Gym vs home workout, thoughts from a Has-Been.
For 6 years I worked in gym. As a Personal Trainer, a Weight Training Instructor and general desk jockey. You may not be able to tell now (curse you atrophy!!) but I’ve got a decent idea what I’m talking about. Decent mind you, I am far from a professional coach, but Ive been around a bit. (snicker,snicker)
I have been temporarily cursed with a life of poverty and no longer work in a gym, in fact its been months since I have been able to afford a bloody gym membership. For some reason this stupid berg thinks it can charge San Francisco prices for our ghetto gyms… So I have been forced to exercise in ways foreign to me. I liked being a meathead. So this is odd….
My girl Heather ( runfastermommy.com ) has been training (forcing) me into some different concepts.
I’ve been doing Ranger Runs. Spartan Race training if you will. We go run and every half mile stop and do plyos of some kind. The other day we climbed Harris Hill twice then did 20min worth of plyos, then climbed the damn stairs again. It hurts us. But I can feel it. I’ve been running for a few years now, but never really bothered mixing a Ranger Run into my training.
Ooooh! Ride like Wind Chris Cross!! Nice! Hey! That’s Michael McDonald doing backup!!!! Once again I digest…
Now, do I want to train like this all the time…the obvious answer is…Hell no. Why Geoff, why don’t you want to train like this all the time? Well, this brings me up to my title. KInda…
I like weights. “Lift big to get big” is an easy and reasonably fundamental philosophy. Yes, you need to eat big too, but if you don’t lift big, you won’t get big.
Its hard to lift big at home. A few reasons:
A) who can afford the weights?
Even the smallest will gym will offer more equipment than most of us can keep in our home. Gym equipment will (should!) be safe and well kept, making safety and spotting less of an issue. More equipment equals more diverse workouts equals less banality. You don’t want banality do you? Of course you don’t.
Now topic L). Distractions….many people are leery of exercising in public. Whether that’s due to modesty, being reserved, or what have you, the gym is distracting. BUT ITS GOOD! You can see what other exercisers are doing, you can talk with fellow members and increase your own repertoire of exercises. Nobody likes to hear that power lifting grunting like he’s about to shit himself, but that is a way better distraction than the doorbell, the dishes, the fire alarm or just about any distraction found at home.
Now, if one is determined not to go to the gym. One wants to get fit to one of the myriad fitness DVDs out there. Party On I say! But….clear a space and make it yours. That space MUST be yours. Get rid of any kid or cat toys. Don’t have a drying rack in there. Clean your space and keep it clean! And, you must also do this with….your time! Yep. If you wanna work out at home, and you live with anyone or have pets or other responsibilities, there are going to be distractions and you do not want that!! Make sure your are not going to kick, punch, fall, twist or otherwise damage yourself on any furniture.
What kind of equipment you using? None? Well…forget getting big. But you can get fit and buff. And that’s excellent. You have some rubber bands? Make sure to clean them now and then, check them for damage. You don’t want to lose an eye. Yoga mat? Wash that nasty thing sometimes. Gross. Do you have a small set of dumbbells? Make sure you aren’t doing any boxing movements too close to that TV or a window. If you’re using a stability ball, take it slow. Even experienced guys fall off those and break their left pinky finger.
My final advice though is….get a gym membership for a month or so. Check it out. Talk to the staff, talk to the members and see if you can make it work. If it’s not for you, then by all means work out at home.
Regardless of the way you choose to train, just make sure to get outside and some cardio now and then. Even if you’re sweating like a pig to your DVD, get some fresh air. Your lungs will thank you for it.