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Fun for Friday - Pros and Cons of a Gym Gym and a Home Gym

Once upon a time, I belonged to a gym. I went there religiously. I even ran on the treadmills before I figured out the whole outside running thing. Even then, I was at the gym most days of the week lifting weights and/or taking spin classes.

I learned to enjoy the environment of the gym. Before I was a member, I only ever worked out at home to my vast collection of Cathe Friedrich DVDs. I was initially intimidated by the gym, most of us are. But I sort of made it my home away from home. I was comfortable with the equipment, the classes, the people.

Then the gym closed.

I panicked at first. No spin classes? No squat rack? What if I needed a treadmill out of desperation on a bad winter day?

Of course I learned to make due. I don't have a squat rack, that one still bothers me, nor do I have a chin up bar (the ones supposed to fit ANY door? Yeah, not a house built in 1890). I have a wide range of dumbbells, an EZ Bar, aerobic step (use as a bench or for step ups, dips, etc.), even a bike trainer.

Occasionally I miss the idea of the gym environment. But then I remember the annoying aspects too. As is typical of most things, there are pros and cons.

Pros of Being a Gym Rat

  • Access to lots of equipment
  • Availability of classes, if that's your thing
  • Squat racks!
  • Friendly, familiar faces

Cons of Being a Gym Rat

  • Not always getting "your" spot/treadmill/elliptical/spin bike
  • People not re-racking weights
  • People hogging fans or turning them off
  • People being inconsiderate (talking on phones, hogging equipment, etc.)
  • Sweaty benches that don't get wiped down

Pros of a Home Gym

  • You control everything: temperature, tv shows, lighting, all of it
  • You can wear whatever you want
  • No one will be in your way or hog any equipment
  • You can listen to your music sans ear buds, and loudly
  • You know if the bench or mats are clean or not (and it's your own sweat)

Cons of a Home Gym

  • Limited space (for me at least)
  • Cost of equipment (so sometimes lack of equipment)
  • Lack of camaraderie 
  • No group classes 
Do you have a home gym or do you belong to a gym? What are your pros and cons?

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