7 Reasons Why Gym Workouts Beat Home Workouts (Building Muscle Mass)

October 8, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Every once in a while, I take it upon myself to step away from everyday life and just reflect (You should do it some time too). But in regards to the fitness industry, I like to take a ‘step back’ there too, and just reflect. To look at what’s going on from an outsiders point of view.

This is actually something I have done recently, and one thing that I have noticed about the ‘workout’ is the  rising popularity of the home workout.

Could it be because of a bad economy and people deciding not to pay for a gym membership to save money? (Maybe)

Could it be because people don’t have the time? (Possibly – If so, this article may help)

Could it be the simple fact that home workouts are convenient (I’d say most likely)

It’s probably a mix of all the above. In fact, I know it is. That’s why I created the Unique Bodyweight Exercise ebook (v3.0 was just released btw). But the argument still stands…

Can you ‘effectively’ build real muscle mass performing home workouts?

After all, with the latest version of the ebook, I included a strength and mass workout. And of course, plenty of weight assisted bodyweight exercises to go around.

But is that enough when building muscle mass is the goal?

Well, I’d say it’s a mix of both. You have to include at least some gym workouts into your fitness lifestyle if you want a real body changer.

In short…

Gym = Speed

And that’s why I’ve decided to give you all of the ‘pro’s’ when it comes to deciding whether you should attend the gym or not. Because there’s more to this fitness and bodybuilding game than just lugging a few weights around.

#1 Attending the Gym Gets You Out of Your Comfort Zone

Image credit: www.enemyofdebt.com

The number one concern that you should have when you start to lift weights to build muscle mass, is to make sure you are always giving your muscles a shock to take your muscles out of their comfort zone, as that’s the only way they will continue to grow. This means that you will need to focus your mindset on that.

The easiest way to begin adapting that mindset is to get yourself out of your comfort zone first. Taking yourself from one room to another in your home still means you will face distractions from activities, people or events that happen in your home. This will lead you to get side tracked at times. What usually happens then is that you are no longer ‘in the zone’ of your workout. Once that happens it’s very hard to adapt that train insane mentality again. So the first step you need to take before taking your muscles out of their comfort zone, is to take yourself out first.

Which leads me to my next point.

#2 Focus On One Thing Only

Image credit: Howard Sokol

You are more likely to succeed if you focus on one task at a time, instead of everything at the same time. Which is what will happen when you workout from home. Picture this…

  • You eat a good meal (No problem)
  • You relax and let that meal digest (No problem)
  • You prepare for your work (No problem)
  • You begin your workout

Possible problems

  • Phone rings
  • People within your household demanding your attention (Wife/ Husband/ Sister/ Brother/ Mother)
  • Those same people come to join and watch you workout
  • Your favorite TV program comes on
  • Your instant messenger starts ringing in the other room, which draws you away to have an online conversation (5 minutes will turn into 30 minutes)
  • You remember an important task that needs to be completed. You run off and do it.

This list could go on and on AND ON!

The point I’m making here is that there is no way you can continuously focus on taking your muscles to the next level, workout after workout, operating in an environment such as this. Actually, you can. But just know it will take you twice the time to get the same results, had you decided to go to the gym.

Which again, leads me to my next point.

#3 The Gym Has The Tools For The Job

Image credit: Titanequipment.co.nz

Builders, Web developers, Fire men, Plumbers. It doesn’t really matter which profession I talk about. If you take one of those professionals tools away, they will do a s****y job. And the same rules apply when the goal is to ‘effectively’ build muscle. Now let’s put things into a visual perspective for one moment and make a hardcore comparison between the tools you have availble at home compared to the tools you have availble at the gym.


  • Spare room/ Garage
  • 100kg Cast iron weights set, dumbbells, Barbell
  • A ‘decent’ weights bench
  • Chin up bar
  • Exercise ball, stability ball, Powerblocks

The gym

  • Locker room and shower (Hygiene)
  • Gym staff (Maintain the order of the gym, replacing weights, save you time from doing tasks that sap your energy)
  • Cafeteria (Relax before a workout)
  • Other gym goers (People to network with)

Now for the tools you get physical with.

  • Spacious workout area (Allows you to scream, curse, release bursts of energy)
  • A complete weights set (Variations of weights, barbells – The most important aspect… because to grow you will eventually need to increase the weight)
  • Floor mats
  • Variations of weights bench (Which will allow you to perform all types of exercises)
  • Other gym goers (Ask for help when needed)
  • Dipping belts, dip bars, a complete chin up bar with all ranges of handles for exercise variation
  • Weights machines (Practice good form or certain weightlifting exercises. This is also important when considering a full body workout)
  • Decent sized mirrors (Essential for practicing good form. But not for tracking your progress. Confused? Read this post)
  • Loud music (Probably not important, as you can use an ipod. But nothing beats a solid base line when you are taking your muscles to the next level. Besides, you have no neighbors to complain about you here).
  • Air conditioning (Plenty of fresh air and water at your disposal. Do I even need to say more!)
  • People to network and relax with after a workout (Not entirely important. But it’s always nice to chill and just hang out while snacking or sipping on that post workout meal)

This list really could go on and on. But I think I’ve included most of the important things.

As you can see. If you have the right tools for the job you will…

1) Get the job done more efficienctly

2) Get the job done in half the time

3) Feel happy about what you are doing

Because if you don’t feel good about what you are doing in this lifestyle, you’re going to quit. Which is why the core of what I talk about on this site is how to improve and live a good fitness lifestyle. Now come on over and build my home gym (ironic). Just make sure you have the right tools for the job ;).

#4 Get motivation from like minded people

Aka Networking

But what I also like to call

1 +1 = 11

This will make sense to those of you who train with a gym partner. Because the key to building a successful body and fitness lifestyle is to draw motivation from somewhere. And one of the best ways to do that is by training with someone who has the same goals as you do. It also makes for some good friendly banter and competition too.

But if you don’t have a training partner, then the gym is a perfect place to train instead of training alone at home.

1) You can ask for help (Spotters)

2) If you’re in a ‘homely’ gym where everyone trains for similar goals, you’ll get plenty of training tips (Learning from other peoples mistakes). Which is essential if you want to avoid injury. Which of course you will.

3) You can make new friends and connections

This actually leads me on to my next point.

#5 You Treat Your Workout Like A Real Event

A real event is something that you prepare for, get up and go to. You freshen up, put on fresh clothes and leave the house. You’re going somewhere to make something happen. And whenever you go out to make something happen, you usually try to make the most of it. No one likes to waste time.

If you workout at home, you are already at the event. Which kind of takes away the urge to get some real work done. This is why you are better off going to the gym if you want some real muscle building results.

If you want keep your urgency to perform well, then build a real home gym. Yes, it will set you back quite a bit of money, but if you do it right, you may never need to attend a public gym ever again (Unless you really like to. For the same reasons discussed in this post).

#6 You Can Find Love At The Gym

I touched upon this topic once before, in these two posts…

Is the gym a good place to find love?

Finding Love at the gym – The Do’s and Don’ts

But if you attend the gym, it’s inevitable that you’re going to see some eye candy. But more importantly, you’re probably going to meet people that have similar interests to you. Yes, the fitness lifestyle is like that. There’s more to it than just pumping weights here and there.

Nevertheless, if you are a single free spirit with ready to spread love seeping through your veins, then you might as well go to the gym. It’s better than going to a night club. Those dates never amount to anything.

A tip from the Bugmeister

Don’t go out looking for love… or even a date. Just go with the flow. It will come to you naturally. 🙂

#7 You Can Get A lot More Done

Earlier (Point #2) I created a list of all the tools the gym gives you, that will allow you to build muscle mass quickly and efficiently, while feeling happy throughout the process. But I want to add a little more to that list.

Now, we already know that treating your workout day as an event will improve your urgency to perform well and get the most out of your workout. But it’s even better to treat this day as an event, so that you get the most out of your day. Meaning instead of going to the gym just to workout, do it all!

  • Workout
  • Spa, Sauna
  • Yoga
  • Spin
  • Boxing

Or whatever it is you like to do. Most ‘good’ gyms will offer these extra amenities. Either way, it’s a better alternative than pumping weights at home to just lounge around straight after. Get out of your box.

To conclude

I actually like to perform both home and gym workouts throughout my workout week. Mainly because I’m a homely person at heart. I like my space and I love being a geek (PS3, Macbook and all that techy stuff. Nerd!). But if you really want to get your muscles pumping quickly and efficiently, then you need to go and get yourself a gym membership. Doing so will help you stick to your program (Because you’re paying for the damn thing). And most importantly, you really will feel better about yourself once you start seeing rapid changes to your body within the first 4- 6 weeks. After that time, you’ll notice all of the benfits I’ve mentioned above. After that, it’s pure bliss.

Where do you perform most of your workouts?m At home or at the gym?

See you in the comments.

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