There are plenty of workouts you can do at home. Push-ups, crunches, air-squats, planks, you can do a decent amount of exercises with no equipment at all. Add to that the ever popular morning run, and you can understand why many might think joining a gym is not worth the cost and hustle. This might be true for some people, but we think its worth your while to at least consider the benefits of joining your local gym. We present four reasons below:
This is the most obvious, and perhaps the least important reason, but it has to be addressed. As inventive as you can get with home workouts, it just doesn’t beat having proper equipment. As cool as body-weight training can be, you are limited to lifting whatever your body weighs at the moment. All you can really do is move to more technically difficult variations (for example headstand push-up) or increase the number of reps.
Most experts agree lifting heavy weights using compound lifts is one of the most effective ways of building muscle and getting into shape. It is not easy to find a substitute for a set of 100kg deadlifts if you don’t have weights. The same applies to heavy squats and bench-presses among other exercises.
Even if your goal is weight loss, running endlessly might at some point become less effective. It will work for a while, but then your body becomes super efficient at doing the exercise with a minimum amount of energy consumption. At that point, switching to something strength based will be your best best of continued progress.
When you are a beginner, its easy to be overwhelmed by all the information available on the internet about the best way of meeting your fitness goals. Should you do cardio or lift weights? Which movement? How much weight? How many sets and reps? How long until you load up?
Are you even properly doing the movement?
The last question is vital. While a movement like a deadlift or back squat appears straightforward on paper (and on YouTube), the number of people you will see doing it wrong in the gym is astounding. They might even develop impressive strength with improper technique, but they incur an high risk of injuries later on. With proper coaching on the other hand, the movements have been proven to be extremely safe.
That is before you even go into the more complex, and fun, movements such as the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. You chances of making any progress in those without a coach are really slim. With a good trainer however, they can be very effective and rewarding. And you get to throw down heavy weights from above your head, which is always a bonus as far as I’m concerned.
According to the latest research, one of the best methods to stick to your goals is accountability. Making a commitment in front of other people will keep you consistent like just about nothing else. Functional fitness gyms have recently exploded in popularity, and the community aspect together with the vibe that creates in the gym is a big part of it.
In the typical functional fitness gym, you know the trainers and fellow members by name. You encourage others in during classes and they encourage you in turn. You and your fellow members constantly push each other to keep making progress. Each milestone, your first muscle up, breaking your personal best lift, is greeted with loud cheers.
Once you have been in such an environment, training alone at home just doesn’t cut it.
We have all seen many friends and family members get motivation to pursue fitness goals, start running or yoga or something, and eventually lose interest. It might even happened to us a couple of times. Once you get motivated to go after a goal, staying motivated is often the difference between success and failure. Even if you stick with it long enough to attain your fitness goals, where do you get the motivation to keep going. Building the strength, endurance and body you want is no good if you then go right back where you started.
In our experience, competition goes a long way towards solving this problem. Functional fitness gyms regularly hold competitions that allow their members to compete against other members and against their own previous records. Once you know there is a competition scheduled in 3 or 4 weeks, motivation is not a problem because you want to do your best. And then on to the next event. The top athletes can eventually get to compete in more formal events nationally and internationally.