Don’t worry, I know there are SOME crazy people who are disciplined to give their best effort at home consistently. But in my 27 years of training and another 15 years of coaching, these are the very few exceptions, not the rule. And most likely if you’re reading this, you aren’t the exception either. (And If you have clothes hanging from your squat rack or treadmill…you’re certainly not the exception!)
I understand the convenience and potential savings of setting up the garage at home to be able to workout. However, in the end most fail to make it work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone cancel their membership because they set up a home gym only to come back 6-12 months later saying, “my fitness has stalled,” or “I thought I would use it way more often than I did.”
Below is a list of reasons the CrossFit gym beats the home:
That person next to you – we’ve all been in a workout next to a person who is either just ahead or just behind us in a workout. There is almost nothing that will force us to go harder. Times like these bring out our best efforts, and our best efforts produce the best results! How many times have we told someone after a workout, “I went way harder than I wanted to because you were next to me.” Quite simply, this makes a difference!
Coaching – None of us move perfectly. Even the best movers have issues they struggle with. Having a set of eyes on us helps tremendously to keep us on track with our movement and hold us accountable to movement standards, not to mention preventing injury.
Accountability – At home, if you skip a workout, nobody will know! Most of us have a certain class we like to go to each day. And when we haven’t been consistent, there are usually people that will say, “where is Jon or where is Sarah,” for example. Having that person reach out to ask where you’ve been can make all the difference.
Cherry Picking Workouts – Almost all of us have decided to skip a workout or two at some point because we just didn’t like it or it exposed something we struggle with. It’s far too tempting to simply skip something we don’t like, at home. Not only does that prevent us from increasing our fitness, but in the long run can create imbalances and can lead to injury. Show up, give your best effort, no matter the workout.
Human Contact – We all go through ups and downs in our life as well as in our fitness journey. None of us stay motivated all the time. And it’s downtimes like this when we need other people to lean on the most. Working out alone just doesn’t provide this. And if you’re struggling but no one knows, no one can help. If this is you, reach out to someone to lean on for motivation, confidence, or discipline.
Environment – Crista has a saying, “the weights always feel heavier at home.” Of course the weights aren’t heavier, the energy is lacking because the environment stinks. Loud music, athletes grunting, and barbells banging provide energy, and energy is contagious.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention programming. The best programming in the world is completely useless if you don’t give your best effort consistently. The examples above are what bring out the best in us. So the next time you see some guy selling you his home-program promising you the moon, don’t fall for the marketing guys. Most of the time these people don’t care about your success anyway, it’s a way for them to make more money from a bigger market.
If you have found that working out at home works for you, more power to you. But if this article speaks to you, stop wasting time and get your butt back in the gym. -Jonathan