Finding time for fitness is never easy, but home training could provide the answer. From assembling a few pieces of basic training equipment, to setting up a complete gym in a room in your house, at-home workouts could be the key to your fitness.

If you’re going to be training at home, can you get the same level of quality in terms of equipment and benefits from your training as you get from a gym ? The answer is yes, but with certain provisos. Home training can offer many advantages over gym training but equally, it can be attractive to visit a dedicated facility to train, rather than carry out exercises in front of the TV or in a spare room.

Home training - for and against …

For home workouts

  • No monthly gym fees required.
  • Can be inexpensive (basic equipment such as an exercise mat, dumbbells and a stability ball can be purchased cheaply).
  • Saves time by eliminating traveling to and from the gym.
  • Convenience — your training facility is always available whenever you feel like exercising.
  • No queuing to use your favourite piece of gym equipment.

Against home workouts

  • Needs imagination to maintain interest in your training.
  • You need to ensure your form is correct without the supervision of a gym instructor, otherwise injuries may occur.
  • Initial outlay can be high if you’re planning to set up a gym in your own home.
  • It can become boring and de-motivating to continually train alone. At a public gym you’ll find:
  • There is likely to be a greater range of equipment that you can't afford for your home gym.
  • More people therefore it is more social
  • Gymnasium equipment is constantly evolving so your local gym should be regularly updating the machines, whereas that may not be financially possible with a home gym.

What home gym equipment do I need to train at home?

If you’re still thinking of a home workout, what equipment do you need?

As with any activity, depending upon your available budget, you can create anything from a dedicated gymnasium facility to simply storing some dumbbells and other equipment and setting them up when needed. There is a huge variety of equipment on the market, the hardest part is deciding what not to buy. The following sections should help you decide what you can and cannot do without for your home gym.

The budget home gym

Armed with a relatively modest budget, you can buy enough equipment, which if used correctly, can train every muscle in your body. Additionally, it takes up very little room, so there is no need to sacrifice household space. Here are some of the core items you should think about investing in when initially setting up your home gym space:

Further items that you might wish to consider buying:

The dedicated home gym

The home training market is vast and there’s an extensive range of exercise equipment available. If you are looking to set up a permanent training facility at home, you might want to consider the following equipment:

  • Free weights and dumbbells
  • Dedicated weights machines, for example: chest press machine
  • Cardiovascular equipment, for example: rower, treadmill, cross-trainer, stationary bike etc

Further items that you might wish to consider buying:

  • Weights benches
  • Heavy duty matting (to protect the floor from weights damage)
  • Mirrors
  • Sound and/ or TV system

It is entirely possible to build an impressive physique without highly specialised gymnasium machines but equally, today’s modern gyms have excellent training facilities and equipment.

Train at home without any equipment

You can complete a perfectly good fitness routine at home, using nothing more than your own bodyweight . Tricep dips, the plank, mountain climbers, lunges and bodyweight squats are all examples great conditioning exercises. As you progress in your training, you can increase the reps you complete of each exercise, raise the number of sets and also reduce the rest time between sets.

Another option for training at home is to follow a workout video. There are plenty of these videos available online for you to choose from and they rarely involve any additional equipment besides yourself.

So are home workouts effective?

The short answer is yes. Providing you are prepared to put a little time and effort into your workout at home, it can be just as effective as a gym workout. It all depends on the individual, some people prefer to see others working out to find motivation and know that if they did not make the effort to go to the gym, then they would not bother carrying out any exercise at home. However for others, the prospect of going into a gym is daunting and therefore exercising in the comfort of their own home is much more appealing.

If you are unsure whether to splash out on some home equipment or join your local gym, ask about trial memberships to see if you enjoy gym training. Many gyms offer promotions at certain times of the year and you can obtain some excellent deals. That way, you can see if the gym is for you without committing to a year’s subscription.