A Full-Service Gym or a Garage Gym? Which one is for you?

A Full-Service Gym or a Garage Gym? Which one is for you?

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The start of 2021 couldn’t be any better.

The end of the health crisis appears to be within reach, travel restrictions are being lifted, businesses are reopening, and gyms are finally open. Great.

If you’re one of those who have started a gym in their garage, this might be a dilemma. Should you sell your gym equipment and start working out again at a full-service gym?

Maybe you’re one of those guys who put on quarantine pounds, and you’re just starting your fitness journey. Should you start at a local gym, or should you start buying gym equipment?

Whether you’re a seasoned gym vet or a novice, the health crisis would have changed the way you work out. In this article, we’ll discuss the many benefits and disadvantages of setting up a gym at home and working out at a full-service gym.

The difference between a garage gym and a full-service gym is obvious.

Garage gym pros

  • Personal equipment use
  • Comfort and privacy
  • No commute
  • Open all day, all night
  • More time with family

Garage gym cons

  • Costs more upfront
  • Limited equipment choices
  • Limited garage/home space
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Loss of focus

Full-service gym pros

  • Lots of equipment to choose from
  • Plenty of open spaces
  • Fitness trainers available
  • Equipment safety protocols

Full-service gym cons

  • Monthly membership fees
  • Public equipment use
  • COVID-19 risk
  • Limited hours
  • Commute!

Gym equipment choicesgym equipments

This would be an easy choice for those who want variety in their workouts. A full-service gym offers far more equipment to choose from. You can do weight training, cardio, resistance training, HIIT – whatever you need, your full-service gym can deliver.

Everyone wants a bit of variety in their workouts, and if you’re one of those guys who want to work out multiple days a week, then you need different equipment to do alternate workouts. If you’re just starting and you’re trying to see if a gym life is for you, you can just go to a commercial gym and sign up for a limited membership or day pass so you can check out the equipment.

With workouts, variety is everything, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have variety in your home gym. You can get multiple space-saving pieces of equipment that you can set up alternately depending on what workout you want to do for the day. The only difference is, the kind of equipment you typically see at a full-service gym is built for that purpose – to help you do a specific workout. Space-saving gym equipment is made to save space but does not necessarily give you the full spectrum of the workout that you’re trying to do.

It all boils down to what kind of workout are you trying to get. If you’re a dedicated guy who wants to transform his physique, then the variety and specialty of a full-service gym are what you’d want, but if you’re a casual gym-goer who works out at maximum, twice a week, then maybe a garage gym would be enough to start.

Focus and motivationgroup

One thing that gets overlooked often in gyms in the community. You can always expect a good local gym to have a supportive community that would help you reach your goals easier. Working out at a gym with other guys could motivate you to do more workouts.

Just like how people are more productive when they work at an office, the gym is your office when you work out. We all know how lazy we can be when we start working from home, and your home gym is no different. Working out at a gym could give you that push to keep you focused. Some gyms offer personal trainers to keep you guided and motivated throughout your workouts. Although hiring a personal trainer may be expensive to start, the value you get from working out with a professional cannot be matched by working out at home while getting your tips off of Youtube.

Time constraints

Not everyone has the time nor the energy to work out 7 days a week. At most, guys who work long hours can only visit the gym twice a week. On top of that, you need to drive to your gym, and each round trip costs time and gas.

For people who maintain a busy schedule, having a home gym may be a better choice since you won’t have to keep a strict schedule and visit the gym within its operating hours. A home gym is also a better choice if you have responsibilities that would keep you at home, such as watching the kids, or your home office responsibilities. The convenience of working out at your own time is something that a commercial gym couldn’t give you.


Some guys get really anxious when they work out with someone else in the room. Sharing equipment with other guys doesn’t help either. At home, all gym etiquette goes out the window. You can work out in the nude if you want and sweat all over the bench, and no one will bat an eye. Privacy and comfort are some of the reasons why people opt to start a home gym.

Space and safety

By now you should know that to do a balanced workout, you need a lot of space – not just to accommodate the big equipment that you need, but also to keep you safe during your workouts. Exercising at home could be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Every full-service gym has a system in place that would protect you from common injuries you may sustain from working out.

Can you save more with a garage gym?

You can always buy used gym equipment and sell it afterward once you’re done with them. You may lose a bit from the difference, which could equal what you’d pay monthly to a gym. Gym memberships, on average, cost $50-75 every month, depending on which city you live in. That’s about $900 every year, which you could use to buy 3-5 pieces of used gym equipment.

The absolute ideal scenario would be to have an affordable gym membership at a gym with a great community and having weights or a treadmill at your place so you can work out when you don’t feel like going to the gym. That way, you can have the best of both worlds.

At the end of the day, where you do your workouts and what equipment you use won’t matter if you don’t make a solid commitment to improve your health and body. That’s what it’s all about.

Male UltraCore