Woman exercising with gym equipment

Home Gym vs Gym Membership: Which One Is Right For You?

Looking in the mirror and realizing that the slim, muscular shape you had as a teen has been replaced with a pudgy body can be downright disappointing. If you've reached the point where you have decided that enough is enough and you are ready to take control of your appearance, it's time to develop a workout regimine. 

How are you going to do it? Are you going to purchase a membership at the local gym, or are you going to purchase equipment and put together your own home gym? Both options have their pros and their cons.


On average, an adult can expect to pay between $35 to $55 a month for a gym membership. Annually, this adds up to between $420 and $660. Home gyms can range in price from completely free to tens of thousands of dollars. On average, homeowners spend $650 to buy a basic multipurpose home gym station. Cardio equipment such as a treadmill or an exercise bike can range from between $1,000 to $,3500, and the average elliptical trainer costs $1,500.

When looking at cost, you’re going to have to decide how long you realistically think you are going to stick to your workout routine. If it is something that you feel will become part of your life, then investing a couple of thousand dollars on equipment may not be that bad of an idea since over the course of a couple of years you are going to spend the same amount of money at a gym. However, if you’re not quite sure how motivated you are going to be, it may be a good idea to first purchase a gym membership before investing thousands of dollars on a home gym.


Home gyms offer the convenience of allowing you to work out whenever you want to and to dress however you want to be dressed. If you want to roll out of bed in your pajamas and hop on the treadmill at 3 o’clock in the morning, you can. Or if you want to hop on your exercise bike before going to bed while watching your favorite late-night TV program, you can do that, too.

Gym memberships offer the convenience of having all of the equipment you will need, ranging from free weights to an elliptical machine, and all in one place. For an additional fee, most gyms will offer a personal trainer who will work with you to help you reach your fitness goals. Finally, workout equipment takes up a lot of space. A gym membership means that you will not need to store that equipment in your home.


Home gyms offer privacy. If you are a private person, it may be hard for you to push yourself at a public gym. You may feel reluctant to go all out worrying about what others are going to think of you. Also, you do not have to worry about sharing your equipment and rotating in and out with other gym members.

On the other hand, gym memberships allow you to get away from the distractions of the home. Watching other people work hard to achieve their fitness goals may be just the motivation you need to push your workout routine to the next level. Personal trainers are on hand to help you stay on task.

Both home gyms and a gym membership have their pros and their cons. Regardless of what you select, the benefits of taking your health into your own hands will include a higher quality of life, higher self-esteem, improved appearance, and lower risk for certain diseases and illnesses.

Last Updated: December 04, 2014