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Four Good Reasons Working Out At Home Beats The Gym

As I write this, I’m on the road and tonight ended up going to the gym to kill some Chest & Back time on equipment instead of using P90X in the hotel room (bands just aren’t the same for back exercises… they’re just not). After all, the gym here is free, gets me out of the room and is a nice change over looking at carpet and wallpaper. But man, I’m just not a fan. Now don’t get me wrong, gyms are awesome and can provide motivation and a social peer environment that keeps some people on track. There’s trainers and professionals who set up shop and do care about getting people fit. Gyms definitely serve a purpose and, like I said, are good for switching things up BUT… I’ll still be the hands-up-first champion when anyone asks “Who likes home-based workouts better?”

I have four simple reasons. At home…:

The Only Sweat You’re Mopping Up Is Your Own

While I might be a a closet germophobe, I still think there’s something to to be said for lying down on a bench without having to worry about using random stranger # 36’s sweat puddle for shampoo. At home you know where the sweat came from and even if you don’t use a bench, you know the push-ups-on-the-floor alternative is safe because you’re the one who owns the on-site vacuums/mop. The gym… not so much. That “wet spot” on the floor/equipment could be someone’s hard-earned perspiration, a loogey or worse. Push-ups shouldn’t require you to wash/de-hair your hands after putting them on the floor. I’m content to wipe up my own sweat… I just draw the line at having to wipe up or tip-toe around what some other guy/gal left behind.

The Only Meat Market You’re Hitting Up Is The One In The Grocery Store

Unfortunately, Gyms are notorious for their “single… or am I?” fraternization. Sure, gyms don’t promote their services as a pick-up bar but there’s always those who use it for one regardless and I don’t care how much dudes/ladies pretend NOT to look at the fit girl/guy making their way across the floor, it’s rubberneck central. The posturing on display is distracting, can be obnoxious (you guys using this machine for more than an arm rest?) and at other times can be “icky” (stop… staring… at my.. [fill in the blank]). At home, it’s just you, your TV and determination. And if you need to pick up some lean meat, the grocery store is right around the corner and doesn’t feature you in the display case.

The Only Person Hogging The Equipment Is You

I’m a big fan of getting in, focusing on a good, effective workout and getting out. I enjoy challenging myself and believe in the benefits of fitness whole-heartedly but there’s also a lot more to life than inordinate amounts of time spent working out. And where P90X uses a circuit-based, one-move-to-the-next, no-time-to-mess-around approach for higher heart rate, fat-burning action, it’s something I appreciate. So to hit up the gym and have dudes camp on a piece of equipment for 10 minutes at a time can extend a workout and blunt its intensity. Most times people will be gracious enough to let you “work in”, but there always seems to be the “hogger” who acts as if he’d sooner eat the machine than let you cut into his time. At home? Never a problem.

The Only Person You’re Competing Against Is The “Man/Woman In The Mirror”

In addition to the “meat market” component, there’s always the underlying “how do YOU rate against ME” thing going on. Maybe it’s a guy thing but Dudes are constantly checking other dudes out– not to ask them out but to simply gauge their own superiority. I don’t consider myself a slouch but there’s always an underlying spritz of territorial testosterone floating through the gym on entry: Yeah, that dude’s a little soft. I can bench three times what that dude’s pushing. Hey, who’s this new guy? It’s part territorial, part judgmental and almost all “stop looking at me” uncomfortable. At home, you don’t have to measure up to what the dude on the machine before you was pushing. You simply have to get one more rep than you did the week before as you work on improving YOU, not improving for a bunch of strangers.

So while I’m on the road, I’ll hit up the gym for the resistance equipment and dumbbells but in the mean time–as I pretend I didn’t see that dude staring at me or try to find another machine not occupied by Mr. “MINE!”– I’ll keep thinking to myself… “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home…”

In the mean time, I’m Dan Vinton…If you need support with your home-based program, I’m ready and waiting to help push you to your best

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