Forget Gym Memberships: Why Everyone is Considering Home Gym Equipment Instead
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The world of fitness is changing rapidly. With improved fitness technologies giving consumers more options for home fitness and many growing disillusioned with going to the gym, a steadily increasing number of fit people are choosing to forego the gym life entirely and train at home instead.1
While membership-based gyms might lure you in with initial discount prices, the cost of being a member of a gym can become astronomical over time. It's common to feel attached to your gym due to the seemingly high prices demanded by home fitness equipment manufacturers but working out from home might be less expensive than you think.
Home Gyms are Growing in Popularity
When you step inside any gym, you'll notice two things right off the bat: a lot of exercise machines and a lot of people. If you're an inherently extroverted person, you might love getting up close and personal with a bunch of sweaty people you don't know. For most of us, however, it's natural to want to start wiping down every surface in sight with hand sanitizer when confronted with this kind of shared space.
Gyms are incredibly dirty environments. Treadmills, exercise bikes, and free weights are covered with dozens of different strains of bacteria, and it's possible to contract skin infections, fungal infections, and all sorts of other kinds of diseases from a single trip to the gym.2 Staff members at fitness centers do their best to sanitize surfaces between uses, but there's only so much that they can do. Once you realize that your favorite public gym may be just as dirty as a toilet seat, you might never want to go back.
Plus, gyms are pricey. Depending on the gym you go to and the fitness package you choose, you could end up paying over $200 per month for the privilege of being a gym member. That's $2,400 per year or $12,000 over five years.3 Still think home gyms are expensive?
If you like to visit your gym at peak times, you might end up paying for the privilege of standing in line. Popular machines can get crowded when there are a lot of people at the gym, which might cause you to waste time during your workout or speed up your routine because you feel pressured. Even if every machine you need is open exactly when you need it, the time it takes to drive to the gym, shower, and get changed can keep you away from other things that are more important.
The worst part of a gym membership, however, isn't paying a monthly fee or having people stare at you while you work out — it's the fact that you can do everything you do at the gym at home for less money.
Even Celebs Love Home Gyms
Several celebrities have recently been leading the charge in the quest to impart the benefits of home gyms to the masses. For instance, Emmy-winning actor Stanley Tucci loves telling fans about his TRX Suspension Trainer ($199.95 MSRP)4 that provides all of the benefits of professional suspension equipment without the cost.
Plus, whenever superstar actor George Clooney gets away to his Los Cabos, Mexico hideout, he loves to use his E3 Elliptical Cross-Trainer ($2,999 MSRP)5. While this piece of equipment might be outside the scope of most consumer budgets, it gives you an idea of the possibilities that open when you take your workouts home with you. A Model 220 JumpSport Fitness Trampoline ($229 MSRP)6 may even appeal to you now that you know American actress Sarah Hyland has one.
Getting Your Own Equipment Is Cheaper Than You Think
When you consider the exorbitant cost of a yearly gym membership, dropping a few hundred dollars on some home exercise equipment starts to sound a lot more reasonable. Keep in mind that you can get top-tier workout equipment, like the TRX Suspension Trainer, for less than $200 and it’s easy to see that home gym equipment is more affordable for average people than you'd initially think.
One way to save money on home gym equipment is to buy refurbished products. Even gym owners rely on refurbished equipment to make ends meet, which just goes to show that this remanufactured equipment is reliable and safe.
In some cases, it may even be possible to buy used fitness equipment from your favorite gym, but it's unlikely that this equipment will be refurbished. Gym equipment is only considered to be refurbished when it has been carefully repaired by professionals and inspected to make sure that it is functionally identical with a new fitness machine. Refurbished fitness equipment can sometimes cost half of the price of new equipment.7
Buy Your Own Home Gym Equipment
While there are plenty of other detractors to paying for a gym membership, the main problem with taking this course of action to stay fit is economic in nature. Initially, the low cost of having a gym membership may make the price of having home gym equipment seem too steep. Even if your gym membership costs $200 per month, this price can seem relatively low compared to the cost of filling your home with the best gym equipment.
Over time, however, you'll pay less to work out at home even if you splurge on the best equipment. Unlike a gym membership, which you pay for every month, you only pay for home gym equipment once. After five years, the only costs you'll have incurred for your home gym equipment will be those you paid originally, but after the same period of time, you would have racked up an enormous bill if you'd chosen gym membership. While the price of home gym equipment might seem too high originally, it's the cheapest way to stay fit in the long run.