What To Do If You Can't Afford A Gym Membership
Working out at home, for beginners, is a great option. Read this article to understand why.
When you’re beginning your fitness journey it’s not necessary to have a gym membership right away. It might be safe to assume that your body has a minimal to moderate level of conditioning, therefore you may still be able to see results working out from home. However, further into your journey a gym membership will be integral to you continuing your progress. As your level of conditioning increases so will your need to challenge your body in order to continue progressing.
Making exercise a routine is the hardest part....
I started my fitness journey for the final time at home. To help paint the mental picture, I will share my story. I started my fitness journey for the final time in my home. I was ready to do what it took to change my body, but I wanted to prove to myself that I was dedicated before I went and got a gym membership. I’d been there before, many times and each time I went on a health kick only to backslide. I didn’t want another bill for something I may or may not use. So I decided instead to work out from home for as long as I could.
Slow progression is progression...
I put myself on a caloric deficit and combined that with cardio and exercises that I could do around the home. For my thirty minutes of cardio every day, I started by streaming aerobics YouTube videos to my living room TV. I would move all of my living room furniture out of the way and danced while trying to keep the volume levels down. My favorite video was this Latin dance fitness class video because it was around 30min long. Once my Latin dance fitness class became too easy, I started running the three flights of stairs in my home, non-stop for 30 minutes a day. I would run my steps while blasting music and singing. I found anything that felt sturdy enough to perform step-ups on. My furniture was my gym equipment. I ran outside. Sometimes I would be in the middle of preparing a meal and would just start doing push-ups or lunges. I was active around my home and I was hungry for progress.
Eventually performing body weight exercises no longer challenged my body. I had progressed my muscle conditioning to a point where I needed to add weight. So, I ordered some leg weights, and I purchased a set of 10lb dumbbells from Target. I continued my regimen with the added weight, furthering my progress. Through working out at home I lost 10lbs of weight. However, my butt was saggy and my legs had little muscle definition. I needed to better educate myself. So, I learned the difference between losing weight and losing fat. I learned how those two goals would produce two different physiques. Finally, I understood that I needed more weight to stimulate my muscles and to create the curves and lift I sought after.
I was set to purchase more free weights for my home, when the price tag of them made me take pause. It was during that moment in the aisle of Target that I knew I’d graduated from home workouts, to the gym. At that point, it only made financial sense to pay a monthly fee while having access to all of the state of the art equipment I could handle. No, I could not progress my body towards my desired goal from home. It was time for a gym membership. I'd proven to myself my dedication and was comfortable signing a contract, because I was in it for the long haul.
Good exercise equipment will go a long way...
Looking back, had I known about equipment like adjustable dumbbells, my at home workout would have been effective for even longer. Resistance bands, stability balls, and medicine balls are all relatively inexpensive compared to a gym membership and allow you to perform a variety of workouts at home.
Hopefully my story illustrated that not being able to afford a gym membership isn’t the end of your journey but really the beginning. The main keys to success are developing a routine, accountability, and patience. You don't need a gym membership for any of those.