Ever since my first day of 7th grade athletics, I’ve been a constant fixture in my local gym/weight room. For over a decade, I threw around iron wherever it was most convenient, whether that be my middle school, high school, or college gym.
Now don’t let this fool you; I am and always have been a scrawny little bitch. The only reason I found myself being a constant lifter of heavy (or not so heavy) weight was because it was mandated by my baseball coaches. While I was never the guy who got his rocks off by pumping iron in the weight room, I was never a “holy shit, I’m dreading weights today” guy either. Just a get in, do my business, get on with life kinda dude.
During my college career, I never saw much in terms of “gains;” I’d imagine that a diet where Keystone Light and Taco Bell are a sizable portion of your food pyramid didn’t help. But I always kept what I’d consider an acceptable figure for someone my stature. Once I threw my last pitch, however, I decided to give myself a little break from the days of gym life. I figured in a couple months I’d hit a post-grad milestone and join a local gym.
Fast-forward a year-and-a-half later and your boy started to get fat. I’m not obese by any means, just thanks to genetics, but I’m not exactly svelte either, which isn’t a good look when you’re a single dad already dealing with the disadvantage of being short. Much to my chagrin, it was time to hop back in the gym like every other post-grad fighting off the looming threat of dad bod. I started to scout for my ideal spot; something with a daycare, clean-ish locker room, and as few meatheads as possible. Then I stepped back and realized a solution was right in front of me.
In the time it took to get a bench and some dumbbells shipped by Amazon, I became a home gym guy. I wasn’t entirely convinced this was going to be the best route. Could I really get the kind of gains I was looking for just sweating in my living room like a weird guy doing a Richard Simmons tape in the ’80s? Was I going to have FOMO from missing out on gym-life?
Short answer: no. From my point of view, if you’re a normal postgrad not looking to be the next Mr. Universe and if you’ve got the space at home, you might as well use it to get cut up. Now it may take some getting used to, but I couldn’t recommend it more. Not to mention everyone is trying to ball on a budget, so the initial investment of buying some gear ends up paying for itself when you think about your monthly gym fee.
Maybe your gym lines up with your daily commute, or perhaps there’s even one at your office. Doesn’t beat my walk four feet into my living room once it’s time to sweat a bit, though. When I’m benching in my own personal planet of fitness, there’s no jacked guy with a 47-pack making me feel like absolute shit just by being in the same room as me. I’m the strongest and most ripped guy in this gym. I also never have to feel the embarrassment of finishing a shaky-armed, red-faced, not-so-heavy rep on bench while the best-looking girl in the gym picks that time to stroll by.
There’s no wait to get on that piece of equipment I need – my weights and pull-up bar serve only one master. Most importantly, my locker room is my own personal bathroom and shower. The only saggy balls in that thing are mine; I don’t have to see senile old wrinkly-Larry walking through the locker room with his balls banging off his knees while he tries to remember where he put his whitey-tighties. Instead of showering in a questionably clean locker room and still having to drive home to eat, I’m enjoying my own shower then taking the short walk downstairs to make my protein shake. Or have a beer.
I’m not so naive as to not understand the drawbacks. When I need to mix in some cardio there’s no elliptical or treadmill a few feet away. Instead, I’m having to throw in an Insanity DVD and get screamed at by Shaun T. Sweating on your own carpet isn’t exactly as ideal as sweating on a padded gym floor. And while I like my setup, the home gym isn’t exactly packed with equipment, so it takes some creativity to throw different workouts at your body. Fortunately, I’m not trying to look like I workout for a living, I’m just trying to not get fat.
Working out in the comfort of your own home is a luxury I don’t plan on getting rid of. Instead of blasting a playlist to avoid hearing the guido next to me grunting during his max out, I worked out last night while watching playoff baseball in peace. There was no commute and no gym bag that I somehow forgot to pack an extra pair of boxers into. Just pure homegrown gains. .