Judging by the fact that you’re reading this article (and this blog for that matter), I’m assuming that you want to get toned? You might be wondering though; what is the best way to get seriously ripped like Gerard Butler (in 300 I mean, maybe not Machine Gun Preacher!), Russell Crowe (Gladiator, I presume? Not The Insider!) or if you’re really serious about all this, Arnie?
Clearly, ‘exercise is good for you’, but that doesn’t mean you have to go down to an air-conditioned pit, workout next to some sweaty guys (likely with some serious body odour issues) and pay forty quid a month for the privilege, does it? No, it doesn’t!
There’s lots of alternatives – which, I should point out, don’t even come close to borrowing your Nan’s Rosemary Conley workout video cassette (honestly!).
So forget the gym; you can go for a run, build and tone-up muscle at home plus a whole host of other key activities from cycling to hill walking if you want to get seriously shredded.
Here’s five great reasons why I believe joining a gym is a truly horrific idea (and could possibly be the worst decision you make all day!):
“If I use a gym I’ll meet pro Bodybuilders and have access to incredibly well trained staff?”
Image Source: GeneratorMeme.com
Nope, you’ll have access to moronic staff and you’ll meet guys that care more about flexing their biceps and impressing (well, trying to impress) the ladies than anything else.
The problem here seems to be that normal rules go out of the window at the gym and instead are replaced by “gym etiquette”. With gym etiquette, it seems that wiping your sweaty ass imprints on rowers and cycle machines is pretty normal behaviour. However, there is another side to this ‘etiquette’ and it surrounds what I like to call; ‘poser danger’.
We laugh at guys who look at themselves in the mirror whilst pumping iron. It’s sad! You can get the same results without the unnecessary narcissism, I’m sure.
Now, I have known, along with a whole host of web-based anecdotal evidence, of people who have said ‘I would never do that?’ However, once in the gym environment and seeing that everyone else is doing the same thing, these individuals often feel ‘compelled’ to look at themselves in the mirror when lifting dumbbells.
This interest in yourself will not be evident if your working out from home, as the showing-off gym-based behaviour will be muted and you won’t be standing in front of a mirror going all ‘Olivia Newton John’ with a barbell or dumbbell.
In terms of staffing do not – ever – think of Virgin Active or Fitness First staff as highly trained sports scientist geniuses. A handful of GCSE’s is all it takes to get their foot in the door according to their recruitment websites. So no Sports Science masters degrees here!
“It’s only £ 32 pounds a week for such great amenities, why shouldn’t I join?”
Image Source: Virgin Active
Good point! However, you need to think of your gym membership in another way. You see, the £32 a month might not be too bad but over the course of a year this mounts up to nearly £384 in annual membership fees (so we can round it off to, say, £400 a year?).
Now, the ‘great amenities’ are available to you for a lot less than £400 and for a lot longer than a year too. A quick search on Argos, Decathlon or even Sports Direct (or CostCo or wherever you American’s like to shop) can find a bench, dumbbells, barbells, a mat and gloves for around £200 which, put another way, is £16 a month.
Maybe that £32 isn’t such great value after all?
“The gym is a great place to meet girls?”
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Another good point. Let’s not kid ourselves; one of the main reasons guys like to ‘get ripped’ is to help attract the opposite sex (or equally the same sex, if that’s what floats your boat). That being said, research conducted by girl-devouring magazines like The Huffington Post, Closer Magazine and Vogue have found gyms to be the least favourable place to find your dream guy!
So the girls might be looking fine but, in all likeliness, are not there to help you score a date. You need to think seriously about why you’re doing this. Getting ripped requires a lot of time, energy and effort on your part. If you are doing this just for the girls, long term motivation might be difficult.
“Professionals don’t workout at home. It’s that simple?”
Image Source: T-Nation
We like to think that the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, Sylvester Stallone’s, Bruce Willis’s, Brad Pit’s, Ryan Reynolds’ or even Leonardo DiCaprio’s spend hours down the gym as opposed to working out at home, but this just isn’t true. Almost all of them workout at home. Sure, they probably have a personal trainer to help them out, but that’s not the point.
The reality is that you can find space in your home to get your dream gym setup! Boffins have done research into bodybuilders who train at home over a public gym. Their findings indicate that for the best results (i.e. you’re focusing 100% on yourself and not the mirror), you need to train at home.
So why not turn that unused bedroom, attic space or even garage into a home gym?
“Yes, but if I work out at home I wont have that ‘competing instinct’ will I?”
Image Source: Livestrong
There is a very competitive streak inside all men – from the Harris Tweed wearing individuals to the Vauxhall Corsa boy racers – which comes to define all mankind.
That said – to use this ‘competitive’ edge as an excuse to work out in public over your home might say something about you as an individual? You need to really want this – lame excuses aside – or you won’t get the full benefit.
So, if you’re hyper competitive then maybe working out at home might be the best bet for you? It will allow you to spend more time focussed on working out rather than chatting with your ‘competitors’ and wasting time.
What’s more, you don’t have access to a sauna or Jacuzzi at home, so there’ll be less chance of you slacking off which will clearly benefit your competitive streak in the long run.
Image Source: Bodybuilding.com
There you have it, five great reasons why you should avoid the gym. If you’re a narcissist boy-racer then it might be the best place for you. However, if you’re a normal human being then save the cash, save the etiquette BS and finally turn that unused space at home into a ‘man cave workout den type thing’.