Making fitness at home work
“I don’t think the gym is my scene. I feel I would be very uncomfortable there and have no idea what I’m doing. What do you know about home gym equipment and some of those gizmos they sell on TV?” – Take Home Abs
Your question is shared by many and is indeed the reason there is a huge home workout industry churning out the latest gadgets that require minimal effort for maximum results. Back in the day when I had cable and pulled all-nighters, I got to witness some of the most spectacular inventions, which would finally discover those long-hidden abs that had previously only existed in myth and legend.
There were the pads you could attach to your flabby areas and wait until they magically sent currents into your body to give you the perfect physique you’ve always wanted. There was the gym that slipped under your bed but apparently could turn you into a body builder. And then, of course, there were classics such as the thigh master that seemed to be very targeted exercises, yet always hinted at a ull body benefit.
My personal favourite, and one I suggest you check for on YouTube, is the neck slimmer. I can’t say whether there is even a minimal benefit to this one, but I guarantee you this is probably the purest form of gimmick on the market. I’ll stop there and let you see for yourself.
Anyway, let’s get back to your question. The point I’ve tried to make thus far is to be skeptical. Always remember that fat is energy, and if you are not doing something that increases your use of that energy, your fat is not going away. If a product promises you the world but doesn’t have you sweating, you should be wary.
That’s not to say there aren’t home options that may work for you. If you are a beginner and there is a fairly holistic home gym product you feel will move you from couch potato to at least some movement, pick it up. If it’s going to cost your first born though, perhaps you should give it a second thought. Much of this equipment gathers dust in the basement/garage/room of son or daughter who has left for university (see: my parent’s house). Good intentions can be very deceiving and seem a lot more sincere than they really are.
So, why does the home option have a low success rate? Well, there are a few reasons. Your home, for one, is filled with many, many distractions. When you go to the gym, you are there to workout. That’s not to say being social or looking at yourself in the mirror—you know who you are—aren’t potential disturbances, but you often get at least a portion of your workout done. At home, life is right there in front of you and when you are between rough sets, your mind is much more susceptible to procrastinating.
Secondly, unless you have installed a full home gym, costing you a pretty penny, you will have a limited variety of workouts to tackle. The repetitive nature of doing the same three to four (or fewer) exercises may get pretty boring after awhile. Why do you think they always have so many new and exciting classes starting at the gym? People need variety and something new to keep their interest—a home gym usually fails at this.
Finally, you aren’t surrounded by the same gym-minded folk at home as you have in a fitness centre. Often you are alone—or worse—with people who aren’t exercising at all. This is the opposite of inspiring, and makes it much harder to push yourself and get the great workout you are looking for. Spending time with people who have the same goals and challenges as you can really keep you going. You are also much more likely to injure yourself at home without anyone around to advise you if you are doing something dangerous.
As I’ve outlined, there are a lot of negatives associated with taking the gym home. However, that is not to say there are not success stories. Just be smart and do your homework. If you find yourself at home with a neck slimmer on the couch, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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