Budget Buster: Home Gym or Health Club?

Home Gym or Health Club?While my wife and I always seem to talk about it, we are now starting to take action on living a healthier lifestyle. After hibernating during the cold months of winter and having our age catching up to us, it is time to be active again. We have been discussing our workout options, either buy some exercise equipment or join a health club. We really want a home gym, but with an apartment, it might be difficult with the limited space. Which option is more budget friendly?

Let’s Talk Prices

For the both of us, it would cost $75 per month to join the local health club. I would imagine we would wait for the free enrollment periods as we get monthly flyers in the mail. For a home gym, my wife wants an elliptical and I would like some sort of all-in-one home gym (I already own free weights). From our research, we estimated it would cost $3,500 for all of the equipment. In about 4 years, the home gym equipment would pay for itself. Also, most gym equipment carries a 10 year warranty. Winner: Home Gym.

Do You Need Variety?

A health club offers many different equipment stations that can offer various workouts. Not only that, the health club would offer trainers to give you guidance on the best training routines. A home gym really doesn’t really offer any variety, at least when you are trying to be affordable. Winner: Health Club.

The Convenience Factor

The health club may just be down the road and there could be an argument that paying for a membership might offer a little more motivation to exercise, but nothing beats home cooking. A home gym is the ultimate flexibility to work with your busy schedule, especially if you have kids. The best part? The doors are always open! Winner: Home Gym.

What About Being With Others?

Sometimes being a member of a health club could lead to networking opportunities and new relationships outside the gym. Also, seeing others workout gives you an extra boost in your own daily workout. Kind of like ‘I want to look like him/her!Winner: Health Club.

Need a Good Exercise Jam?

While you can bring your iPod to the health club, I would much rather have my stereo play than having cords getting in the way. Yes, volume may be an issue in the apartment, but I would still give a slight nudge to the home gym. You can pick your own music and you don’t have to compete with the health clubs speakers. Winner: Home Gym.

Is Availability of Equipment Important?

At a health club, how often do you have to change your plan because the equipment you wanted to use is occupied? While health clubs offer many options, at peak times, you could be waiting a while. Your home gym doesn’t have any competition. We already gave the health club a win for variety. Winner: Home Gym.

Are You More Comfortable With Your Things?

Just think about the cleanliness factor. Ever been on a piece of equipment that the previous patron forget to clean up after. Not only is that unsanitary, but you risk being exposed to cold and flu germs or even staff infections. I’d rather be in control of my own environment and my own equipment. Winner: Home Gym.

I’m not even close to being a fitness expert, so even though the home gym wins on paper, I wouldn’t mind the guidance of a successful workout routine. Either way, the budget is going to take a hit. We don’t even have a wellness category, so either we need to cut out something else or ‘borrow’ from our savings. I’m not to worried overall, because you can’t put a price on being healthy. It will ultimately save you money on medical expenses down the road.

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Do you have a home gym or health club membership? Did you have a different analysis in your decision process?

Stupidly Yours,

Matt

photo courtesy of batiskafo kotur

Written by Matt

StupidCents was founded by Matt in 2009. His thoughts are shaped by his family and career and seasoned by his endless motivation to succeed personally, professionally, and financially.

5 Responses to Budget Buster: Home Gym or Health Club?

  1. I know if I went through the effort to put in a home gym, I wouldn’t use it very much. The only thing I would want at home is an eliptical machine, that I would use.

    Gym memberships force me to go regularly, but as of right now I don’t have one. Running is enough and I have a couple of free weights.

  2. Matt says:

    @the weakonomist

    I agree that if you were paying for a membership, you would be more likely to use it. Your home gym has the potential to turn into a clothesline.

    I’m not much of a runner, but I do stay active playing basketball and golfing (no cart).

  3. p90x says:

    Physical fitness enables you to do your routine work linearly with the set timetable. Each day, you make time to engage in routine activities such as eating, drinking, bathing etc., why not incorporate fitness exercises and training sessions in your daily life.

  4. :-) Dunno what part of the country you’re in. Here in the (mega)Sun Belt, we have a “gym” right outside the door: walking, bicycling, hiking in the urban mountain parks, and daily swimming all summer.

    Hey…we got lotsa cheap real estate here? Why don’t you come join us? ;-)

  5. As a big health club user, one of the biggest bangs for my buck is the sauna. It has tremendous health benefits in the detoxification department (you sweat out heavy metals and other nasty stuff) and would be a very expensive thing to buy and run at home (think crazy elect. bills) I’m in it for 20 minutes, 3 times a week, and it’s a great-feeling, relaxing, healthy reward to look forward to after a hard workout.

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