Let’s face it, gym memberships are expensive and with many of us making New Year’s resolutions to get in better shape, access to a gym is essential. On average, expect to shell out $40 to $50 a month, plus the initial initiation fee, which makes the total cost close to $800 the first year.
What’s even more surprising is that almost 70% of gym memberships aren’t used. Gym memberships really aren’t worth it unless you plan on going at least three times a week.
But, what options do you have if you want to commit to your goals of leading a healthier lifestyle? Well, actually if you want to get creative and save money in the process, you can always build your own home gym. All you have to do is invest in some high-quality equipment and you can exercise at home whenever it’s convenient for you.
Gym Membership vs. At Home Gyms
It’s no secret that gym membership increases during the month of January, but by February many people have already given up on their resolutions and they don’t end up using their membership. Gyms actually oversell their memberships because they don’t expect people to show up, which results in gyms being overcrowded and unbearable for people who actually are serious about working out. There’s nothing worse than having an hour in your day to work out and waiting around for equipment. The only way to get around this is to go to the gym during off-hours, like really early in the morning or midafternoon. Forget about working out after work, as this is the most crowded part of the day and everyone has the same idea as you, to get exercise in before heading home. Even in the mornings, you’ll end up waiting around for machines, but there’s a way to get around this – build your very own home gym.
If the gym isn’t full, the equipment is often outdated or absolutely disgusting. There are more germs lying around at the gym than on the toilet seat. It used to be that fitness buffs attended gyms to monitor their heart rate and get workout stats, but this has all become available through individual trackers, which makes the point of a gym no longer valid. Also, instead of investing in a personal trainer, which is so expensive and add up quickly, there are tons of online workout plans that are free.
Buy Your Own Equipment
You might be wondering how buying workout equipment is cheaper than joining a gym. The truth is that you can buy exercise equipment for less than the cost of a yearly gym membership. The trick is to shop strategically. Treadmills, a workout essential, can cost less than $500 and home gyms can cost about $200. For example, the Reebok Professional Deck Workout Bench, which has tons of workout options will set you back less than $150. Sure you’ll need to buy a bunch of equipment and the prices will add up to around the cost of a year gym membership, but you’ll be getting so much use out of them way past one year. Your investment should last you around seven years and if you take good care of the equipment it will last even longer. Another cost you probably didn’t consider is gas, which is a never-ending expense. Did we mention how much time a home gym will save you? You’ll be able to get out of bed, workout, and shower all in one location, which is way more efficient and takes less time than driving to and from the gym.
Another thing you’re probably considering is if you have the space for a home gym. Free weights can be stored in your closet and an aerobic stepper, which also works as a weight bench, can be placed under your bed when you’re not working out. There are even folding treadmills that can easily be tucked behind your furniture.
January is the best time to buy gym equipment because people are still trying to keep their New Year’s resolutions and stores have after Christmas and New Year’s sales. But, if you can’t get your equipment before the end of January, stores have sales at the beginning of summer because many people workout outside when the temperature rises.
Perhaps there’s a piece of equipment that you can’t live without, but it comes with a hefty price tag. If this is the case, you should consider buying refurbished or used equipment, which can be found online, at consignment shops, or at garage sales. And if there’s a piece of equipment you own but no longer use, there are stores that allow you to trade them in for other products. When buying used or refurbished equipment we suggest looking at it in person before you purchase it so you can check for any damage. Be sure to look out for high-quality brands and always ask about the manufacturers’ or retailers’ warranty.