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  1. #1
    Registered User olglez's Avatar
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    Do you really need a gym membership?

    Hi everyone,

    Apologies if this question has been asked before, but how necessary is a gym really?
    I ask because I’m trying to save to buy a house and want to cut costs wherever possible. The gym membership fees, fuel for driving to the gym, it all adds up. Plus I’d like to do my bit for the planet and reduce my carbon footprint.
    My goals are simply to be more healthy and to lose some bodyfat. My job and my studies mean that I sit at a desk all day so I need to be active. Currently I’m going for a 4-5 mile walk 4 times a week. I’m also doing kettlebell/clubbell/bodyweight circuits at home twice a week or so. I don’t have space for a bench or rack unfortunately.
    I mainly go to the gym for cardio (bike, crosstrainer, swimming) but perhaps I could get the same benefits from a home gym.
    Diet wise, I eat fairly well but there’s definitely things I can improve on. I’m also vegetarian.
    What’s everybody else’s thoughts on this?



    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Simple answer is no, you don’t.

    Title had me tempted to neg you for commie talk about “need” but now that I read your post I see where you’re coming from.
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  3. #3
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    With your goals, you might look at a rowing machine for a good total body conditioning workout. Concept2 is by far the top recommendation here. If you can, try before you buy to make sure you like the exercise. The challenge will be finding one in stock or used at a decent price but it's not impossible.

    And no, you don't need a gym membership to workout and stay fit.
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    Registered User olglez's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    With your goals, you might look at a rowing machine for a good total body conditioning workout.
    Thanks for the advice I have considered that. I might be able to fit one in somewhere. I've tried rowing before but I've always found it be quite uncomfortable on my hips, in particular in my hip flexors. Maybe I just need to stretch more
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    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    I just use dumbbells, an adjustable bench, a rower, and some kettlebells. It's really nice to workout from home. A substitute for a rower could be a real bike mounted on a trainer such as a Wahoo KICKR Core.
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    Of course not but if your reason for not wanting a gym membership is to save money then I don't think having a home gym is going to help in that regard.

    Assume a gym membership costs you $300/year, you'd save less than a thousand dollars in 3 years of membership fees and that doesn't leave you much to invest in a home gym with a 3 year payback.

    I've got about $10k invested in my home gym. Assuming $30/month gym membership fees that's more than 27 years to pay back. No regrets.
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  7. #7
    Chihuahua in the rain Corbets's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -=FLEX=- View Post
    Of course not but if your reason for not wanting a gym membership is to save money then I don't think having a home gym is going to help in that regard.

    Assume a gym membership costs you $300/year, you'd save less than a thousand dollars in 3 years of membership fees and that doesn't leave you much to invest in a home gym with a 3 year payback.

    I've got about $10k invested in my home gym. Assuming $30/month gym membership fees that's more than 27 years to pay back. No regrets.
    This. I have a home gym for convenience (and because I don’t like people ), not for cost savings. I don’t even want to try to do the math on what I’ve spent...
    My home gym: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175136471&p=1623181551&viewfull=1#post1623181551

    My Strava profile: https://www.strava.com/athletes/3015113
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  8. #8
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Corbets View Post
    This. I have a home gym for convenience (and because I don’t like people ), not for cost savings. I don’t even want to try to do the math on what I’ve spent...
    I also agree with this. I've invested a lot in my home gym by choice, not because I net any savings over a gym membership. And, while I use all of my equipment regularly, I must admit that I also enjoy buying/selling/upgrading as a hobby.
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  9. #9
    Registered User broganoff's Avatar
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    Agreed with everything above. The "payback terms" are not favorable. It's the cost of your time spent driving, parking, changing, etc on each end of your workout that can easily be spent in your own home gym that pays off. Plus not having to wait and jockey for equipment. Although depending on how far your gym is, it could pay off sooner in terms of gas savings.

    The only thing I really miss about the gym is the ammenities (sauna, hot tub, pool, raquetball). That's what day passes are for.
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  10. #10
    Old Man Yelling at Cloud -=FLEX=-'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by broganoff View Post
    Agreed with everything above. The "payback terms" are not favorable. It's the cost of your time spent driving, parking, changing, etc on each end of your workout that can easily be spent in your own home gym that pays off. Plus not having to wait and jockey for equipment. Although depending on how far your gym is, it could pay off sooner in terms of gas savings.

    The only thing I really miss about the gym is the ammenities (sauna, hot tub, pool, raquetball). That's what day passes are for.
    One thing I like is that I get to sleep in a bit. We train in the morning, so not going to the gym saves 20-30 minutes of driving time, more in winter. Also saves set-up time. I usually get things set up for the next morning in the evening after the boy finishes lifting. Huge time saver; just walk downstairs and start lifting. No clearing weights off the bars due to inconsiderate gym members, no walking around looking for equipment or that one bar with the decent knurling that isn't bent, etc. etc.
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  11. #11
    Age 59 MajorTendonitis's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -=FLEX=- View Post
    Of course not but if your reason for not wanting a gym membership is to save money then I don't think having a home gym is going to help in that regard.

    Assume a gym membership costs you $300/year, you'd save less than a thousand dollars in 3 years of membership fees and that doesn't leave you much to invest in a home gym with a 3 year payback.

    I've got about $10k invested in my home gym. Assuming $30/month gym membership fees that's more than 27 years to pay back. No regrets.
    In my case it will probably take me 50 years to pay off lol.
    No regrets whatsoever,as I was sick so often when I went to a public gym that it wasn’t even funny .
    Quit the public gym and built my own ,and never had a cold for almost a decade .
    Ironically enough, a friend who feeling very sick came over to visit in March this year as I was doing another upgrade to my gym , and I became deathly ill , and was in bed for a month .
    Asteroid 2021
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  12. #12
    Registered User olglez's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=-=FLEX=-;1623897491]Of course not but if your reason for not wanting a gym membership is to save money then I don't think having a home gym is going to help in that regard.



    Thanks for your reply
    I have to disagree though. I've got some basics already, like my kettlebells, clubbell, mace etc so I know I can get a great full body workout with those. I'm planning to get a 32kg kettlebell maybe in the next few months, once using my 24 becomes too easy. But apart from that I have no need to buy more equipment.
    The gyms about a 20minute drive so fuel costs slowly add up.
    I guess this is more of a short term thing too. Just whilst I save up for my own home.
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  13. #13
    Registered User SmithStreetGym's Avatar
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    Another advantage of having home gym is that I can play whatever music I like at whatever volume I like. I can also drink whatever I want.
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    Registered User olglez's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SmithStreetGym View Post
    Another advantage of having home gym is that I can play whatever music I like at whatever volume I like. I can also drink whatever I want.
    Oh 100% I don't know many gyms that play death metal haha. But I like to when I workout at home
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    No, depending on your goals.
    What you listed as a goals can be done be done at home.
    You can get a lot done with minimal equipment.
    TRX type straps,kettlebells,dumbbells ,a pull up and dip bar can give you a great variety and take up little space.
    The investment in any equipment is a one time buy for the rest of your life.
    And as you mentioned you save on a membership,gas and time driving to and from and dealing with possible crowds and people.
    And your gym won't close down.
    Good luck.
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  16. #16
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SmithStreetGym View Post
    Another advantage of having home gym is that I can play whatever music I like at whatever volume I like. I can also drink whatever I want.
    Alan : [Charlie is working out; Alan drinks from Charlie's water bottle] What the hell is this?

    Charlie : Bourbon.

    Alan : You drink Bourbon while you work out?

    Charlie : Gin makes me sweat.
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  17. #17
    Registered User olglez's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    Alan : [Charlie is working out; Alan drinks from Charlie's water bottle] What the hell is this?

    Charlie : Bourbon.

    Alan : You drink Bourbon while you work out?

    Charlie : Gin makes me sweat.

    Reminds me of a time when I was at university. I woke up one morning and grabbed the bottle of water the table in my living before going to the gym. I got on the treadmill and slowly warmed up. Then I started breathing heavy and needed a drink. So I grabbed the bottle of the clear liquid. I ended up spitting it all out and started coughing, embarrassing myself in the gym. Turns out there was a party in my flat the night before and the bottle of water was indeed vodka!
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    Originally Posted by olglez View Post
    Oh 100% I don't know many gyms that play death metal haha. But I like to when I workout at home
    Most commercial gyms here play pop music. I'd welcome death metal.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by olglez View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Apologies if this question has been asked before, but how necessary is a gym really?
    I ask because I’m trying to save to buy a house and want to cut costs wherever possible. The gym membership fees, fuel for driving to the gym, it all adds up. Plus I’d like to do my bit for the planet and reduce my carbon footprint.
    My goals are simply to be more healthy and to lose some bodyfat. My job and my studies mean that I sit at a desk all day so I need to be active. Currently I’m going for a 4-5 mile walk 4 times a week. I’m also doing kettlebell/clubbell/bodyweight circuits at home twice a week or so. I don’t have space for a bench or rack unfortunately.
    I mainly go to the gym for cardio (bike, crosstrainer, swimming) but perhaps I could get the same benefits from a home gym.
    Diet wise, I eat fairly well but there’s definitely things I can improve on. I’m also vegetarian.
    What’s everybody else’s thoughts on this?
    Thanks
    Only you know what you "need". There are so many varieties of fitness. If you want to lose weight then you need to control your diet no matter what, you can't out run a bad diet, but you can get a great cardio workout on the street as long as you don't suffer from shin splints or something that would exclude you from capitalizing on that sort of thing. Your environment could be a factor in needing an at home solution as well I guess, but any cardio machine worth owning will cost you probably multiple years worth of gym memberships.

    Gym equipment is expensive, but for under $500 ( that number was arbitrary ) you could probably buy enough gear to get into respectable shape as far as building muscle goes, but if you've been at it for years you'll want to keep improving your fitness/strength/physic you're gonna need the efficiency of good equipment and variety so you'll wind up buying more and more pieces for your home gym. Equipment is for making your desired workout routine efficient to the point of practicality. 10 years down the road you'll look back at the thousands you've spent to workout alone, and the carbon output to produce all that stuff and hoard it to yourself while gym memberships increase in price due to people not wanting to do the community sharing thing ultimately resulting in some being priced out of the game. They miss out on the social interaction and shared education and encouragement that comes with being a regular at a gym, they get derailed, fat, weak, and depressed instead of fit, muscular, accomplished and proud.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that the best communists go to the gym
    Last edited by PCRulesPSDrools; 11-28-2020 at 05:12 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Wait, I was supposed to be saving money by going the home gym route? Crap. I'm about $11K in right now.
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    Wait, I was supposed to be saving money by going the home gym route? Crap. I'm about $11K in right now.
    That's a fact, over the years I've bought and sold a hell of a lot of equipment and mostly come out on the right side, but taking everything into account, gym construction, flooring and equipment, over a 20 year period, I estimate I'm around £10k-£15k down and it was worth every penny.
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    Originally Posted by -=FLEX=- View Post
    Most commercial gyms here play pop music. I'd welcome death metal.
    Same here. That screechy 14 year old girl music.
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    Originally Posted by gym62richard View Post
    That's a fact, over the years I've bought and sold a hell of a lot of equipment and mostly come out on the right side, but taking everything into account, gym construction, flooring and equipment, over a 20 year period, I estimate I'm around £10k-£15k down and it was worth every penny.
    Totally agree.. no regrets
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    My current gym membership is a long term contract I signed 7 years ago. It was expensive the first 2 years, but by the 3rd year dropped to $100/year for life. When I got married, they allowed me to add my wife onto my account at the same rate, while giving me 3 months credit as well.

    With covid cutting the supply of gyms in my area, I'm sure they won't be giving anyone the same deal I got from here on out, so I'm going to keep paying them, even though I'm starting a home gym atm. I could get my money's worth simply going in to shower everyday.
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    Originally Posted by BiGx5MurF View Post
    My current gym membership is a long term contract I signed 7 years ago. It was expensive the first 2 years, but by the 3rd year dropped to $100/year for life. When I got married, they allowed me to add my wife onto my account at the same rate, while giving me 3 months credit as well.

    With covid cutting the supply of gyms in my area, I'm sure they won't be giving anyone the same deal I got from here on out, so I'm going to keep paying them, even though I'm starting a home gym atm. I could get my money's worth simply going in to shower everyday.
    That reminds of the old Bally's/President's membership model. The first three years it was fairly pricey for the 80s/90s but went down drastically after that to about $100 a year. When I lived in the Dallas/Ft Worth area it was awesome, there were about 15 Ballys clubs within about a 30 minute radius of me and each one had different equipment. When I moved back home there was only one and it finally shut down. In addition to my home gym I would keep that $100 annual membership if I still lived in DFW and they had that same setup. But I'm pretty sure they all shut down many years ago.
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    LA Fitness still has a similar model I think, you can pre-pay the first three years and it's like $19.99 a month. Then when you renew it goes down a little, think when I finally let my membership die I was essentially paying $14.99 a month for nationwide access (just me, no family plan). If I traveled alot for work I would have probably kept it, but I have access to a few fitness centers at work and with telework now I barely leave the house LOL.
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    If you have some experience and you know what you're doing, you don't NEED a gym membership. I wouldn't suggest any kind of intense home training to an unexperienced person.
    An adjustable bench is relatively small, I think you can put one somewhere. Combinable weights or home kits are also small and affordable. I spent less than 200 euros for a bench, gym ball, mat and a kit of combinable weights.
    What I'm doing at the moment is mostly resistance bands, to be honest.
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