The gym is the ideal place to build the ideal physique. You have all the equipment you could possibly need to build the best physique you can build. With that being said, is the gym the only place you can build muscle? Once you step outside of the gym does you muscles just stop responding to stimulus? HECK NO! Contrary to this statement, we still have people today who believe that great physiques (let alone decent ones) are only built in public gyms. In this article I will discuss the differences in working out at home, versus working out at a gym (and which one is best for you).
Exercise Is Exercise
Regardless of whether you do a pull-up in a top dollar gym, with a tree limb at the park, or with the door-frame of your bedroom door, a pull-up is a pull-up. We tend to believe that just because an exercise is performed in a gym setting that it is more efficient in building muscle. Think about it....How many times do you see bodybuilders doing pull-ups during their back routine and you decide to include them in your next work out, but when you saw that other individual just doing pull-ups at home you didn't think twice of clicking to the next video? Have you seen the back of many calisthenic advocates or gymnasts? Their backs and biceps are HUGE! If you could only build muscle in recreational gyms, then these athletes/lifters would not exist. If they did, they wouldn't have the slabs of muscle they do.
Creativity Versus Availability
If an exercise is an exercise, then why would you get a gym membership? Easy, some exercises require specific equipment. Let's face it, exercise equipment is expensive...and I mean EXPENSIVE! So why would you pay thousands of dollars for one piece of exercise equipment if you could pay a small fraction of that for access to countless pieces of exercise equipment and a facility? Gyms provide available equipment for expenses extremely lower than trying to acquire these pieces of equipment yourself. In a home setting, you either have to buy the equipment or improvise. You can either use objects, structures, surfaces, and furniture from around the house in order to be able to perform a specific exercise. It can be done, but it requires patience, improvisation, and trial/error. Keep in mind, that you will still have to pay for equipment in order to perform some exercises. This could be resistance bands, a pull-up bar (unless you use door-frame or other structures such as tree limbs), or an adjustable dumbbell. If your work outs are going to be pretty basic in nature and you even want to just improve your health with trying to minimize any extra stress on the body, performing body-weight exercising at home will be just fine for you. If you are an athlete or are a lifter wanting to push your strength and size potential, then working out at your local gym would be the better option.
When it comes to bodybuilding (or muscle building in general) we know, or should at least know, that it is going to be a long journey. Developing an amazing "jaw-dropping" physique takes years of dedication. With that in mind, we need to keep in mind the cost of our pursuit. With healthy food becoming more and more expensive, most individuals aim to develop their physique without stretching their budget further. With that in mind, you have to weight out the costs of both work out setting. In order to optimize the gym setting, you must pay membership fees based on the quality of the gym. In order to optimize your home work out setting you must pay the cost of exercise equipment needed. Depending on your level of fitness, goals (strength, muscle mass, etc), and conditions (injuries, unique body structures, obesity, etc) this can range from spending nothing at all, all the way to thousands of dollars. Regardless of the path you choose, is is a matter of what you want out of your work outs.
The Problem With "Bodybuilding Exercises"
There is a huge misunderstanding of "bodybuilding training" in the fitness industry. When you think of bodybuilding you may think of chest flyes, bicep curls, quadricep extensions, and many other isolation exercises. In reality, this is furthest from the truth. Bodybuilding is about putting on slabs of mass, while being lean and proportioned. If you perform only these isolation exercises, you are improving your proportions and symmetry, but you forgot the whole "slabs of muscle" aspect to it. Nothing puts on muscle faster than high volume compound movements. Whether you are performing a barbell bench press, weighted pushup, or heavy dumbbell press, you are performing an upper-body compound pushing movement. This movement involves the chest, shoulders, and triceps (with other secondary muscles acting as stabilizers). The more muscle you stimulate in an exercise, the more potential you have to grow. Regardless of the exercise, lift more, do more, stimulate more muscle, and eat more to grow. This can be done in a gym, at home, at the beach, or at the local park.
When deciding to work out at home or a public gym, you have a few things to consider. Regardless of where you are, exercise is exercise. This means a pull-up or even barbell row performed at home is just as effective as doing the same exercise at the gym. When debating on your exercise setting, you are really comparing creativity to availability; you are initially comparing the more budget friendly, yet limited, at home training to the more costly, yet more level friendly gym setting (equipment based on level, goals, muscle targeting, strength, etc). The cost of at home training and a gym membership is an individual comparison. If you are advanced or look to become advanced, then paying a gym membership costs less than buying a ton of work out equipment. If you are just exercising to be healthy, than an at home setting can keep your wallet from thinning out. Regardless of the route you take, muscle building is muscle building. You need an exercise that targets the muscles efficiently towards you goal. If you can get that at home, then that may be the route you should take. If you require more stimulus (which leads to buying quite a bit of equipment), then making smaller payments for a gym membership would be the better route.
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