5 Reasons to Ditch Your Gym Membership

That old gym membership is holding you back. Working out from home or nearby has numerous advantages that a traditional gym can’t replicate. Whether you’re training in your home gym, garage (in my case, a family member’s garage), living room, the beach, or a park nearby, the benefits of an at-home fitness program are limitless. Here are 5 reasons to ditch your gym membership: 

1. Workout When it Works for You

Committing to a scheduled block of time to work out can be challenging. One of the most significant benefits of working out from home is the flexibility to tailor and plan your workouts to fit your day. Because I’m generally working from home at this point, I’m free to work out as it fits my schedule. I usually lift early in the morning, but if I need a quick break from work or need to let off some steam, I’ll block off 30 minutes during the day for a ruck around the neighborhood. If I have a rest day scheduled and sleep in, I can squeeze in an hour yoga session in between calls or around lunch instead of planning my day around the yoga studio’s schedule. Working out from home enables you the flexibility to choose how and when you exercise each day based on what works for you. 

2. Spend Smarter

Gym memberships can get expensive, especially if you have multiple memberships for different gyms. The average gym membership is $58 per month, while CrossFit gyms can cost upwards of $100-200 per month. I always assumed a monthly gym membership was a fact of life for me and an integral part of my monthly spending. When I learned I could replicate a full gym routine (and more) with one or two inexpensive pieces of equipment like the rucksack and sandbag, my entire mindset shifted. I mailed in my gym membership letter of resignation in July of this year, and now that I know firsthand that I can get a better workout on my own accord, I can put that money towards more gear and programming. How you spend it is up to you. 

3. Skip the Commute

I used to drive 30 minutes roundtrip to my gym every morning. Now that I’ve cut the drive time out of my morning routine, those 30 minutes I used to spend commuting are now spent putting in work. Instead of driving, I use my walk to the park as my training warmup. I’m ready to go by the time I get to the park and can start on the workout immediately. I use the extra time to extend my lifts or get in a cardio session that I generally wouldn’t have had time to do in my commuting days, without sacrificing any more of my morning. Skipping the commute will save you time and provides for more time efficient and effective workouts. 

4. Stay Efficient and Stay Active 

This happens all too often – you get to the gym early, ready for a phenomenal workout, walk upstairs, and see somebody already camping out in the squat rack. We’ve all been there, and unless you are lucky enough to pair up and work in with that person, you’re out of luck and your workout plan is in jeopardy. Gone are the days of waiting on equipment or a platform and watching the minutes tick by. Working out on your own keeps me moving through my lifts and at all times – I’m only resting when I need to. 

5. Get Creative

Most traditional gym workouts are predicated using standardized free weights and machines that dictate prescribed movements and can get boring. Working out from home enables you to get creative with your workouts and leverage what you have available to you, as well as keep your body guessing and keep your fitness routine exciting. You can switch things up every day and lean on friends or the community for inspiration in developing your WOD. I leverage GORUCK’s SRT program to keep things fresh and find innovative ways to use my sandbag.

Regardless of your fitness program or workout routine, you can easily create an optimal workout environment at or near home with very minimal costs. I use a sandbag and a rucksack, and occasionally mix in the pull up bar (monkey bars to some people) and have no plans on heading back to a gym. I used to live for the gym, but now I can’t imagine working out any other way than on my own.

About the Author: Kevin and his fiancé run a travel blog. They are taking a pause right now on travel content and diving into training.

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