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Staying fit often comes at a price. Whether it's signing up for a gym subscription or building your own at home, both are definitely an investment. Inevitably, choosing the best route to take can be tricky. To help, we've put together this useful guide so you can weigh-up the pros and cons of each one before you spend any of your hard-earned cash.

 

Joining the gym: the pros

1) Motivation

When you work hard to stay fit day-in day-out, maintaining that level of motivation is something that we all can struggle with. But being at the gym can really help with giving you that high burst of energy that you need to get you through your workout. At home, there's always room to switch off, and workouts can take longer than they need to. So, surrounding yourself with other people who are also working hard can really give you a push in the right direction. Also, there's always the pressure of not hanging onto machines or equipment for too long which is another reason to blast through your training regime.

 

2) No distractions

Just like when you take a day to work from home, there are always numerous things around to distract you from your workout. Children, cooking, TV programmes etc... the opportunity to just stop and head back indoors is always a temptation.

 

3) Having the space

Home gyms take up space, there's no doubt about it. And this can be a deal breaker when it comes to investing in your own gym. If you haven't got the room or garage going spare, then this is definitely going to limit what you have at home.

 

4) Range of equipment

Gyms can afford to invest in a whole range of equipment which – unless you're particularly well-off – would be pretty much impossible to have at home.

 

5) Get out the house

The trouble with working at home, living at home and working out at home is that you're always at home. Going to the gym can be great for getting some time away from daily life and getting a change of scenery.

 

Joining the gym: the cons

1) It gets busy

Gyms can get really busy – especially at the beginning of the year. And trying to find the space to do you workout, get on the machines you want and train in peace can sometimes be impossible.

 

2) Sharing equipment

Sweaty butt prints, curling in the squat rack, waiting for that person who is just sat on their phone not working out – we've seen it all. And when it comes to getting through your workout as quickly as possible, all of these things can hold you up and be a frustration. And, with all shared things, they get used a lot and aren't always in the same pristine condition as you might have them at home.

 

3) Lack of mental space

After a stressful day, getting under the bright lights and surrounding yourself with people doesn't always do wonders for calming the mind. Plus, the mix of loud music from the spin class, the radio and your own music can be headache-inducing.

 

4) You don't get to keep the equipment Going to the gym is like renting. You get everything you need for a monthly subscription but at the end of it all, unfortunately, you don't get to keep it.

 

5) It takes time The changing rooms, the lockers, the journey there and back, parking, signing in – it all takes up your precious time outside of work.

 

Home gym: the pros

1) Designed for you

Having your own set-up means everything is designed around you. What you like to use and how you like to use it. Meaning, hardly any adjusting as well as a concentrated selection of equipment that's exactly what you need.


2) No waiting

Every gym-goer knows that heart-sinking moment when you see someone get to your next piece of equipment seconds before you. The waiting, the re-planning – or sometimes you just don't get to use it at all. Having your own gym means you can concentrate on your workout without having to rugby tackle your rival bench-presser to the ground.

 

3) Time saving

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Being able to hop in and out of your own gym saves a massive amount of time. It also means you can control the amount of time you spend working out – whether that's 20 minutes or several hours! Fit your workout in before work or jump in late at night. Your time is just spent working out – so definitely well-spent.

 

4) It's a long-lasting investment

 

Having your own gym equipment does mean investing time and money into getting it right. But, once you have that equipment, it's yours. And because there aren't many people using it on a daily basis, you can get a lot more life out of it that some of the pieces at the gym.

 

5) Focus

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The science of muscle-building can certainly be taxing on the brain. Having some space and quiet to focus on your reps, sets and weights makes a refreshing change in dynamics in comparison to the bustle of your local gym.

 

6) Try new things

The mirrors, the people, the looks – trying new things on your own down at the gym often takes a dose of confidence. And sometimes, it can just be safer to stick to the things you know. However, trying new things is a great way to up your fitness levels and add variety to your workout. And most people find that this is much easier to do in the comfort of your own space.

 

7) You can curl in your own squat rack

It's the ultimate fitness crime. Curling in the squat rack? Get out. Unless – you're at home, in your own squat rack. In which case, go, be free and curl without judgement.

 

Home gym: the cons

1) Requires a good amount of space

Having an entire gym at home takes up a good amount of space. Especially if you're using a power rack and squat rack along with the seven foot bar. Having a spare room downstairs or in the garage is a bit of a luxury and understandably not something everyone has.

 

2) Needs time to build up and investment

Home gyms are definitely a project and they take time to build up, as well as money. Something that not everyone can wait for.

 

3) Lack of motivation

Working out on your own means you sometimes lose that element of challenge and competition so it's not always as easy to push yourself as well as stay motivated.

 

Solutions:

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Where there's a will there's a way. And that means there are work-arounds for almost all of the cons, regardless of which one you choose:

Motivation: get your friend or training partner involved. That way you can introduce the competition element back into your workouts to up the intensity.

Investment – the good thing about home gyms is that it doesn't need to be all done at once. Little by little, bit by bit, you can add each piece in. And, additionally, a Mirafit garage gym set up can be completed for less than £700! Check out our set-up in our garage gym blog.

Space – if you have a garage going spare, then great. But if you don't, we totally get that. This doesn't mean you can't have anything at home though. For the days when you just can't make it to the gym, keep some bread and butter items at home for a basic workout that keeps you in good shape, no matter your schedule. Dumbbells, a mat and a slam ball, some kettlebells, or just a battlerope.

Getting a break from the house – you don't need to join a gym to get a break from the house. Pack a few bits of kit into the back of your car and head down to the local park for a workout with a difference.

 

What's the verdict?

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As you can see, there are lots of ways to get round the things that might be holding you back from making a decision. As much as we're a little bit biased, gyms are great. You've got classes to choice from, a wide range of equipment, a bustling vibe, pools, saunas and more. Plus you don't have to re-think your home just to go to one.

However, many people think home gyms are a massive investment, and we're here to tell you that a Mirafit garage gym is a lot cheaper than you might think. Solid equipment that can be bought bit by bit for your very own fitness empire.

Got any questions? Find out more about the team and our equipment at Instagram or Facebook @mirafitofficial.

Thank you to @fit.geek.ocr @grahampcook @fuelledbycrisps @bri.and.johnny  for sending us images of their Mirafit home gyms. Great work guys – keep up the training!