Are home workout regimens as good as the gym? – Geek Review

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Home workout regimens can be just as good as a gym. Depending on your preferences, an at-home setup might be better for you than a gym—or a lot worse. Whether or not an at-home workout regimen is right for you depends on your knowledge of the body in terms of fitness, how much space you have, and what motivates you.

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If you’ve ever seen an advertisement for a fancy home exercise system and wanted to buy it right away, you’re not alone. Work from the comfort of your home? Engage me. But are home workout regimens really as good as the gym?

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A great full body workout can be done at home

If you’ve heard the term “full-body workout,” but have no idea what it means, here’s a brief explanation. A full body workout involves working out all the major muscle groups in one session, which includes your legs, arms, torso, shoulders and back as well.

So if you see an advertisement for an at-home system that offers full-body workouts, the company says you can work out all the major muscle groups through its device, the accompanying app, or a combination of both. This also means that you will be able to perform exercises that target a specific muscle group within your body if you wish to have separate days for each muscle group.

A man works out at home while watching a fitness trainer on a peloton bike screen
peloton

Anyone familiar with fitness has probably heard of “push, pull, and legs,” which simply translates to devoting one day to pushing movements for your chest, shoulders, and triceps; one day to pull movements for your back, traps and biceps; And one day to strengthen your legs, glutes and core. One of the most overlooked features of home systems is if you’re able to perform pulling motions as well as pushing motions.

It’s so easy to do push-ups or a daily leg workout at home – even with no equipment at all. You can use your own body weight for various exercises and explore movement variations, increasing the repetitions between sets, or decreasing the rest time between sets when things aren’t hard enough for you.

Pull-ups aren’t easy to do with your own body weight, which is why people often turn to a gym or an at-home system to target the back, traps, and biceps. But if you don’t want to spend exorbitant amounts on a gym or home regimen, here’s a little secret: You can incorporate pull-ups into your home workout for under $30 with resistance bands.

What are the most popular home systems?

Just because a full-body workout is possible from the comfort of your own home, it doesn’t mean that all exercise regimens are as effective as one another. There are a lot of expensive home systems out there that are only good for targeting a few muscle groups, so be careful when deciding which equipment to invest in. Research the exercise options each system offers before purchasing to ensure that each muscle group can be worked appropriately.

The most popular home exercise regimens offer a wide variety of exercises to keep things fresh and target most — if not all — of the muscle groups you need to work. Some may only offer strength training and cardio, while others will give you completely different options to choose from, such as yoga, boxing, dance, and so on.

tonal

Woman working out with tonal home gym
tonal

The Tonal Workout System consists of a 24-inch touch screen where you can follow the movements of the trainer and see your stats in real time. Next, there are two adjustable, touchscreen-mounted arms to which you can attach smart handles, a bar, or a rope for different workouts. As you get stronger, you can adjust the resistance weight in one-pound increments.

Tonal advertises that his system offers more than 245 unique moves, including moves that target the whole body as well as upper body, lower body, and core. There are high-intensity exercises, cardio training, and strength-training sessions to build muscle, but there are also exercise options that focus on movement, recovery, and pre- and post-natal care. You can even get in some really gentle stretching with Tonal through your yoga, pilates, or meditation workouts.

Mirror

A man is following a home workout coach on The Mirror by lululemon
lululemon

lululemon studio mirror is one of the best possible options for your home if you are pressed for space. As the title suggests, it looks like a regular old mirror and just needs some wall space. You can hang it up or just use a stand to keep it upright, and when not in use it will look like a stylish piece of decor.

There are over 10,000 unique exercises spread across 60+ classes, including Strength: Total Body, Arms + Abs, Cardio Dance, Restorative Yoga, Bootcamp, Weight Training, Cardio + Strength, and more. Some exercises use simple equipment, such as dumbbells, but many exercises use only your own body weight to work up a sweat.

peloton

Working out on a peloton bike in the living room
peloton

Peloton has launched some large-scale advertising campaigns, so there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the company’s systems at home, most notably the Peloton Bike. On the Peloton Bike, there’s a 21.5-inch touchscreen, built-in speakers, and a resistance knob to make your workouts more rigorous. It takes up approximately two feet by four feet of space and is similar to a stationary bike but provides a more comprehensive workout.

There are weekly live classes that simulate the experience of being in a gym and learning from a coach in real time. Workouts on the Peloton Bike range from five minutes to an hour and a half, and there are over 15 unique class styles. You can get some aerobic exercise with running or hiking classes, build muscle mass with strength classes, or unwind after a stressful day with a yoga or meditation class.

FightCamp or Liteboxer

The fightcamp boxing system is at home next to the lightboxer floor stand
Fight Camp / Lightboxer

Systems from FightCamp or Liteboxer are only good options if you are particularly drawn to boxing as a training style. When you’re in your boxing stance and throwing punches on a FightCamp bag or Liteboxer pad, your legs and torso are involved, but your workout is focused primarily on your core and upper body. With apps and workout classes specific to each system, it’s possible to get a solid leg day workout or stretch out your sore muscles with a relaxing yoga session. However, it is not as complete as some other home exercise regimens.

BowFlex

A woman working out at the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
Bowflex

There are two main BowFlex systems to choose from: the Revolution Home Gym or the Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym. Both systems are more than capable of working all of your muscle groups, and this is the home system that best resembles the actual equipment you find in a gym. However, you’ll need a large training space to accommodate this system, with workout dimensions of 96″ x 78″ for the X2SE system and 120″ x 84″ for the Revolution system.

With the Revolution BowFlex, there are over 100 possible exercises, 220 pounds of SpiraFlex resistance that you can upgrade to 300 pounds, and a few more attachments. The X2SE BowFlex offers over 70 possible exercises, 210 pounds of Power Rod resistance that can be upgraded to 410 pounds, and like-revolution attachments.

The pros and cons of home workout regimens

Someone who works with the Tonal Exercise System
tonal

Positives

  • Incredibly convenient
  • Constant variety of exercises
  • It can be more affordable in the long run
  • No need to interact with others

cons

  • He may lack motivation or get easily distracted at home
  • Nobody to check if your form is correct
  • It can get boring, especially if you like social interaction

Working out from your home means you can exercise whenever you want and wear whatever you want. Sure, many gyms are open 24/7 and have flexible dress codes, but you may not want to get out of your house late at night or change out of your pajamas. Plus, staying home eliminates the time it takes to drive to and from the gym.

You also won’t have to interact with other people in your home, whether that’s waiting for someone to exit the device you want to use, being shut out by someone who doesn’t clean the equipment after they’ve used it, or talking to someone.

After that, it may seem that exercising at home might become boring, but it is quite the opposite. In the gym, there are only so many different things you can do based on the equipment available. But at home, you have a plethora of workout options from apps, YouTube videos, or live lessons, from relaxing yoga sessions to high-intensity quick workouts or fun dance lessons. Many home workout regimens contain a mixture of these formats and exercise styles to keep things fresh.

Many of the cons of working out at home are the opposite of the pros and depend largely on what you personally need for an effective workout. Sure, working out at home can be more cost-effective, but what if you find yourself distracted and unmotivated at home? Then, you’ll end up discarding the expensive home workout regimen you’ve invested in and beating yourself up on it.

One incredibly important drawback to exercising at home is improper form during exercise. Even though you may be practicing incorrect technique at the gym, an employee or a random stranger may notice and offer to help you. If you think working out at home would be better for you, be sure to focus on your level during each movement and if something feels weird or wrong – stop.

The pros and cons of going to the gym

Woman exercising in the gym
Boyan Melnikov / Shutterstock.com

Positives

  • A dedicated workout space with minimal distractions
  • Personal training is available
  • Others can be used as a competitive motivator
  • Variety of equipment and machines

cons

  • Monthly fees can add up quickly
  • You should pack up and head to the gym
  • Forced to deal with others
  • Canceling your membership can be difficult

If you’re new to working out, the gym can be a less intimidating place to start because there is a plethora of equipment and machines to try out, and there are usually instructions to go along with each one. Whether or not you hire a personal trainer to help you start your fitness journey, there are usually other people at the gym—employees or otherwise—who can help answer any questions you have or offer tips on your form.

However, if you are an introvert with social anxiety, all of the above sounds like an awful nightmare. You’ll be in an unfamiliar place, you won’t want to ask questions for fear of looking stupid, and you’ll be surrounded by people watching you. Well, okay, they probably won’t be watching you, but that’s just the way you picture it in your head.

However, some people thrive around others in the gym, using strangers as silent motivation to work out harder or just soak up the energy of everyone exercising. Paying for a gym membership isn’t cheap, but it can be another source of motivation for people. For some, the active push to hit the gym makes you feel obligated to get your money’s worth every month. Just beware, canceling a gym membership is incredibly difficult, and you often have to jump through unnecessary hoops to get out of the contract you signed.

You do what’s best for you

At the end of the day, you need to decide which option seems most interesting to you. An at-home workout regimen is not objectively better or worse than going to the gym, but it may be better or worse for you.

If you want to be able to work out in private whenever you want, a home workout system would be a very smart investment. Exercising from the comfort of your own home can allow you to work harder without feeling judged by others. Just make sure you don’t get more drawn into watching a TV show or playing a video game when it’s time to work out.

On the other hand, if you don’t trust yourself to stay motivated after the novelty of your workout regimen is over, becoming a gym member might be the smarter option. You’ll be able to derive motivation from paying for a membership as well as other people training around you, but you’ll need to make sure you actually have access to a gym.

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