Working Out at Home vs. Gym: Which is Better?

Whether it's working out at the gym or in the comfort of your home, which one is better? It's a great question…

I am a strong believer in training at a health club. Do I train at a health club every day? No, because of my children's nap time and my desire to inspire my 5 and 8-year-old, I train every Saturday at home. While many people enjoy a home gym's convenience, motivation towards "optimal" performance will be lost if you exclusively workout at home.

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work side by side with a physical therapist at Life Time. The physical therapist had 2 places he saw clients at. He worked as a physical therapist at Life Time and in a clinical setting.

The physical therapist noticed a trend. His patients at Life Time recovered from their injuries/ailments faster than the patients with the same injuries at the clinic. His hypothesis was that because patients getting treated at Life Time did their therapy session at the club, while doing their exercises, they would see someone perform a "fun" workout or something that motivated the them. The patient would say, "I want to do that!" The therapist would tell them that it was possible if they kept progressing with their healing. The patient was motivated to get better and strive to optimal performance. Because of the membership at Life Time, the patient came back to the club to perform the workout more consistently than those treated than at the clinic. Thus, they were more motivated than the clinical treatment.

At the clinic, the patients would do their exercises alongside other rehab patients. Rather than inspiration, they would say to themselves, "I am not as bad as that person." While it is admirable to be humble, this demotivation is not going to get a patient to optimal performance.

What are you to do?

I am a firm believer that getting the workout in is the most important priority, regardless of when or where. If you have access to a health club, use it to your advantage! Watch what everyone else is doing for workouts. Someone will inspire you to train harder, better, faster, etc. Utilize the motivation and get yourself fit enough so you too can do anything you want. Soon you will be the one motivating those around you.


Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified