The thing about at-home workouts

by Kim on November 4, 2014

I feel like there’s a lot of hype around the at-home workout thing.

It’s SOO convenient! No pricey gym membership! No travel! No revealing your makeup-less face to the world! Available 24/7 and 100% portable!!

at home workouts

But here’s the thing about working out at home that no one talks about…

It’s freaking hard.

First of all, you’re usually alone, which means any and all motivation must come from you. No peer pressure from fellow gym-goers (who aren’t really watching, but THEY COULD BE), and no instinct to show off for said gym-goers (particularly the extra fit and/or attractive ones). No incentive to push your limits, or maintain your form, or secretly race someone on the treadmill.

There’s no need to put on a cute yoga tank top, either—and this might just be me and my vanity, but I tend to stand up straighter and work harder when I feel good in my clothes. A ratty old T-shirt reminds me too much of my bed, and the couch, and mindless HGTV marathons…and…screw this workout, I’m not feeling it anyway.

Let me back up. Here’s where all this is coming from:

I just renewed my gym membership, after over a year, and just this morning summoned up the courage to take BOTH KIDS to the gym daycare. (I was paranoid and helicopter-y/they did totally fine—standard.)

Anyway, while I was doing my workout (day 1 of this strength routine, plus 10 minutes on the stair climber—WOW that thing is killer), I couldn’t help but notice that…

I was kind of in Beast Mode.

I was lifting harder and faster, resting less, and sweating more than usual. I was on fire in a way that I almost NEVER felt at home, where I worked out while simultaneously watching the Voice.

Maybe I was feeling the pressure of time, since I was nervous about the kids. Maybe it was the fact that I was in the weight room with 99% guys.

But I think it was mostly just being “in public” (along with the floor-to-ceiling mirrors I was standing in front of).

Usually, I have to dig deep to find the motivation to push myself through a living room workout. Sometimes it’s ok, but more often than not, it’s a struggle from the minute I start to the minute I finish.

With a gym membership, all I need is the motivation to get out of the house and into the gym. The rest takes care of itself.

I understand that many just plain don’t have the option of a gym membership. (Trust me—I get that.) And I know a lot of people do great with at-home workouts. (I bow to those people.)

All I’m saying is that it’s not as easy as it looks.

And maybe, convenience isn’t everything.

Are you an at-home exerciser or a gym goer?

Do you find that you work harder in one setting or another?

Any tips for making working out at home easier?

 

xo

Kim

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle November 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

After having my first, I quit the gym and switched to at home workouts. I do pretty well running when the weather is reasonable, and we have an elliptical at home, but during the winter months my workouts are not great. Last week I finally rejoined my old gym, and I’m SO happy with the decision. Granted, it’s only been a week, but my workouts have been so much better. I’ve also found that taking a class is helpful because it gives me a time that I have to be there. As a bonus, the girls get to play with some other kids and sometimes run around in the gym. Another helpful think for long winter days!
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Karen | Lushious Lifts November 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Yeah! In the weight room with 99% guys! Love it!! I’m totally with you on extra push of motivation, but I do execise at home, in a different way than at the gym, but I still end up pushing myself to the max! If anything, I probably workout at home harder because I can turn up the music so loud that I can’t even hear myself breathe! Music = motivation! lol!

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Lizzie @ The Magic Tree November 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

I’m with you girl. I’m never as motivated (or as satisfied) during/after an at-home workout. Luckily, I have a gym in my building and a subscription to Class Pass, but I still do workouts at home sometimes and it’s never the same. I have to put on a workout outfit or there’s no way it’s going to happen for me. I think it would be helpful if I had a separate room that could be make it to a home gym or something like it, but really, I think very few people have the luxury.

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Karen November 5, 2014 at 9:46 am

I also have a really hard time motivating myself to do at-home workouts, especially if I’m in a room that is usually used for relaxing (i.e. any room with a couch or tv). Garage workouts are usually successful!

And I have to have my workout written out on a piece of paper before I start. I’ve never resurfaced from the “I’ll just pause and look on pinterest really quick for an ab routine….”
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Katie November 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

I STINK doing at home out workouts. I used to try to do am workouts at home, and it just didn’t happen, I would lay on the floor and wish I was in my bed. If I have a brand new dvd program and a reason to do it (aka upcoming trip) I can sometimes push myself through it. But only after work/before dinner. Otherwise I can’t summon the courage. Gyms/Group Fitness for life!
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Kim November 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm

I’m an at home work-out person and feel like I push myself just as hard as I would at the gym. If I’m not running I do a lot of DVDs and I like to work harder than anyone on the DVD even when I do Insanity and P90X.
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Giselle November 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm

I’ve been debating giving up my gym membership because lately I feel like almost everything I do there I could do in our garage gym. Plus I’m doing a lot at The Studio now so I don’t go to my gym as much as I did before. BUT… I agree, I push myself much more when I’m at the gym. Although I will say if I wake up and get my butt out to our garage first thing I tend to do much better than if I were to wait and try later. However, it all depends on my mood :-)
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Kim November 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

That was always my hold-up too–everything I did at the gym, I could technically do at home. The only thing I don’t have at home is the free babysitting! So nice! :)

Glad you’re enjoying working with the Studio so much! I’m so happy for you!

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Heather @Fit n Cookies November 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Yay for being a beast! Proud of you for getting both kids to the gym and having some time to yourself :) It’s funny, I definitely am someone who can work out at home (actually have a post about that written up) but i teach group fitness. I LOVE getting other people to work out and pushing them to new limits. However, I don’t need that motivation myself to work out. With that said, I can’t do it in front of the TV at night. I have a treadmill, elliptical, and weights in a separate spot in my basement, so when I go down there, it typically is a “gym” atmosphere to me :) Point is, I love both, and love people who thrive off others!
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Kim November 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm

That’s a good point! I don’t have a place with a gym-like atmosphere at home–maybe that’s the key! :)

I think it’s the variety that helps too. I was doing nothing but at-home living room workouts for so long that I was just losing my fire. It’s nice to be back with people again!

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Ashley Pitt @ A Lady Goes West November 4, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Hi Kim! Well as someone who teaches group fitness classes, clearly I like to be with others in the gym. I definitely enjoy the energy of other people and a gym setting when working out. But I know that people can have great success with at-home workouts, it’s just not quite for me. I think the people that are able to stick to it, are SUPER efficient with their time, and go hard, get it done, and get on their way. Definitely a time-saver if you can be religious about doing it. Glad you’re back at the gym! Go get ’em!
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Kim November 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Thanks Ashley! I’m sure I’ll still do at-home workouts, but the variety will be really nice!

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Julie @ Run Away Freckles November 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I love at home workouts. I find having to leave my home a deal breaker when it comes to working out. That being said I totally agree that I push myself harder in public. That is why I do both group fitness classes, group runs and home workouts. They hopefully balance each other out.
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Kim November 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I think variety is the best option of all! Sounds like a perfect mix. :)

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