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Should You Join A Gym OR Train At Home?

This is the second of a two-part blog. In my first post, I gave six reasons why joining a gym is a good idea. In this post, I take the opposite perspective ...reasons why you might NOT want to join a gym.

Gyms can be costly, overcrowded and, of course, it takes time to drive to and from the gym. I find that a lot of people 40 and over, especially those who work full-time, prefer the serenity and convenience of training at home.

Here are some reasons to work out at home:

  1. No travel can cut your workout time in half.
  2. No lines of people waiting to use the equipment.
  3. No loud music (unless you want to play your own).
  4. No annoying person telling you his life story on the next treadmill over.
  5. It's easier to get your family and friends involved once they actually see you working out.

There are several ways to set up a home gym. You can go to a store like Busy Body and buy a full set of equipment with cables, pull-down bars, a bench press and leg machines, as well as a weight rack (for free weights) and the weights themselves. They also sell cardio machines like treadmills, steppers,stationary bikes and elliptical trainers.

More likely, you’d go the the simpler and cheaper route and buy only the basics needed for a complete workout. It’s easy:

  • You will need a few pairs of dumbells. Your strength determines the weight of the dumbells you'll need.  To determine what weight to start with, just start with a light weight. You can always buy heavier ones as you get stronger and get a set routine. A basic rule of thumb is that you should be able to do a few sets of your exercises, with the last one being a little difficult  but not too stressful on your muscles. Here's a little guide  for beginners that will help you get started. Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions or injuries before you begin weight training. 
  • A stability ball can be used for a lot of exercises and the size of the ball is determined by your height (sizes and heights are listed on the box).
  • It’s good to get some rubber tubing or exercise bands for resistance training. They are color-coded from moderate to difficult.
  • And last, but not least, buy a mat for abdominal exercises and stretching. 

If you already know what you're doing, get to work! If not, you can buy any number of videos to teach you. One downside to working out alone at home is no personal guidance. Exercises done poorly can be ineffective, or, in the worst case, dangerous. So you might want to hire a trainer until you know at least the basics of form and injury prevention. 

Fully equipped gyms are available at Busy Body Gyms To Go.

  • Miami: 13619 S Dixie Hwy 305-259-0443
  • Pembroke Pines: 11966 Pines Blvd. 954-442-9218
  • Boca Raton: 9183 Glades Road 561-4772723

Balls, dumbells,mats and tubing can be found at Sports Authority.

  • Miami: 8364 S Dixie Hwy(Dadeland Station) 305-667-2280
  • Ft Lauderdale: 1901 N Federal Hwy 954-568-6226
  • Boca Raton: 20851 State Road 7 561-488-5754

What’s your preference … do you work out at a gym or prefer to train at home?