Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Comparing Home Gyms With Fitness Centers

Saturday, January 23rd

Comparing Home Gyms with Fitness Centers

So you've made the decision to get into shape and live a healthier life. Part of being in good health is getting enough exercise.

There are many ways to get exercise. If you're an avid runner or walker, it may be all the exercise you need to stay in top form. However, most people prefer a combination of exercise, including weights and cardio. For that reason, many people choose to join a local health club, where a variety of both cardio and weight equipment is available.

Other people choose to create a gym in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, purchasing select equipment to help them achieve their health goals.

Which is the better choice? In order to answer that question, let's compare home gyms with fitness centers.

Home Gyms

The biggest benefit to having a home gym is convenience. You no longer have to worry about squeezing in a workout according to the hours of operation of your local facility. With a home gym, you can work out any time.

Home gyms also eliminate the drive time many people experience when traveling to the local gym. With an average of 15 minutes each way, that is a half hour of time spent in the car that could be used for exercising in a home gym.

Travel times to and from a gym aren't the only thing that can be reduced with the usage of a home gym. During peak hours at a gym, wait times to use the equipment can be a hassle. With a home gym, there are no wait times, and workouts can become more efficient.

Having a home gym also can be easier on the budget. The average cost of a monthly membership at a health club is $40. Add in initiation fees and other hidden costs of a gym membership, and a person can easily spend $500-700 a year on a health club membership. With a home gym, an initial investment for equipment is all that is necessary. Decent home weight gyms range in price from $350 to $2,000. For the average exerciser, equipment at the lower end of the price range will suffice. Cardio can be accomplished without equipment by walking or running outdoors. During times of inclement weather, an indoor exercise bike, elliptical machine or treadmill can be handy and will cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 each depending on the quality of the machine purchased.

Fitness Centers

While having a home gym can be beneficial, for some people, it is not the best way to work out.

Dedicated bodybuilders, for example, will require the variety of machines and free weights that most gyms provide in order to continue to advance in their training.

Some health clubs and fitness centers also offer amenities - such as swimming pools and hot tubs - that are not readily available in the majority of private homes. If these kinds of perks are important to you, then a fitness center would be more valuable than a home gym.

Fitness centers also offer the social aspect that most people crave. If you are the kind of person who enjoys working out with people with like-minded fitness goals, a gym membership is the way to go. If you enjoy taking group exercise classes, again, a fitness center atmosphere would be ideal. Many fitness centers provide a variety of exercise classes for members.

And for some people, without the motivation of knowing they paid to use a facility, regular exercise would not be included in their schedules. When you have home gym, it can be easy to put off exercising for another day when you know it isn't costing you money to do so.

Fitness centers also provide trained staff to help you with your fitness goals. For the novice exerciser, it can be difficult to get started on an appropriate routine at home without the consultation of a professional.

The Best Home Gyms Compare Home Gyms Compare Home Gym Reviews What are the best Home Gyms Best Home Gym Reviews

Home Gym FAQ

Absolutely! Depending on the equipment you choose, it might come with workout DVDs or online videos designed to help you get familiar with strength training. Weight training is an essential part of most wellness plans and can help you prevent injury and live longer.
Almost any gym equipment you'd find in a fitness center is available for home use. Of course, if you have a limited amount of space for your home gym, you can also find plenty of all-in-one systems that usually use resistance instead of weighted plates or dumbbells to create the same effect.
Yes! Any exercise you've seen at the gym can easily be done at home. Plus, you won't have to waste time waiting to knock out your next exercise because the equipment is being used by someone else.
They can be. You'll see equipment ranging from $199 to $3,799 or more. Some retailers offer financing, to help make your purchase more manageable.
Only if you want it to. There are some very compact systems that barely take up a corner of the room, and sets with dimensions that rival what you'd see at your local gym. It's a good idea to read the specs on any home gym you're considering, which will include the measurements and required floor space, to make sure you've got enough room.
Many stores offering home gym equipment give you a trial period ranging from 30-90 days. Policies vary, however, and you might have to pay a restocking fee and/or return shipping fees if you want to return your home gym for a refund.
That depends on the retailer. Some include it with the cost of the home gym, while others charge fees in the neighborhood of $99-$400.
Most of the time, no. You might be able to pay an additional fee for in-home delivery and set-up.
See the Best Home Gym

Since you're interested in Home Gyms, here are some other reviews you might find interesting.

The Best Reviews of Home Gyms