At Home Gyms – No Better Time To Start One Than Now

at home gyms

With all the craziness going on around the world these days with social distancing, quarantines, and gyms being closed, your routine may get really thrown off for the next several weeks. However, exercise is important to overall health, so now may be as good a time as any to look into starting our own at home gyms.

According to WebMD, exercise studies have shown that exercise increases the number of certain white blood cells called T-cells. That means your body has a better chance of fighting off infection! Other studies have shown people who exercise get sick less over the course of a year.

Additionally, Medline cites that while not totally proven, regular exercise has several effects on your body that could help with fighting off infection like getting bacteria out of your body through your lungs, raising your body temperature to kill off infection (as with a fever), and keeping hormones for stress down (stress can increase your chances of getting sick).

Now please note that I am not here advocating you never go back to your gym when they eventually re-open. I’m not in the business of creating panic. There are many benefits you can enjoy when using a gym including personal training, fitness classes, and camaraderie among others working out.

Those personal trainers work extremely hard to help us get healthy and they should be supported.

Yet, the gym isn’t for everyone and that can be for various reasons. The purpose of this post is not to persuade you to abandon your memberships.

My purpose is to first explain the best reasons to have equipment at the ready should you decide (or society in the case of current world events) to move your fitness into the home and what kind of equipment options would be good to have on hand.

Reason #1 – The Cost

While there are some good deals our there as far as gym memberships are concerned, the monthly expense starts to add up quickly. For a couple of examples, here are gym membership fees at some of the most popular in my area (some of which are national chains):

  • Planet Fitness:There are three levels of memberships with different features and price points. Fitness Training is included with all membership levels.
    • Classic: Basic Membership/1 year commitment – $10/month, $49 startup fee, $39 annual fee ($208/first year + tax).
    • No Commitment: Basic Month-to-Month Membership – $15/month, $59 startup fee, $39 annual fee ($278/first year + tax).
    • PF Black Card: All-Inclusive Membership/1 year commitment – $22.99/month, $0.20 startup fee, $39 annual fee ($315.08/first year + tax).
  • 24 Hour Fitness: There are also three membership levels with different price points in each level. Fitness Training is not included and is an extra expense.
    • Reduced Dues: No Initiation/12 month commitment with the following price points:
      • One Club Only: $29.99/month, $29.99 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($439.86/first year + tax).
      • All Sport (260+ clubs): #39.99/month, $0 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($401.88/first year + tax).
      • All Super-Sport (430+ clubs): $46.99/month, $0 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($566.88/first year + tax).
      • All Ultra-Sport (All Clubs): $79.99/month, $0 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($929.88/first year + tax).
    • Month-to-Month: No commitment necessary with the following price points:
      • All Sport (260+ clubs): $36.99/month, $29.99 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($473.87/first year + tax).
      • All Super-Sport (430+ clubs): $51.99/month, $29.99 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($653.87/first year + tax).
      • All Ultra-Sport (All Clubs): $84.99/month, $29.99 startup fee, $49.99 annual fee ($1,049.87/first year + tax).
    • 1-year Membership: Full, one-time payment, a 1-year commitment, with the following price points:
      • All Sport (260+ clubs): No monthly dues, 3 months free ($299.99/first year + tax).
      • All Super-Sport (430+ clubs): No monthly dues, 3 months free ($499.99/first year + tax).
      • All Ultra-Sport (All Clubs): No monthly dues, 3 months free ($799.99/first year + tax).
  • Crunch Fitness: There are four membership levels with different price points. There is no yearly membership option and personal training must be added on:
    • Base: Monthly commitment with the following price point:
      • Monthly: $14.95/month, $149 enrollment fee, $59 annual fee, $10 processing fee ($397.40/first year + tax).
    • Peak: Monthly commitment with the following price point:
      • Monthly (Current promotion): $21.95/month, $0 enrollment fee, $59 annual fee, $10 processing fee ($332.40/first year + tax).
    • Peak Plus: Monthly commitment with the following price point:
      • Monthly: $29.95/month, $0 enrollment fee, $59 annual fee, $10 processing fee ($428.40/first year + tax).
    • Peak Results: Monthly commitment with the following price point:
      • Monthly: $39.95, $0 enrollment fee, $59 annual fee, $10 processing fee ($548.40/first year + tax).

As you can see, no matter where you join, the cost of going to the gym really starts to add up over the course of a year. When you factor in that those costs would recur every year, it can get quite expensive over an extended period of time.

When you purchase workout equipment for home use, it is a one-time deal which when compared to gym memberships, will pay for itself in less than a year in many cases. If you purchase quality products that will last for years to come, then the cost difference becomes astronomical.

As a case in point, I still have equipment that I bought over 5 years ago for less than $100. That combined with free workout programs I have found (and will highlight later) and my annual gym membership comes out to around $1.50 per month over a 5-year period. I’ll take those numbers any day!

Check out this video from MuscleNMind that also goes over the cost and other aspects of a home vs. membership gym:

While it may be worth it for some who go consistently, I’m led to my next reason to have a home gym available.

Reason #2 – Convenience Leads To Adherence

I have spoken about this before, but if it were left to me to get up, get myself to the gym, work out, and then drive back home, half the time I probably wouldn’t go. Can anyone else out there identify with me on gym memberships going to waste?

Instead of the scenario above playing out, consider the alternative: You get up in the morning, throw on some workout clothes, walk to the next room (or down to the basement), get your workout in, shower in your own bathroom, and move on with your day. I don’t know about you, but that sounds 10 times more appealing to me!

That is actually what I have been doing for years now. While I will occasionally lack the motivation to get up and work out (don’t we all?), most of the time it is so convenient, won’t take a huge chunk out of my day, and I get more time with family, that the positive aspects are overwhelming.

As humans, we tend to follow and stick with the path of the least resistance and least amount of effort. Having your own gym at home allows you to do this, have more personal time and time with family, and still get great results.

Reason #3 – Healthier Environment

at home gyms

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When I say healthier environment, I mean it in two ways.

The first of which is socially. When I was in college, I would often go to the campus gym and look around at a bunch of people who were in much better shape and much stronger than me. Most of the time, I didn’t care, but there were times when it got demoralizing.

I have a huge problem with comparing myself to others and then expecting too much. While I have gotten better with this, I can understand why some would be uncomfortable going to a gym and being around others. Some people are just more private about their fitness.

Working out at home creates an opportunity for the introverts of the world to get a great sweat on and not be self-conscious about how they look, how much weight they can lift, or how many reps they can do. For some, it’s just more comfortable.

An added benefit comes when you think about not having to wait for equipment to become free. When you are at home, the treadmill is always open and the dumbbells are exactly where you last put them (anyone ever found a 25lb dumbbell one place and had to walk halfway across the room to find its partner?).

Everything is available when and where you need it (unless you have kids who like to sneak equipment away or a significant other who likes to work out at the same time). This means you can complete your workout in a much more efficient and time-saving manner!

Finally, by “healthier environment”, I am also referring to germs. We have all seen those in the gym who leave a puddle of sweat when they move on to another piece of equipment. That quick rub down with a towel doesn’t give me much comfort, especially when I can still see half of the sweat smudge still on the seat.

I’m not really much of a germaphobe, but I also know Mr. Universe isn’t taking the time to use a sanitizing wipe after he is done with his bench press.

The commercial goes “I pick things up and I put them down”, not “I pick things up, put them down, and carefully make sure they are clean for the next person to use”.

I’m not saying all gyms are petri dishes… Spectrum Health isBUT there are certainly ways to avoid getting sickness from the gym by practicing good hygiene, hand washing, and using your common sense!

Hopefully this Coronavirus ordeal gets under control soon where you live, but it is always good to have a backup plan in case flu season gets really bad one winter and you want to stay on the safe side while still keeping on track with your fitness (and thus overall health) goals.

Check out this video to see some other reasons to work out at home:

Equipment – What Would I Need To Start A Basic Home Gym?

Here is the point in the post where after I have gone over some reasons to start your own at home gyms, I will try to give you some guidance towards reviews of what I think are quality pieces of equipment and resources to add to your home exercise haven.

I am also aware that with many people experiencing work difficulties during this time, that money may be an issue. That’s why I have tried to gear this website and the products I review towards the most budget-friendly, yet quality products I could find.

Every piece of equipment I post my review of below falls under $400, with most being well under $200 or $100 and others completely FREE.

Your health is important, but so is getting by and making sure you have enough money for food and water. There is no pressure to purchase anything right now. I don’t really care about that. I simply want to provide a resource for those who want to have their backup ready should, God forbid, something like this happen in the future.

Please don’t take this as a doom and gloom post.

With that said, here are some of my top pics for quality, low-priced at home equipment:

Healthy At Home – It Is Possible!

I hope this exploration of at home gyms has given you some interesting points to think about and some resources to consider as you continue your health and fitness goals while stuck inside.

Now it’s your turn! What do you think of my reasons for starting a gym in your house? What has your gym experience been like?

How are you all dealing with the effects of Coronavirus? I’d love to be a place where we can encourage one another and share our stories to help other out. I am praying to God that this will soon be resolved and that our leaders will seek wisdom, understanding, and come together with in this time. It’s certainly needed now!

As for the site, stay tuned every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as I will continue to feature budget-friendly options and nutritional help on those days. You can see the schedule for the rest of the month of March by CLICKING HERE. If you want to save this post for later, feel free to bookmark it.

Be sure to hit the subscribe button in the top right corner and click the share buttons that have been following you down the page. I’d really appreciate your support!

That’s all for now. God bless, praying for you, and happy (indoor) workouts!

Steve