When my gym shut down earlier this year, almost everyone was devastated. Some had been there for 20+ years and considered it to be a second home. Personally, there were a lot of advantages that came with my former gym membership.
People. I got to be around people. In my time there, I was able to make a ton of friends with fitness instructors and other members. It also put me in a better mood to be around people.
Confidence. My confidence over the years built up and I’d always be in front of any class like a boss.
Classes. My go to workouts were always taking classes. Sometimes I’d hop on a machine, but I’d always get bored quickly. I even tried classes that got me out of my comfort zone like Step, which required A LOT of coordination. I’d always be up front uncoordinated like a fool and eventually, overtime, I became a little bit more coordinated.
Instructors calling me out on my BS. Because most of the instructors knew me by name, they’d call me out when I’d slack off during their class (or not show up for weeks).
Fresh Air (kind of). I’d often walked to the gym (a good 20-25 minutes) which gave me fresh air (and a chance to catch up on my podcasts!).
Learning. Whether it was through my own discovery or through conversation with other members or instructors, there was always something to learn. Weight lifting will actually make you look leaner? What? There’s a lot that I can do with my own body weight? What? But I still need to do cardio? Ugh.
Affordable. While many gym memberships cost an arm and a leg, my former gym’s membership was affordable and it didn’t break the bank to get my sweat on.
My relationship with the gym not only helped me physically but mentally, and it was great being around others who were also trying to improve their health (and look good in their skinny jeans). However, there were also a lot of disadvantages.
Contract. Being locked into a contract where I had to stay for x amount of time before cancelling was sometimes inconvenient. The way my former gym worked was I had to sign up for either a 12-month or 18-24ish-month contract and then I’d get on to the rollover plan, where I could cancel my contract if I wanted to. I was well aware of this as I canceled and rejoined about 3 times in the 8-year on and off again relationship I had with them! (I especially made sure that there was a note in my contract that stated they’d cancel my membership if I decided to just take off and travel by providing proof of a one way plane ticket – which I did last year, when I went to New Zealand.)
You need to work around their schedule. While I loved taking classes, I had to take them when they were taught. When I used to work the 9-5, I’d have to rush out the door to make a class on time! While the classes were great, I’d always end up having dinner really late and showering really late and then waking up the next morning to repeat. Sometimes I’d be really miserable instead of feeling energized like exercise is supposed to make you feel.
Actually show up. I had to actually leave the house to get there. And I’m going to be real with you guys – sometimes I’ll go to sleep thinking about making it to that 9 a.m. class and slaying the day and then that alarm goes off in the morning, it’s a whole different story.
Guilt. And when I’d skip the gym – I started feeling guilty. I’m all: “OMG I’M THE WORST PERSON EVER”.
Annoying people. OK, I know I JUST said that I love being around people and it’s a great motivator and blah, blah, blah. But y’all, there were some annoying ass people up in that gym. For example, there as this one girl who’d sing (out loud) while she was on the elliptical. Everyday. I mean, it wasn’t like, “Oh, I like this song, let me sing along to the chorus and then continue with my workout.” She would belt out like opera style. Another example – there was this elderly lady who’d always show up to a class (usually a weight training class) late and then come into my personal space and take MY weights. Without saying a word to me. Without asking if she could borrow them. She’d just take them for whatever exercise the instructor had us do and then put them back after the exercise. Sometimes, I just wanted to yell at her, “LADY-THERE’S-A-REASON-I-HAVE-TWO-OR-THREE-DIFFERENT-SETS-OF-WEIGHTS. GET-YOUR-OWN-DAMN-WEIGHTS-LADY.”
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m freelancing with Selz and will link some posts in exchange for a few bucks. I just want to make sure that my readers know that these are not afflicted links. I get no money if you click on the links. If I ever do something as such, I’ll always let you know. So with that said, the following posts are geared towards entrepreneurs, creatives, writers, and badass self-starters.
8 Side Business Ideas You Can Start Today – side business ideas
10 Steps To Successfully Starting An Ecommerce Business – starting an ecommerce business
35 Amazing Online Shopping and Ecommerce Statistics – online shopping statistics
21 Helpful Ebook Ideas For Online Entrepreneurs and Bloggers – ebook ideas
How to Promote a Product in 10 Different Ways – how to promote a product
Working Out At Home
This year I’ve been transitioning into at home/self-workouts and not relying so much on gyms/ workout studios. I still venture out for a yoga or kickboxing class on occasion but I don’t depend on it. I actually signed up with Beachbody on Demand (kind of like Netflix for working out) while my gym was still on-going because I noticed I had a lot of lazy days in a row and wasn’t making it to the gym. It was just convenient to get something done without commuting to the gym. So when my gym shut down – while everyone was searching for a new facility to join – I decided to give working at home a chance. It turns out that it’s not so bad. Along with BOD, I’ve been trying out other self workouts like running. Here are some reasons why working out at home is awesome.
I don’t have to deal with people. OK, I promise I’ll stop talking about my love/hate relationship with people. But it’s nice when some lady isn’t trying to steal your weights!
I can workout on the go. With BOD, it’s cool that I can download the app and stream the workouts on my phone. And, bonus, I can download the workouts in advance just in case I don’t have internet connection or my data is low. No internet, no excuses!
I can make my own schedule. At the gym, I have to go by their hours of operation and their class schedule, but at home I can literally workout the moment I wake up.
I can wear whatever the eff I want. While I’m always comfortable in whatever I wear, there are certain items I’m more comfortable wearing while working out at home than at the gym.
I can shower right away. I actually never showered at the gym (mostly because it was kind of gross and it meant I had to carry extra stuff with me). So I’d always leave gross and had to wait to shower. But after working out with BOD or any other self workout, I can just hop in the shower.
No commute. Let’s be real. Commutes suck. Going back and forth and dragging all of your crap with you is a pain.
Awesome for a time crunch. I would literally spend anywhere from 1-2 hours at the gym and I’d feel guilty if I did anything less. A lot of the workouts on BOD are 20-45 minutes. Sometimes it’s really helpful to get something done quickly when you only have x amount of time to get it done. There are so many options, too. I’m going to start T25 soon, which is only 25 minutes a day.
Affordable AF. While my gym membership was reasonable, what I’m paying for BOD right now is crazy cheap. I’m literally paying $99 for a year and I hope that they keep it at that price. And I don’t drink Shakeology (an additional cost), mostly because I don’t want to pay for it and I’d rather focus on the foods I’m putting in my body. Some swear by it, however, I haven’t tried it so I can’t vouch for it. I really only use my membership for the workouts. Plus my runs are free, too!
Meal guidance. This is a work in progress but I love that almost all of the programs have some type of meal plan/guidance on BOD. Some even have vegan/vegetarian plans!
It’s not always easy, of course. Sometimes it takes me two hours to convince myself to do a 30 minute workout. Sometimes it takes me all day. Sometimes I just don’t do anything at all even though I say I’m going to. Here are some disadvantages to working out at home.
Limited weights (for right now). At the gym I can pick and choose what weights I want ( you know, unless some lady steals them from me!). Right now I just have a small starter kit that works and as I feel like I’m ready (and have the money!), I’m going to upgrade to more weights.
No one to give you a live pep talk. With BOD, the instructors are great (I’m looking at you Shaun T – you DA man!), but sometimes it’s nice to have someone in your face, calling you out, telling you that you can do it.
Friends to gossip/chat with. Going to the gym was a very social experience. Before/after a class, I’d sometimes get caught in a chat with friends and sometimes I miss that.
So which one is better?
I think it really just depends on you. For the longest time, I convinced myself that I couldn’t workout at home and then I started doing it. This year I took my gym shutting down as an opportunity to challenge myself in new ways to stay active. When it comes to commitment, I don’t think either one is easy. For years I had a stationary bike and never used it! It’s really just about trying different things out and seeing what works for you. And maybe giving it more than one try. For years, I tried to start running and gave up very quickly. Whether it’s dragging your butt to the gym, outside, or in the comfort of your home, you just have to get into that right mindset (also is not easy) and with practice, it’ll get easier.
Now if I can just get my eating habits in check, that would be great 😉