5 benefits of training at home
Training in a gym is great and, under most circumstances, I would probably say that it’s the better choice for most people. Training in a gym gives you the ability to use more resistance and a wider variety of machines than most of us could ever dream of accessing at home, and if your goal is one that involves more 'performance' parameters, then perfect.
But what if that isn’t your goal? What if your goal is simply to lose weight in a healthy manner, or on that note what if you just want to become healthier and more active overall? What’s more – what if your goal is to be as fit and strong as possible, but due to one or more things out of your control, getting to a gym is simply impossible.
If these are the case, training at home should never be overlooked.
There are a multitude of reasons that you might consider home-training, but I’m going to list my top 5 here. Bare in mind that when I’m talking home training here, I’m talking about the kind of training that you’ll be doing with bodyweight, a pull up bar, a swiss ball, and maybe a kettlebell.
So, to the list…
1 – It saves time
How long does it take to get to a gym? You have to walk or drive there, head to the changing room, get sorted, head to the gym floor and start your workout, then you have to finish and drive home. Considering the commuting time, changing time and the 5 minutes you end up talking to someone at some point, an hour workout can take 2 hours or more out of your day.
By training at home, those who are really pressed for time (young businesspeople, new parents or those who have other commitments) can get a great workout in and take some time out of their packed schedule to be selfish, without spending half of their workout time watching the clock and feeling guilty.
2 – There is no judgement
Probably the single biggest barrier that I hear for starting the gym is that people feel self conscious. Now, I don’t personally think that this should be an issue; everyone in a gym is there for the same thing: self improvement. With that being the case, it is a very rare time that the other people on the gym floor will look at or judge newcomers because they aren’t experts yet.
Sure, there’s always one or two people in the gym who can be, well, less than friendly, but the vast, VAST majority of gymgoers which you will encounter will be friendly, helpful and supportive. That, or they won’t talk to you because they have just as much anxiety and insecurity as you do, and they are just as worried as you are that people will pay attention to them and judge, so they put their headphones in and get the work done without bothering you.
We all start somewhere, and we all remember ‘being there’.
All of that is great, but it doesn’t remove the ‘I can’t go to a gym, I’ll make a fool of myself’ concern. What can, is becoming competent by yourself before you start. Training at home allows you to find your feet, get your rhythm and start to understand your own body and the way that it moves without what feels like the world looking at you.
It’s just you, and you’re free to make mistakes without embarrassment or uncomfortable social situations. Sounds trivial to some but to others, this is really important.
3 – There are no other people there
There’s no one there to judge you but, in fact, there’s nobody there at all! No waiting for equipment, no waiting for the drinks fountain, no awkward conversations and no armpit sweat (other than yours…)
That’s a big win in my books.
4 – It’s Cheap
This one may seem obvious, but you don’t need to pay anything to train at home. With the rising costs of gym memberships and the increased popularity of ‘contract gyms’ which tie you in for a year at a time, I know that there are some out there who would love to start exercising but the cost just doesn’t seem feasible. By training at home you put yourself back in control of your own health and fitness, and make it so you are able to do what you want to do, without worrying about the financial impacts.
For those of you looking for a halfway point, something WAY cheaper than a gym but with a little bit of guidance, there are options available to you. If you have a little money to spare, paying a small amount for some proper direction can really take your home training up a notch.
5 – It’s REALLY effective
Last but, of course, most importantly, training at home is really effective. By utilising a range of different bodyweight exercises you are able to train every muscle in your body in a manner that can be progressed over time.
Even those who train in a gym can benefit hugely by performing bodyweight cardiovascular circuits at home rather than driving to the gym to use a cross trainer – it’s more interesting, arguably more effective and takes way less time out of your day.
When home training is your only training modality, this encourages you to research and use your own imagination to work on different bodyparts. Whereas gymgoers can overhead press, you need to learn how to regress and then progress a handstand pushup to do the same job. Whereas gymgoers can use rowing machines and bikes, you need to get comfortable with mountain climbers and the dreaded burpee to ramp up your heart rate and burn a ton of calories.
This makes training exciting. This gives you almost endless opportunity to improve and learn certain moves and exercises, and you’ll get a huge sense of satisfaction when you manage to do them.
Workouts at home can be really intense, with a large calorie burn, or they can be moderate and manageable for those just starting out and who need to build confidence. Everything is customisable and there’s nobody but you there to tell you how hard you ‘should’ be working.
Of course, if you wanted someone there to give you ideas, tips and tricks, and full workouts, check out this cool free package from Gymcube – a company I work with where I'm their nutritionist, there’s even a 7 day diet plan that I wrote to kick things off for you. Just click on the image below and you will get free access to GymCube, and all the nutrition info from me...
Home training seems a little mellow, I know. It doesn’t quite have the exciting edginess afforded by the glitzy gym that all your friends might go to, with the machines which look more like Transformers than exercise stations, and the environment of hard work and sweat.
What it does have, however, is accessibility and efficacy. Home training is for everyone, for fitness fanatics to single mums who’ve never exercised before and who seriously don’t have the time to take more than 20 minutes away form the kids. It’s customisable, it’s time-efficient and it’s free.
And, once you start getting creative, it’s really fun, too.