Where should I workout? Gym or home?

The fitness industry is writhe with gimmicks and technologies and it has been steadily increasing since the 70’s.  The dark cavernous, smelly gyms have been replaced with bootcamps, group classes, personal training, small and big box office gyms and of course, the at home workout videos.  One of the biggest questions I receive as a personal trainer is what differentiates all these exercise methods and which one is best?  I usually counter this question with another question: How is your effort level?  call it motivation, call it resiliency, or whatever we label it, it’s effort.  Ask yourself:

Do you follow strict schedules usually?

Are you an independent worker and are able to keep yourself disciplined?

Are you currently exercising on a regular basis?

All of these questions and more need to be honestly answered before picking any choice of exercise regimen.  If you have drive and can do it on your own but need a different challenge, then great, go for a DVD program!  The cost may be slightly high to absorb immediately but the reward is a regimented system that provides a variety of exercises for you or at least a different combination of the current ones you use.   I’d also suggest an even lower cost there are a lot of videos online at the moment that are entirely free and provide a variety of exercises that you can do at home with dumbbells or minimal equipment.  I would suggest however going to a gym once in a while and lifting heavy weights.  There is a lot of research that looks at sub-maximal loads and their benefits on degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, increasing generalized strength and range of motion, and it’s also good to get a variety of exercises!

If you have answered yes to these questions too, I’d probably suggest that you could join a gym and create circuit based exercises for yourself.  You can still look over some workout videos while you are at home and bring that regimen to the gym.  Please don’t bring the videos to the gym though, even if they’re on your smartphone,  there are some gym etiquette rules that we should stick to.  Choosing gym over home is more of an environmental motivator.  If you like being around the gym atmosphere then go for it!  If you prefer the comfort and privacy of your own home, then keep it in the house!

If you do have problems with effort, or being disciplined I would suggest a few things:

a) Buddy Up!  Whether you are exercising at home or at the gym, get an accountability partner, schedule your workouts in regularly and hold each other to them!  At Blitz Conditioning our team tries to work out together at least once a day, five days a week, in order to ensure that we hold each other accountable to our fitness.

b) Join a group class!  Group classes are great for motivation as long as you put the effort in to show up.  The best part about these classes is the variety and challenge.  You walk in to a group session and you do not need to worry about what exercises you need to perform or the set and rep ranges.  That’s all taken care of for you!

c) Get a personal trainer! Need that extra kick?  personal trainers can push you to limits beyond your normal capabilities.  or maybe you need some more qualified advice for injury recovery, or specific needs.  Trainers are the best way to really enforce a workout regimen.

When choosing to train either at a facility or at home it’s really dependent on the discipline or effort that you want to put in.  Do consult a health professional before you start any exercise regimen in order to determine your current health status and any medical concerns you may possibly have.

Above all else, go out there, have fun and make health and wellness  a lifestyle!

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.


  1. Hello! What sort of personal training packages do you have? On your site all I could find is personal hockey packages.

Share your thoughts