I hate P90x commercials. Haaaate them. Yes, I know that any type of activity that gets people active is a good thing, but P90x (plus the other at home video classes) will never offer the benefit of an actual gym (unless you have an actual FULL gym at home) and I hate it that they try to brainwash people into thinking it will.
The biggest drawback to the gym? Pricing and crowding. Lifetime and the YMCA charge slightly less than your kidney for a membership and offer nothing more than an LA Fitness or Gold’s Gym (unless a eucalyptus smelling sauna is HUGE in your book), so if price is an issue, shop around.
That said, let’s look at the PROS and CONS of a gym membership:
PRO-Trainers that actually have a degree to help you work out the right way. You’re not being led by Sheila or Tony who just took a weekend acting class and came in for a video shoot.
CON-Busy points throughout the day. After work may be a little more busy and if you have social anxiety, you’ll need to plan around it. If you like the social aspect, then this would be a PRO instead.
PRO-Focus. Being at the gym will make you more goal oriented. It limits distractions and your removes your ability to just relax on the couch.
CON-Driving to gym. This can mean you go out of your way or you have to leave your warm and cozy house on a cold day to go work out.
PRO-Equipment. Yes, some gym locations have issues keeping their equipment 100% operational, but 99% of the time it’s in tip top shape and you’d have to have a HUGE house to build in everything you need for a proper workout. Some stretchy bands, a hand weight and a step square are not the way to meet long term fitness goals.
CON-Gym hygiene. Some people just don’t know how to wear deodorant, wipe down equipment, or be clean at the gym. However, these people are also disgusting on other places as well (work, church, etc), so not going to the gym doesn’t make you safer.
At Home Workout
PRO-Solitude. If you’re grossly overweight or have self-confidence issues, you may feel more comfortable at home where it’s just you and Tony/Sheila on TV.
CON-No Long term benefits. Once you’ve completed the video on the different levels, that’s it. You can do the video over, but if you’re really pushing yourself to be healthy, you need to have the accessibility that only a gym provides.
PRO-Home. You’re able to relax when you want to, you can answer your phone or grab a snack, etc., For anyone with serious goals though, this is a HUGE CON. You should be focused on your workout and limiting distractions. When you allow a distraction, you’re limiting your progress.
CON-No trainers. I don’t care if Tammy is a “trainer to the stars”. If Tammy just took a weekend Crossfit certification, she’s not a real trainer and I won’t be asking any questions to help my workout because she doesn’t have proper training and therefore, can’t give the proper answers. Also, she’s on the TV, so there’s that whole roadblock with asking questions..
PRO-No fees. Unless you count the “3 easy payments of $49.99” (or whatever) for the video set and three bands (plus the autographed water bottle), there is no monthly fee. You can give up at any time and pay nothing.
CON-No external motivators. Unless you’ve decked out a workout room as a full gym, you don’t have any audio or visual external motivators which can make it easier to “just skip tonight” and do other things. When you’re at the gym you’re not there to talk on your phone or to relax, you’re there to bust your ass and see some results.
At Home Workout loses.
A gym doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and it certainly shouldn’t cost more than $50 per month (if it is, you’re being robbed), so finding an affordable way to make some long term adjustments to your personal fitness is as easy as finding the gym that is right for you.
Again, anything that gets people moving is a great tool, but if a long term benefit is what you’re looking for, you’re better off in a gym.