Which One Would Mike Chang Choose ?

A lot of people debate as to whether they should build their own home-made gym exclusively for their own pleasure or if they should continue to fork out money each month for a membership. This article looks at the benefits and downsides to both sides in order to help you make up your mind.

Serious or Casual Training

The first question that should be asked is-how passionate am I about fitness? If you are just starting out it may be best for you to get a membership to see how much time you can commit and whether getting into shape is something you see yourself taking seriously. A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions to get in shape and are enthusiastic for about 2-3 weeks until they realize the commitment may be more than what they bargained. Gyms in fact feed off this and therefore are able to set high quotas for how many people they can accept because the likelihood of each individual coming to use their facilities on an everyday basis is low. Trainers meanwhile are stuck paying monthly fees that over time add up, bringing an expense that after a while many people cannot justify and hence cancel. Test yourself for a while and see if you stick with it. The rule of thumb is 1 solid year of committing to working out and seeing if you reach your goals. If so, purchasing your own facilities may be worth it but if not save your money.

What Kind of Facilities Do I Need?

This tends to differ drastically for men and women. Many women usually just want a treadmill and a yoga mat to complete their workouts. A yoga mat is cheap, but a treadmill can run you hundreds of dollars. If after the one-year rule mark you make running/walking a priority then purchasing one will easily cover any gym costs you will rack up over a 6-12 month period. You could also purchase a few small weights and the costs would still be lower.

For guys who are experienced workout enthusiasts they know they can actually limit the amount of machines needed to work out. A rack for doing squats and deadlifts coupled with a bench and some free weights is at large all they need whereas people starting out feel they need 20 different machines. Wait until you are more experienced and know how to do more with less equipment so that you can utilize space and money. If done creatively you could easily get a workout setup for US$500-1,000, which based off a $50 a month membership fee should be worth it after 1-2 years.

Do I Have Space?

This is an obvious factor that you need to consider. If you are living in an apartment that isn’t yours you may want to think twice before accumulating a bunch of gym stuff as you may be required to move. If, however, you have a house, extra space, a budget and are sure working out is a priority for you then go for it and kiss the gym membership good bye.


Personally I could care less if I socialize with anyone at the gym mainly because my time there is limited due to my busy schedule. But then again I am also an introvert so I tend not to make socializing a top priority. Some people, however, do not have time outside of the gym to see buddies and get away from the house/work setting so going to the gym can be a very liberating experience. This depends on each individual of course so you need to prioritize and think about what is most important for you.

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