Gym Versus At-Home Workouts
For the past two weeks, I have been working out beyond the walls of a gym. Between travelling to San Diego, Santa Catalina Island, hanging in LA, and returning home to the Bay Area, I haven’t had access to one. At one point in my life, this would have completely torn me apart and thrown me off- I depended upon the gym because I was afraid if I didn’t work out at it every day, I would lose all the progress I had made. Well, this paranoia was completely silly because that doesn’t just happen! Of course, I was totally valid in my feelings (and if you feel that way right now, I promise I am not attempting to diminish those concerns), but if you look at the science and at the facts, all your muscle, strength, speed, you name it, will not disappear if you don’t make it to the gym for two weeks.
Now, does that mean I haven’t been active? Heck no! I have been hiking, going on long walks, runs, using my resistance bands, and doing tons of bodyweight workouts. You can get a great sweat in without the gym, just in a completely different way. And switching up your routine is great for you- it challenges your body and my guess is you’ll be out of breath way sooner than you expected.
All of this travelling and relocating made me stop and think whether I should even renew my gym membership once I returned home- did I really need it if I could run anywhere, go on these hikes, and use my resistance bands? Plus, I had a BOSU ball, a TRX, and a few kettlebells at home. Isn’t all of that more than enough for a good workout?
For a few days, I tried using just this equipment. I have gone a month using just this equipment before (minus a Barry’s Bootcamp here and there- girls gotta get her treadmill on!). And it works- I break a sweat and I sometimes even am sore afterwards. But, in my opinion, its not the same as a gym. I don’t get excited to workout in the same way I do when I think about heading to this magical room filled with people challenging themselves and working towards something better. My house feels like my house when I work out, but the gym feels like something out of a movie. I put my Beats on, blast something that pumps me up, and shut out everything else. And because home wasn’t giving me that same excitement, I found myself lagging in the morning, wondering if I should work out or not. And that rarely happens! That’s when I knew I had to renew my gym membership. I’ve been back at the gym for two days now and it was a great choice.
But, that being said, the gym isn’t for everyone. Maybe you feel differently about a gym’s environment. Maybe its not in your budget or you work crazy hours. Maybe you like to be outdoors and in nature when you exercise or maybe group classes are your thing. And that is amazing! Do whatever works best for you and gets you moving every day.
That being said, however, I do want to give you a few tips I have for home gyms and workouts. I have posted before about workout routines I do when I am travelling (obviously which can be done while at home, too), but I want to give you some other tips I have collected along the way.
First, invest in some equipment. Body weights and running are great for some time, but eventually, you my get tired of the same routine or plateau because you aren’t increasing your weight use. If you don’t think either of those will happen or you are comfortable where you are only using bodyweight, then maybe equipment isn’t for you! But if you do think these will happen, I suggest investing in a few kettlebells (I have a 10lb, 15lb, and 25lb for range), maybe a pair of dumbbells (I have 5lb and 10lb), and a piece of equipment that excites you. For me, this was a BOSU, my mom, a TRX, and I know a lot of people that have boxes for box jumps and step ups. This piece of equipment should be versatile and one that you believe is a great investment.
Second, find a space in your house (or outside) that you won’t be distracted and will feel comfortable pushing yourself in. I used to work out in the front of my home, but would feel self-conscious when garbage men or pedestrians went by. I also tried working out in my front hall due to the space (another very important factor!), but I felt like I was shaking the cabinets and my parents would always try and talk to me. Finally, I settled on the backyard, on a patch of the patio. Yes, there are ants, but they don’t get in my way too often.
Next, get creative! I’ve used table benches as box jumps and as benches for bench presses and rows, towels as yoga mats, and table legs as poles for my resistance bands. You’d be amazed when you walk around the house what you can incorporate into your workout. Stairs are awesome for banded walks and sprints- nothing works your booty like 20 sprints up the stairs, let me tell ya that. Obviously test everything out carefully before using, whether that be for safety or preventing damage. Oh, and if you live at home, talk to your parents first… I learned that the hard way.
Finally, set up your equipment the night before. For me, I set up the benches outside and bring the kettlebells out if its not going to rain overnight. I place my BOSU by the back door, along with my yoga mat. All of this goes right by my water bottle, towel, and headphones. When I get downstairs in the morning, it is so easy for me to grab all of this and just start working out. It saves me a few minutes and it makes sure I stay motivated and don’t talk myself out of it.
I hope this helps you create the home gym of your dreams- trust me, you do not want to get me started on that topic. I could go on for days and days and days…
What is your favorite home workout? Do you prefer gyms or somewhere else to workout at? Share below!