Weighing the Pros and Cons of Working Out at the Gym Versus at Home

Considering your own fitness goals, one might be a better choice than the other for you.

Working out at home vs. the gym

Exercise can boost both your physical and mental health, and it’s important to adopt a routine that you can stick to over time, especially as you age.

So, you’ve got the motivation to exercise, the right shoes, and appropriate clothes to tackle your workout. The only thing you have left to figure out is whether you’ll want to work out at your local gym or in the comfort of your own home.

Depending on your personal preferences and comfort level, you may opt to head to the gym so you can utilize the treadmill machine, weights, and have access to a diverse variety of workout classes. On the other hand, you may prefer unraveling a yoga mat in your living room and practicing Pilates, which doesn’t require any special machines or equipment.

Here are a few pros and cons to consider before you make your decision.

Working out at home


  • Price
    With a smorgasbord of free workout channels online and fitness apps available, you can get in some great workouts at home with a simple pair of dumbbells and a resistance band. You’ll see results for a much lower price than paying for a gym membership, especially if you stick to the free options that are out there.
  • More flexible
    When you have access to your fitness equipment at home, you don’t have much room for excuses to miss a workout and can squeeze in your workouts when it’s convenient for you. After all, the only timetable you accommodate is your own. It can also be easy to multitask while working out at home, like hopping on the elliptical machine, mini trampoline, or doing some weightlifting while watching your favorite show or listening to your favorite book.
  • Less travel time
    The convenience of not having to leave your house to exercise is unmatched when compared to joining a gym. So, if you find that you’re a busy parent or have an overwhelming work schedule, you won’t have to worry about traveling to the gym for your weekly workout.


  • Less motivation
    If you’re more motivated by having a set time for a fitness class, a workout buddy, or exercising in a group, sticking to your goals and your workout plan might be more difficult at home than it would be if you joined a gym because you’re tackling your workout solo.
  • Lack of equipment
    The gym has a plethora of equipment for you to use. And of course, you can buy equipment for your home gym, but investing in weight machines, treadmills, or even kettlebells or medicine balls can get expensive quickly.

Related: DIY Workout: Creative At-Home Workouts

Working out at the gym


  • More classes and exercises to try
    A great part of the gym experience is the variety of fitness classes available to you and the ease of trying out new machines or exercises. You can mix and max different exercise regimes, so each workout you do is different from the last.
  • Access to equipment
    Most gyms have everything you’re looking for when it comes to cardio machines, strength, or resistance training, and even swimming pools. Joining a gym allows you to exercise however you want in one place without having to invest in equipment at home.
  • Socialization
    If you thrive in group workout sessions, the gym is the place for you. In fact, working out in a group has been proven to increase motivation and focus and has been linked to more health benefits than working out by yourself. It also gives you an escape to be around people if you happen to be an at-home parent or employee working from home.


  • Travel
    Of course, the convenience of equipment and classes at the gym is a tradeoff for accessibility. To work out at the gym, you have to get yourself to the gym, which can be a struggle sometimes.
  • Sharing equipment
    You’ve got yourself to the gym, but there’s a chance that the equipment you prefer to use is occupied by another. If that’s the case, you’ll have to switch up your routine that day. For some, this is a definite downside and can throw off your planned workout.
  • Price
    Unless you have free access to a gym through your employer or otherwise, joining a gym will have a monthly fee. Depending on what kind of fitness plan you have and what amenities you want access to, additional fees can be added to your monthly membership bill.

Keeping your long-term goals in mind and the pros and cons of both will help you make the best decision for you. If you still find yourself questioning which is better, many gyms offer a trial membership that allows you to use the facilities and equipment for a period of time before you need to purchase a membership. Likewise, you can start exploring and trying online exercise classes and fitness apps to see how you like them.

Also, don’t forget to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any fitness programs.

Related: 7 Clever Ways to Sneak In a Workout

Related Articles