Average Gym Membership VS Home Gym – Pros & Cons Of Both

In this article I’m gonna give you an average gym membership vs home gym comparison.  We’ll dive into some of the pros and cons of having a gym membership as well as the pros and cons of building out your own home gym.  Your exercise environment plays a big role in determining your body transformation success.  Choosing to workout at home vs going to the gym is a big decision, and I want you to be as informed as possible.

Just remember, nothing is permanent… you can always change your environment if you get feedback that one way isn’t working for you.  Also, don’t forget that the best gym option is the one where you show up every day and put in the work required to get your body transformation results!

Your Fitness Goals Are A BIG Factor

home gym vs average gym membership

When you are deciding other to join a gym or build a home gym, both your short and long-term fitness goals Play a crucial role in making this decision. For example, if your goals are only short term, then that will not only determine what equipment you’ll need to reach them, but of course cost will be a main factor as well.

Let’s say do you normally get some moderate or light exercise just by walking around the neighborhood, chasing the kids, and maybe doing some yoga at home. Do you have a high school reunion coming up, and you want to really hit it hard to look your best for this event. In this scenario, it’ll probably be way more cost-effective to join a gym for 2 to 3 months and even hire a personal trainer. Otherwise, you may have to spend a lot of money on equipment that you’re only going to be using for a short period of time.

Alternatively, investing in building a home gym may lead to the more long-term lifestyle of fitness. It all just depends on your goals. And, of course I always advocate for living a long-term healthy lifestyle.
However, there are more things to consider…

Let’s Compare Costs

cost of gym membership vs home gym

As I mentioned in the previous example, cost is definitely going to play a big role in your decision to either enroll in a gym membership or start buying home gym equipment.

First, let’s take a look at the average gym membership fees.

Right now, your average commercial gym membership fee ranges between $30 and $40 per month. While this option seems much better in the short term, these costs do you add up over time.

When considering building a home gym versus joining a gym, you first need to decide on what type of gym equipment you need based on your fitness goals.

For example, if your goal is to lose 20 to 30 pounds and be healthy and fit, you can actually accomplish this with very little workout equipment. You can use bodyweight exercises a weight vest, a yoga mat, and maybe a medicine ball or some small dumbbells, and get the job done.

The type of exercise equipment you will need is largely determined by your fitness goals and what type of exercises you enjoy.

If we are paying $40 per month for the gym, then that’s roughly $500 per year to get access to a full gym with all of the amenities. Conversely, if we are just getting started and use minimal equipment as I mentioned above, we could easily get a great wait best, yoga mat, medicine ball, and a beginner set of dumbbells, for under $300.

However, if you ever plan on doing any kind of strength training involving free weights or machines, then the cost will be a different story. To get a full power rack with bench, olympic bar, plates and a set of dumbbells, you’re easily looking at about $5000. That’s about 10 years of gym memberships!

As you can see, it all depends on your goals...

The Importance Of Time

workout time at gym vs home

A main consideration in deciding between a gym membership and a home gym is the element of time. Everyone these days seems to be busy. When I speak with clients about working out and their schedules, I break time into two areas as far as working out goes. The first part is travel time. And, then there’s the actual workout time.

Obviously, the huge “Pro” of working out at home is the fact that you can eliminate the travel time. The other benefit of having your workout equipment at your house is the fact that it takes away the excuse of “it’s raining out, i’ll get my workout in tomorrow” and the like. This definitely helps with exercise program adherence.

When we actually look at the workout time, the gym has more “Pros” than the home workout. In the gym, they equipment is all laid out ready to use as you walk in the door. When working out at home often times there is equipment set up involved and there is moving of equipment around in between exercises, etc.

If you feel like you are extremely busy, or are for some other reason unable to get to the gym, home execising may be your best option. Just remember you’ll need all of that equipment in your home. Also, you will have to set it up and move around every time you work out .

How Real Estate Could Determine Your Fate

In this case I am speaking directly about how much room you have at your home for workout equipment. If you live in a small one bedroom apartment, and you wanna work out with free weights, it’s going to be near impossible to build a home gym.

gym equipment at workout facility

On the other hand, if you are only using a bodyweight vest and yoga mat following and exercise program on your TV then the one bedroom apartment would work just fine. There are a lot of space-saving workout machines out there as well like the Bow Flex and Tonal.

Again, how much room you have in your home plays a large role and your decision to either work out from home, or pay the gym membership fees to access their facilities.

I have literally coached clients to lose over 20 to 30 pounds simply by following and exercise program in their living room with very limited equipment. It is very possible to do. The real consideration here it is what type of exercises and training you would like to do. Again, if you’re looking for resistance training with free weights etc. then space is definitely a factor.
If you have very little space and you were looking to adopt a long-term healthy lifestyle, then the gym probably will offer you more value. The gym has all of the equipment services and amenities you will need now and in the future. For the short term, you can get away with small spaces and limited equipment.


Up to this point we’ve given you some of the pros and cons I have your average gym membership versus a home gym. There are several factors like how much space you have in your house, how much time you have to work out, and the cost of gym membership and home gyms are all interrelated into this decision.

The one common denominator the place and to all of this is your fitness goals. Your fitness goals are the driving factor when deciding between a gym membership and building a home gym.

Personally, I have wrestled with this dilemma for many years. As someone who practices health and fitness and has done so in a variety of ways, I have found that is a gym membership was the greater value for me over the long haul.

That being said, I do have some fitness equipment at home.

Sometimes you just need to hit a quick workout, or there are some other factors like Covid the stop you from going to the gym. Regardless, as a life-long fitness enthusiast, the workouts still happen.

It all really just comes down to your goals.

If you would like any advice or have any questions about different gyms, workout equipment or anything else fitness-related, please just leave me a comment and I will be happy to help you out.

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