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Having a Home Gym vs joining a Fitness Club

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Having a Home Gym vs joining a Fitness Club

Old 07-22-23, 10:41 PM
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Having a Home Gym vs joining a Fitness Club


I built this back during the Pandemic. At that time Fitness Equipment prices were sky high and there was a lot of price gouging so I made this out of spare lumber I had. It was great having this because I saved a lot of time by not having to drive to a gym. I was telecommuting, and every once in a while I would go down to the garage and do a few exercises and it was a Zero Time thing...
Last week I joined Fitness center. Why? For several ressons...First, they have specialized equipment for back exercises. Second, my setup was so spartan, I was concerned about injuries doing some exercises. Third, it was nice being around people.
Now here is one bad thing. Some Fitness centers have a wide range if age groups, including the elderly. This one is youth oriented. I pledged during the pandemic to use light weights, and just keep my joints fluid. I limited the weights I bought on purpose. Unfortunately at this gym, there's a tendency to use heavier weights that only the youngsters should be doing. And yes, sometimes it's a stress trying to squeeze in time to go there. Before , it was a Zero time thing.

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Old 07-23-23, 06:09 AM
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I started doing "primal movements" just before CVD became a thing. Primal movements is a combination of strength and flexibility that requires nothing more than space to do it. As such, I actually got stronger during CVD without a gym and I found my riding comfort improved as my core and upper body got stronger. It's probably not a replacement for lifting weights, but I think it's kind of amazing of how much one can do to increase strength just with your own body weight and some creativity. The advantage of primal movement over just weights is that it combines of flexibility into the workout. As much as I hate stretching, working on flexibility seems to be almost as important as building strength.
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Old 07-23-23, 06:45 AM
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I prefer working out at home or outdoors. I have a barbell set, a pair of squat stands, a lot of different sized kettlebells and clubbells and a TRX. My workouts are very simple and basic and I don't need any fancy gym machines and equipment.
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Old 07-23-23, 08:20 AM
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We have free weights, a good elliptical and a few other things at home.

Still I appreciate that our city rec center has an indoor track and I run there often. They also have all kinds of weight machines that I use.

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Old 07-23-23, 08:52 AM
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When the YMCA closed in the early days of the pandemic, I paid too much for some weight equipment to supplement what I already had. The Y reopened. I realized I was spending as much time driving to and from, changing clothes before and after, chatting with other gym goers as I was working out. A simple home gym with dumbells, barbell, and basic adjustable bench saves me time and membership fees. I ride for cardio. I'm 79 so maintaining bone density with resistance exercise is important to me
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Old 07-23-23, 10:51 AM
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Having a home gym is great. Especially in the winter when ya can't get out. I sometimes think its laughable that I don't ride when its below 40F or when its wet. And yet I see posts of you'se guys up north ridding in snow and ice! But then again during the summer ridding at 100F is almost normal and early for me.

Oddly here in Central Texas most people go to gyms for the A/C.
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Old 07-23-23, 11:23 AM
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I'm a social animal, and at times short on discipline, so it's no surprise that I actually prefer working out at a club.

To me, just lifting weights or following some exercise regimen by myself is or would soon become a chore, and I know myself well enough to know that I would not continue it for long. I do much better with a class (Bodypump or similar) for example. It's just far more motivaitng.

That assumes of course, that the club isn't wildly crowded. Waiting in lines do lift weights es no bueno too.
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Old 07-23-23, 04:13 PM
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The gyms near me all have machines which are not as effective as free weights and require specialized approaches to avoid injury and no one available to assist. There is also the problem with picking up random viruses as most people go even when they are sick.

I wish I had space for a home gym but make do with a pull-up bar and sets of dumbells and kettlebells. These along with planks are all I need for my own strength training. I try to focus on my obliques as they do the most work when bicycling.
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Old 07-23-23, 08:00 PM
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My wife and I joined our first gym in 1979. We've gone from gym to gym as times and business plans have changed, currently at Planet Fitness. It's not perfect, but works well enough for us. I miss the squat cage, and don't really like the Smith machines, but perfection is hard.

I've always lifted as much as I could for 3 sets of 10-12 reps. First set warm up, second set a bit strenuous, 3rd set, all I can handle in good form, not necessarily for all 10-12 reps. I wouldn't do this for first year, but sure for 2nd and succeeding years. I tried lifting at home during the pandemic, but was not at all satisfactory. I really like the gym crowd, fun to watch and be watched. This is the first gym I've used that was really multicultural and I like that a lot. English is not the only language I hear.
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Old 07-24-23, 08:05 AM
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We have a gym at our office with loads of free weights, machines, tread mills, Rogue cross fit equip. ect... and I went nearly every day just to maintain muscle but once the pandemic hit, we went all remote and have only somewhat recovered. I have the option to continue going into the office but I WFH for convenience sake. I miss the gym but I bike a lot more now and have a curl bar and a few other bits of equipment that I use at home to try and use other muscle parts.
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Old 07-24-23, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E
Unfortunately at this gym, there's a tendency to use heavier weights that only the youngsters should be doing.
Huh?

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Old 07-25-23, 04:29 PM
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Lacking gym space at home, I visit the local YMCA three times per week. I try to pick the less-crowded times of the day an days of the week. Their new "e-gym" equipment is pretty motivating and provides adaptive resistance, negative resistance, and a few other strength-enhancing operating modes. All I know is that I am getting results (according to my wife, the only woman I need to impress). Travel time to and from the Y is not a waste or added expense for me, because I either walk or bike there. During COVID the Y temporarily moved about a dozen of their old weight machines into the outdoor courtyard, which I greatly appreciated and really miss.
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Old 07-26-23, 07:25 AM
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Having a Home Gym vs joining a Fitness Club
For me, a gym's equipment equals a safer exercise experience.

A fairly problematic older injury makes many DIY motions tough, particularly relating to the legs/hips/core. Which "machine" alternatives make much safer.

While I can do several exercises with, say, kettle bells, going to barbells or most any motion "jumping around" is simply going to get me hospitalized. And so, I do the "machine" stuff -- for legs, hips, back, shoulders, chest, and then fill in with arms and whole-body (compound) exercises where I can.

Perhaps isn't nearly as efficient, with many exercises. But they keep me more stable, in better alignment (where my normal balancing/support muscles can't do so), and safer. To that, I add cycling and walking, and occasionally swimming. Wish I were twenty-one years old, again, from a strength+cardio standpoint. Ain't gonna happen, of course. And so, I adapt ... same as everybody else needs to eventually.

Have thought about acquiring a decent rowing station, for home. It'd allow a decent 30-60mins of cardio and intervals exercise without the time spent heading to and from a gym facility. But, haven't yet done so. Have found that floor routines combined with kettle bells of a couple different weights can achieve a whole-body circuit pushes the cardio and incorporates a range of strength motions. Has been enough, so far.
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Old 07-26-23, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
Perhaps isn't nearly as efficient, with many exercises.
Machines are plenty efficient. Free weights are less focused and require more from stabilizing muscles. Machines are more focused on particular muscle groups. They are different. Each has benefits. I prefer to do some of each during the course of a week. YMMV.

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Old 07-26-23, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
Machines are plenty efficient. Free weights are less focused and require more from stabilizing muscles. Machines are more focused on particular muscle groups.
As I said: less-efficient, as in less-capable of roping-in all those other muscles during the movements, as they tend to be focused and targeted on a given muscle(s). As compared to, say, many compound exercise that one can think of, many of which enlist various muscles and groups at once. In my case, it's the "stabilizing" muscles that are fried and where I need to limit accidental enlistment, something vastly simpler on a machine that's got a primary purpose and keeps you aligned. (Full-motion stuff like basketball, soccer or even swimming can take the injury site's muscles for a severe "loop," with me.)

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Old 08-06-23, 11:22 AM
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For rehab a machine provides focus on specific muscles but it has long been known that free weights are far more effective. Body builders use free weights and not machines to gain and then to maintain their physique. The older a person is the more they can benefit from the use of free weights that improves balance and reduces the chance of a fall.

Machines are great for gyms as the owner does not need to employ a trainer/spotter and so makes more money from his customers.
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Old 08-08-23, 05:58 AM
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I like both. We have a home gym, which is where I do most of my training. But I do like our local gym too. It's in a really nice location and I like the variety and social aspect. I think the ambience is also quite important and often overlooked. That photo in the first post doesn't look like a nice place to work out. Functionally of course it doesn't matter, but there's a reason why we don't all live in rooms that look like our garage or a prison cell. So on that basis we are in the process of building a new larger home gym in the garden, which will double as a chill-out room.
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Old 08-08-23, 06:04 AM
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Gyms have become places for folks to meet up and talk, and talk, and talk. Push ups. yoga, walking, and riding have been more effective for me.
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Old 08-08-23, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by boozergut
Gyms have become places for folks to meet up and talk, and talk, and talk. Push ups. yoga, walking, and riding have been more effective for me.
I'm not sure if you've been in a modern gym establishment lately but no one talks anymore. Everyone has ear buds on and if you approach them to say something they give you the stare of death.

I understand they are trying to get into their zone and don't want to be distracted but I always enjoyed the social aspect of the gym.
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Old 08-08-23, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson
I'm not sure if you've been in a modern gym establishment lately but no one talks anymore. Everyone has ear buds on and if you approach them to say something they give you the stare of death.

I understand they are trying to get into their zone and don't want to be distracted but I always enjoyed the social aspect of the gym.
Yes, I have been. At the Planet Fitness down the street the women gab endlessly on the treadmills while the guys, gab joke, and yell to each other in the free weight area. These lunks never carry a water bottle with them so they can strut back and forth to the water fountain. I'm a terrific introvert. "The social aspect" of anything makes me head to the nearest single track wilderness area. I get enough of "the social aspect of life" at work. GAG!
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Old 08-08-23, 08:55 AM
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I really enjoy our Planet fitness. There are some folks who speak some African language to each other, which is my ears really like. People are friendly and no huge guys making silly noises. Lots of beautiful women working very hard, which my eyes like. Things really are changing. Only thing I don't like is that they only have Smith machines, no squat racks, also no dedicated bench press stations. So everyone who wants to squat or bench uses the same machines which fill up at busy times. But in the balance we like it much better than the LA Fitness place we used to go to. LA had more and better equipment, but the management and clientele were a PITA. For us the social aspect is just the atmosphere as we don't talk much to others, just a nod. But the nods are nice. Good to have others recognize one's humanity. Sometimes just a nod produces a smile. It's analogous to a tribe singing around a fire, what one does to build community. My wife and I have been going to gyms for 45 years.
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Old 08-08-23, 11:15 AM
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In addition to my bike trainer, of course, I have a good quality elliptical, a WeiderPro 3550 (supports lots of different exercises with varying resistance up to 270lbs for some of them) and a small set of free weights that I mostly use just the dumbbells. I can do my 3-times-weekly strength training on my lunch 1/2-hour without needing to travel to the gym.
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Old 08-08-23, 11:29 AM
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At the direction of my physical therapist, I am doing a lot of work with resistance bands. It's amazing how much effort you can put into one of the heavier duty bands.
I carry a set with me on my bicycle and this morning, in the middle of my ride, I worked out in the park with my bands, where there are sufficient poles and other things I can use to adapt to my routine. It's really helped my shoulders. They are light very portable. I still have a home gym, but I'm not really using it much except for dips and pull Downs. I am also doing modified push-ups, and 3 minute planks.

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Old 08-10-23, 12:43 PM
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I've never been a gym person but as I get older I am starting to appreciate the social aspect of a gym - just being out and about amongst other humans. Aging in this modern life can be very isolating. I wouldn't be surprised if I joined a gym at some point. Old dog. New tricks.
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Old 08-11-23, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E

I built this back during the Pandemic. At that time Fitness Equipment prices were sky high and there was a lot of price gouging so I made this out of spare lumber I had. It was great having this because I saved a lot of time by not having to drive to a gym. I was telecommuting, and every once in a while I would go down to the garage and do a few exercises and it was a Zero Time thing...
Last week I joined Fitness center. Why? For several ressons...First, they have specialized equipment for back exercises. Second, my setup was so spartan, I was concerned about injuries doing some exercises. Third, it was nice being around people.
Now here is one bad thing. Some Fitness centers have a wide range if age groups, including the elderly. This one is youth oriented. I pledged during the pandemic to use light weights, and just keep my joints fluid. I limited the weights I bought on purpose. Unfortunately at this gym, there's a tendency to use heavier weights that only the youngsters should be doing. And yes, sometimes it's a stress trying to squeeze in time to go there. Before , it was a Zero time thing.
I go to a local gym. It costs me about $50/mo. Going out to the gym forces me to get out of the house and avoids distractions that take me away from working out. Things like BF and Youtube. My gym has card entry and is open 24/7 so I can pick my time and avoid people I don't want to be around. I'm 77 so at the higher end of the age range. My gripes are some other seniors who sit on machines talking to their friends keeping others from using machines. This is a very small gym with limited machines. The really young guys (Why is it always guys?) often sit on a machine staring at their phones. I've been doing moderate weights for most exercises. Things like 20 lb dumbbells for each arm compression curls. But recently I've moved up to 25 lbs. I've also gotten to doing the entire rack ( one rep-failure) of 21 plates (205 lbs) on pull downs. I go back and forth with weights for variety. It also helps that my chiropractor's office is next to my gym.
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