This is one of the benefits of a commercial gym. Sure, you have people trying to show off and others who are watching TV.

But it also creates a sense of community that just makes you want to work out more.

Commercial Gyms Include Some Special Perks

If you check out the membership prices for commercial gyms, you’re sure to be quite surprised. People who think that such expensive gym memberships are for the financially secure only are missing out on a few benefits.

Commercial gyms provide an unparalleled level of supervision. There are staff members around at all times to tend to members’ needs. After all, a person who feels safe will work harder.

Whether you have a question about an equipment or you’re simply in need of a mini-tour, ask and you shall be answered.

There are workers who will clean your equipment and change the sheets on the weight plate covers between uses. You can even request a personal trainer to train you on a specific machine.

Another perk is the availability of a shower. Most people don’t like to stop their workout to visit the washroom. To avoid this uncomfortable pause, they’d rather get up close and personal with some smelly sweat for an extra few minutes.

Only cardiovascular machines are found in commercial gyms. If you want to get in your strength training for the day, make sure that you pack your stuff to take to the gym.

Most commercial gyms also have a swimming pool. It’s another convenient amenity, but it also makes a lot of health and safety sense.

The Advantages of a Garage Gym

Sharing a commercial gym with strangers can be hit or miss.

They may be too social. Some people like to interact with other people or at least not feel like they’re trapped in a movie theater. They may also have an attitude.

Others may not be using their equipment properly or using it at all.

This can ruin your workout and take the enjoyment out of it.

The layout could also be distracting, uncomfortable or annoying. Is there more than one entrance? Are children running around? Do you feel like people are watching you? Will you take too much time away from the machine because you’re lost and can’t figure out how to work it?

There may also be overzealous staff. It’s easy for the staff to be overzealous at a commercial gym. They want to help you, but in doing so, they can become very pushy, especially if you’re a woman and you’re new. You may be intimidated or feel like they’re too pushy because they want you to sign up for a membership.

Having a home gym is more cost efficient than a commercial gym.

Garage Gyms Save Time

The best home gym is a commercial gym. “Wow, really? I thought you were going to recommend a home gym to save the benefits of not having to leave the house,” you protest. The reason is actually pretty simple.

The best home gym is one with the most diverse of equipment. The best possible home gym is the Golds Gym.

Why? Because Golds Gym has thousands of dollars of equipment in their gyms that can not be found in home gyms, or even commercial gyms.

The variety of equipment available to you at a commercial gym will allow you to adopt exercises and develop skills that would be possible nowhere else.

Moreover, you won’t have to worry about buying your own equipment. You would have to spend an estimated 1,500 dollars for the whole collection of commercial gym equipment. This would never leave a dent in the pockets of the owners of Golds Gym, and they can afford to have the highest quality equipment.

Buying all of the equipment yourself will usually be an ineffective process. Rarely are you going to find yourself buying everything at once. Because you usually add equipment bit by bit, your gym will always feel the lack of something.

Garage Gyms Are Fully Customizable

Garage Gyms May Save You Money Over Time

If you need to save some money, or if you only have a short time window in which you can work out at home, then a garage gym is a good option for you.

They may not be as glamorous as a top-notch commercial gym, but they can get you in shape just as well. If you’re ready to start getting into shape (or to get back into shape if you’ve fallen off track), keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of using a garage gym vs. a commercial gym.

Garage vs. Commercial Gyms

The first thing you need to ask is what you really want out of your workout sessions. Garage gyms are great for those who have a limited budget and only have a small amount of time to work out. On the other hand, if you have a lot of weight or resistance training that you want to do, then a commercial gym may be better for you.

A large commercial gym can have a lot of different types of equipment that may be lacking in a garage gym. However, a garage gym can be easily modified to fit your workout needs.

Garage Gyms Are More Sanitary

Garage Gyms Are More Convenient

If you think about it, the garage gym would seem to be the obvious choice. Lifting free weights at home is much less expensive than having a membership to a commercial gym. You also have complete control over your workouts, which is optimal for your fitness goals.

When I first started my home gym with my older brother, we would work out every day after school. There was no shortage of weights, and a piece of old tarp material stretched across the ceiling worked well as a makeshift pull-up bar. The only thing that was missing from the equipment available was a squat rack. The small size of our home gym provided a lot of motivation to make every workout feel as challenging as possible.

Having everything in your own home means that you are less likely to make excuses to skip the workout and go out with friends. This is helpful to those of us who might be a little more brave when we’re alone.

Although there seems to be very little in the way of cons for the home gym, there are some things you need to consider.

If you own a home gym but work out at a commercial gym for group classes or you prefer to have access to community, you may have to build extra time into your schedule for a commute. This is the exception rather than the norm, however.

The Downsides of a Commercial Gym

A commercial gym is a great place to meet people and socialize with friends, but they do have some drawbacks.

Higher Cost

Compared to a home gym, you’ll likely pay a lot more for a monthly membership at a commercial gym, especially if you add in the cost of gas to get there and back.

Less Room to Work Out

The price you pay for a gym membership also depends on how much room you need to workout. If you prefer to lift heavy weights, you’ll find that a commercial gym is not always spacious enough to add in weight training.

You’ll also find some gyms with large windows and doors that allow the distractions of outdoors to intrude on your workouts.

Less Equipment

Commercial gyms know that most people will be happy with the simple treadmill or elliptical machine, so you won’t find many varieties of strength training equipment at a big gym. In fact, you’ll find that most commercial gyms don’t have as many choices of equipment as a home gym.

Limited Hours

Even if you do have your own convenience and preference when it comes to hours of operation and types of classes, you may find that the commercial gym will not cater to your needs.

Commercial Gyms Are More Expensive Over Time

This is a simple one that most people miss when they are considering joining a gym or building a home gym. The monthly or weekly cost of a commercial gym divided by the number of times you go is usually more expensive than the price of the equipment if you were to buy it and set it up in your own home.

This is because a gym membership includes the price of all the equipment that you could ever want or use. While that may seem like a good deal initially, every visit to the gym needs an exchange of funds, and that could add up over time.

Further, if you are not using the equipment or you don’t use it consistently, then you don’t have a good value for your money or your time. Developing the habit of working out only at home is better than belonging to a gym you only go to every now and then.

Commercial Gyms Don’t Offer Flexibility

When it comes to working out and exercise, you have several options, and not all of them are created equal. One of the most common questions that people have is whether or not they should join a commercial gym or build their own home gym.

For the purpose of this article, we’re going to talk about whether or not a commercial gym is right for you.

It’s a common assumption that the only way to get a good workout is to join a commercial gym. That’s far from true! You can get a much better workout, burn more calories, and get more strength training by investing more in a quality home gym of your own.

Each person is different and will have different goals. This is where a home gym is much better option. If one day you find you have gained weight and just want to cut back on calories, you can do so. Sometimes, you’re just in the mood to get a quick workout in. A home gym allows you to make that call.

Commercial Gyms Are Often Crowded

There are many positives to working out at a commercial gym. It’s a quick and effective way to add exercise and healthy eating activities to your daily schedule. You can drive in, hit the weights, and drive out in the same day. If you want to weight-train, the best plan is usually to sign up for a commercial gym membership.

There are many benefits to working out at a commercial gym. One of the most important, is the motivation that you receive from training with others. It’s hard to slack off when everyone else is busting their butts.

Of course, there are lots of drawbacks to commercial gyms. Unfortunately, the high price tag is one of the biggest drawbacks. The fees will add up over time, and it can be difficult to pay for them on your own. Most commercial gyms require the purchase of an annual or monthly membership.

In addition, commercial gyms often charge for each visit. This can get expensive quite quickly. And then, of course, there’s the actual cost of the annual membership that most commercial gyms require.

Commercial gyms also can be crowded, especially after they have just opened. These crowds can make it difficult to maintain your professionalism when you’re trying to avoid hitting anyone with the weights while also trying to complete a lift.

Commercial Gyms Lack Privacy

One of the big advantages to working out at home is that it allows you to do your workout when and where you want. You don’t need to join a gym and worry about changing in a locker room in front of strangers or find a babysitter for your kids. Instead, you can get your exercise done when it’s convenient for you in your own equipment and clothes.

Another advantage is that you can make friends with other people who are into working out, making it much easier to stay motivated. Also, you can find out some tips from each other that help you maintain your goal.

The downside to home gym equipment, however, is that it can be expensive. You need a variety of different items to ensure that you’re getting a full body workout. And if you’re not extremely committed to doing it, you can easily put it off or not get it done multiple days in a row.

Another disadvantage is that working out at home usually involves a greater chance of injury because you don’t have the supervision of trainers to show you proper form. However, if you get the right equipment, these injuries can be kept to a minimum.

The Downsides of a Garage Gym

One of the main negatives of setting up a home gym is found in the word “home.” Unless you have plenty of room for your gym or you have financial resources to pay a gym fee on top of all your exercise equipment purchases, the purchase of a home workout gym could lead to financial and space constraints.

If you are committed to becoming the next top body fitness guru and you are planning a movie/TV show about your life, you may have plenty of space in your own home to add a full gym.

But chances are that you don’t have that luxury and want to work out in a garage. In that case, you can start with purchasing a power rack. A power rack would allow you to do pull-ups, squats, and other muscle-building exercises. You will also need to invest in barbells, dumbbells, and other weight-lifting equipment that attach to the rack.

The Pros

If you decide to purchase a power rack and other exercise equipment that attaches to it, you will not need to pay any annual fees beyond the purchase price and will be able to do bench presses, barbell rows, squats, and other muscle-building exercises with minimal costs.

At a commercial gym, members are required to pay monthly or yearly fees and purchase monthly packages of pull-ups, barbell rows, squats, etc.

Garage Gyms Require Adequate Space

Garage gyms have a few things going for them. First, they can be much more affordable than the average gym. Second, you can personalize it exactly to your specific needs, adjusting it as time goes on. Finally, they allow you to get an awesome workout in the comfort of your own home without requiring you to travel to another building.

Garage gyms do require a few things, however. They require adequate space and the ability to construct a basic gym with the tools you already have. For example, you don’t necessarily have to be able to build a wall-sized piece of equipment since you can still work out with a bodyweight-based routine.

Garage gyms don’t necessarily require a lot of money … but that’s because you aren’t paying for the high salaries of highly skilled trainers, the outrageous price of all the machines, or the cost of designing a beautiful, spacious, and modern facility. But garage gyms can be tough on your body. The main complaint is if you try to use a garage gym without consulting the experts.

Garage Gyms Are Expensive to Start

The main reason why a lot of people don’t have a home gym is because they think it’s too expensive to start. But really, when you think about it, a gym membership is expensive too.

Sure, there’s the money you pay for time, but there’re also hidden costs. Are you paying a monthly fee or just a one-time sign up price? If you don’t use your gym membership, do you get the money back you paid? When you buy a gym membership, you’re just paying for the right to be there, not the things that you actually use.

Instead of paying for a gym membership to use the machines, you can buy or borrow the equipment you need to get your work done. The equipment you buy may be more expensive in the short term, but you’ll make up for it in the long haul.

You don’t have to worry about time, too, since you can train at any time of the day whenever you want.

Garage Gyms Need Regular Maintenance

A good home gym setup will use solid, sturdy pieces of equipment. The only problem is that even the sturdiest of equipment can break down over time. While you can enlist the help of a professional to put together your gym, you will need to maintain it on your own.

For starters, you should always give your equipment a good cleaning at least every few weeks. After all, sweat and dirt can accumulate quickly in your gym. A thorough cleaning will help prolong the life of your equipment, and it will also help eliminate some of the bacteria that can build up… another important protective measure.

You should also give your equipment a thorough inspection at the start of each gym season. Make sure that everything is in proper working order. Replace any pieces that need it.

A large part of the maintenance needed for your home gym will also involve inventory control. The equipment that you have works best when you know that everything is in good working order. Unused pieces are a waste, so make sure that every piece is being used instead of sitting around to be neglected.

Garage Gyms Use Up Your Garage

Space There are many reasons for someone to invest in a home gym area. A home gym can be a garage gym, a basement gym, or a makeshift gym area in just about any room.

The cost to build a home gym is much less than the cost of a commercial gym membership. In some cases, you don’t have to pay to use it. (For example, one of the authors of this article uses his home gym to store his 50 lb weights, but no one has ever complained about that.) At the same time, you get to determine how much space you want to devote to your workout area.

Some people don’t have a gym membership because they want to avoid crowds, bad music, and the smell of sweat, and then there are those who just don’t enjoy the commercial gym atmosphere. Those who need to change out their weights each time they workout also benefit from having their own weight sets and weights sleds.

Considerations You Should Make

Before you even think about building a home gym, you should decide if you are going to build it yourself or use the money to go to a commercial gym. A home gym will save you money, but you may have to pay someone to build it for you. Alternatively, you can take a gym membership but still go to a commercial gym for your workouts.

The advantages of a gym membership include the convenience of being able to work out on a schedule that works for you and being able to do a variety of exercises that you may not be able to do on your own. Disadvantages include the cost of the membership, restrictions on use and the fact that you must go to the gym when you want to use it.

An in-home home gym can overcome many of these disadvantages. For example, you can build your gym in the basement, allowing you to work out as soon as you get home after work. Some people workout in the evening to avoid the crowds, loud noises or improper temperatures that may occur during the day.

You won’t have to worry about what you wear to the gym, where you have to park or how early you need to arrive to get a good workout in.

Some people are also concerned about setting a schedule because of the social aspect of commercial gyms. In-home gyms are excellent alternatives for them.

How Often Will You Work Out?

One of the main things you’ll need to consider when choosing your home gym is how often you’ll actually be using it. Garage gyms will cost significantly less than many commercial gyms, but if you’re planning on using it frequently, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay an annual fee. Also, while some commercial gyms will allow you to cancel with a small amount of notice, most home gyms will only allow you to discontinue your service if you’re going to be moving somewhere that is not covered by the company.

If you’re planning on exercising at home a few times a week or less, you’re better off going with a cheaper option – a less expensive home gym that you’ll use a few times per month. However, if you plan on using your gym up to five days per week, you’ll likely be better off going with a commercial gym membership.

If You Have a Garage Gym, Who Will Use It?

Since you have already invested in a lot of the equipment, you will most likely use this gym more than the other family members would.

If you have the time, space, and energy, you can take a workout buddy to use it. A bonus is that you can also spend some time with your workout buddy. This kind of personal discipline with exercise and exercise equipment should be part of a family culture. And if that is too difficult and cannot be mustered, then at least you can enjoy the peace and quiet in your garage if your neighborhood is busy.

If you do not have plans to actually workout at home, then your family will use it rarely, maybe once or twice on the weekends. This is because most healthy adults already have their own planned routine out of the home. Such as morning jogs, tennis games, and basketball games.

At home, you will most likely do your own workout regimen, which means everyone will be staying out of your way while you work out. But with that said, be courteous of your workout habits and plan your time. Do not work out in the middle of the night or if you have to be up at the crack of dawn.

How Long Will It Take You To Reach Your Fitness Goals?

Whether you get to your fitness goal because you are joining a gym or going old school and building your own in your garage, the journey is going to vary depending on a few factors. If you want to look at your options more, you can always take a look at the site dedicated to helping people start their own home garage gyms.

When you go to a gym you are going to get a more traditional style of workout. The machines are going to be more advanced, you are going to spend more money, and you will be able to learn many benefits such as; stability training, cardio, manual resistance, and versatility.

The pros of joining a gym:

The pros of joining a gym are huge, here are a few:

  • Exercise Variety
  • Technique Training
  • Athletic Performance
  • Programs to choose from
  • Transport

You will have a variety of options to choose from in your workout. These options/equipment allow you to exercise all of your muscles in a number of different ways. At a gym, you have a variety of different programs to choose from. This ultimately leads to you being more determined to exercise. The benefit of having transport to a gym is a huge advantage. You may not be able to afford a gym in close proximity to your home, so this is going to prove a convenient way to get your workout in.

Making The Big Decision

It is a common goal of many home lifters to one day be able to get the gym at their home. This is a very popular option for many reasons.

First of all, it can be difficult to find the time to drive to a gym after work and then go through the workout of your choice. For some people, this is made even more difficult by the fact that some gyms have limited hours for the day and being able to fit everything in can be tough.

Then there’s the cost of a membership. Some gyms can be extremely expensive and for those on a budget that may be tough to justify. Going to a public gym can also sometimes be a little bit risky depending on the environment.

Another big reason for people to build a home gym is the fact that some gyms don’t offer the amenities that your workout will require. It may be that you just prefer the feel of training at home or prefer the privacy.

Whatever the reason may be to make the decision to build your own home gym, here are some of the pros and cons of this move.