T Nation

Training at a Gym or Home?

I had a debate with a former friend last night about working out.

He basically believes the only way to reach that “next level” is by going to a gym.

I believe, with the right home equipment, enough weight, and some determination and will you can get more or less the same results at home.

What do you guys think?

I think you’re only limiting yourself with a home gym.

I think it’s more of a question about determination and focus. Ceteris Paribus - ie with the equipment needed at both places - the person with more drive and determination and resources will make the jump to the “next level” … I don’t think it falls on whether or not you train at home or at a commercial gym, given that they are equal of course. The only thing holding you back would be you.

Some people can get the same results training at home alone, but the majority need the influence of the gym and the people in it.

polo77j, I agree.

Gym, by far.

Here’s why:

I personally find that every once in a while, I think to myself "Wow, look at me. I’ve really done well. I don’t know what there is left to do.’

This is a ridiculous thought, but I won’t lie, I have it. Maybe you have too.

Everyone once in a while, someone does some crazy shit in the gym that makes you realize how far you have left to go… like doing 30 muscle-ups in a row, or squatting more than you deadlift.

The other people drive me to progress, that’s why I prefer a gym.

Gym for the atmosphere. Nothing makes me push a little more then having a few people around yelling to push.

I think the major benefit of a real gym is experienced people. If there is a power lifter with 20 years of experience under his belt, he can probably help with your squat form.

If my choice is between Planet Fitness and my house, I will keep lifting in my house. I do like the atmosphere of the more hard core places, but nobody can me harder than I push myself.

Atmosphere and drive are all unique to you. All that really comes into play is if you have sufficient equipment to get the job done. Personally I wouldn’t want to do without certain things often not found in home gyms, eg. leg press, hack squat etc.

Gym by far. After all, it’s not like “tapout gear” shirt guy hangs out at your house. Nor does some self obsessed 21 year old who keeps lifting up his shirt to touch his “hawt abz”. All that aside most people do better around external stimulation and challenge two things you are less likely to have in your garage. For some individuals it does work though

[quote]SIWSMLEG wrote:
Atmosphere and drive are all unique to you. All that really comes into play is if you have sufficient equipment to get the job done. Personally I wouldn’t want to do without certain things often not found in home gyms, eg. leg press, hack squat etc.[/quote]

You mean to say hack squat machines … hack squats are easily performed simply by using a barbell. I’ll give you the leg press machine being more economically available at a commercial gym than at your home provided you were an average middle class earner. But a person with a lot of resources could easily remedy the leg press machine at home.

If you wouldn’t want to do without certain things you could always remedy that by purchasing such things…just saying

Depends how big your ego is.

… and your budget.

Reaching the “next level” is a meaningless term. Does that mean I do a seated overhead press on a Cybex machine instead of dumbells at home?

Whether you reach the “next level” is entirely dependent on your dedication.

Here’s the advantages to a home gym:

1.No monthly membership fee, in the long run, you save money.
2.Easy access
3.Your gym, your rules
4.No waiting on assclowns to get off of the equipment
5.No assclowns period
6.Time saved going to and from a gym

There are downsides:

1.Not being able to look at a ladies ass on the hamstring curl machine
2.Not as much equipment for certain excercises (cable machines, though dumbells can certainly do this)

And the other points made on this thread.

I can do much better pushing myself without the bullshit of people around me. I wish I had a squat rack though. I’m renovating right now so I wanted to wait until after I get new flooring. If I were a guy I think it’d be different.

You can definitely get bigger and stronger lifting at home with the right basic equipment and enough drive, but i think that you need a real gym if you ever want to get to the level of doing a bodybuilding show. I’ve had some of by best workouts ever lifting in my basement with just a barbell, power rack, and a lot of loud noise and sweat, and You can really go balls-to-the-wall at home (with enough weight and space) where you won’t have a little old lady staring at you in fear and complaining to the manager about your grunting and clanging. However, you also probably won’t have a lying leg curl (well, a decent one anyway), cables, or any kind of hammer strength stuff for variety, and to really get each muscle from every angle sufficiently to produce a show-worthy physique. That’s not to say it would be totally impossible (since people did it long before cybex machines existed), but it sure makes the process much “easier” and smoother if you have all the right equipment available.

I train both at home and a gym in addition to PL clubs. I’m more focused training alone at home when it’s all about me. Because I compete, I know where I sit in the scheme of things so I don’t rely on seeing people at the gym to motivate me. I’m typically lifting more weight than most women at any commercial gym I’ve been to (not at the PL clubs though). However, I still like going to the gym because I like to people watch between sets and I like to be away from my kids.

I wouldn’t be held back if I trained only at home except for when I need help with my shirt and stuff. I have specific and quantifiable goals I want to reach

Gym definitely. Access to more equipment and if you’re training in the right gym (centered towards lifting; PL, BB, etc) then it can send you to a higher level of training mentality.

The only reason a commercial gym is better for those truly wanting to get huge is equipment. Unless you are well off enough to invest in lots of equipment you get way more weight to push and selection. If you have the money to have all that stuff at home it just boils down to which environment you like more. I don’t mind either and will lift hard at either as I have both a home gym and a membership. I like the dumbbell selection at my commercial gym because I don’t have the money to buy 80 thru 120 pound dumbbells.


Most of my training life has been spent in a garage or basement. I think they both have their benefits. Gyms can be a hassle to drive to. You can have to wait on equipment. You can get distracted talking to people.

In a home gym you have less equipment and only yourself for focus and motivation.

Whatâ??s best really depends on the person.

Iâ??m lucky enough to have both again (just got a house with a basement)