Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gym Membership vs. Home Gym

About this time last year, my wife and I were paying close to $70/month on a gym membership that we hardly used. Like everyone else, we made a resolution to work out more at the beginning of the year, but over the course of several months, our frequency went from 4 times/week to zero. There were several causes:

1. No time
2. Not motivated
3. Crowded
4. Long drive
5. Too comfortable at home

I decided to take action and, rather than blow $70/month on a gym membership, I bought gym equipment for my basement. I figured that this would pay for itself in the long-run. I went out and spent about $250 on a weight bench, $100 on a dumbbell set, $300 for a treadmill, and a few bucks for a Swiss ball and yoga mat. With less then $700 bucks, I started my own gym. If I continued my gym membership, it would have cost me $840 over 1 year and would have nothing to show for it. I'm now going to purchase an elliptical for about $300 which will pay for itself in 4-5 months. So, here are my tips for a successful home gym:

1. Make sure you have room! I've always wanted a home gym, but never had the room until we moved last year. We have an unfinished basement which is perfect for a home gym. It stays cool so I stay cool while working out.

2. Buy quality equipment. You can skimp on a treadmill, but you'll pay for another one in about a year. I bought a Pro-Form from Sears with a digital display, incline, and shock absorbers. It's a decent brand and have not had a problem with it.

3. Add entertainment. Whether it's a TV or a radio, you'll need something to pass the time. Trust me, time goes a lot slower when you're just staring at the wall. My mom gave me an old 13" TV that I threw down in the basement.

4. Be prepared for repairs. Although we have not had any problems with our equipment, you never know if the belt on the treadmill will break or just stop working.

I know some of you would rather go to the gym, because once you're there, you're motivated to work out. That being said, this is not for everyone. You have to be able to get up from the couch in the family room and be motivated to work out. Also, the equipment usually comes unassembled, so it takes some time and a little bit of elbow grease to put it together. Tell me your stories!

1 comment:

Rick said...

I've done the same thing and it saves me a ton of money. For me, I find it easier to get motivated to work out. The other option would be for me to get ready, hop in my car, drive 10 minutes...all b4 my workout. No thanks!