Another year has passed, and many of you start talking about “getting back in shape.” Where is this massive undertaking going to occur? At a commercial gym or home gym? Here are 21 reasons to hang at the homestead while you sweat.
1.Save membership fees – this one is obvious. $15-$125 bones per month. Don’t get me wrong, some are worth it, and some are plain robbery. Just stating the facts here.
2.Save gas – Even if you are lucky enough to have a good gym 10 miles from your house, that is still a 20 mile round trip. At 56 cents per mile (Standard 2014 mileage rate), that is $11.20 of wear and tear on your ride per workout.
3.Save time – The average commute to work for an American today is 25.4 minutes each way. Your gym maybe closer, but I still cannot wrap my head around driving 50 extra minutes per day for training. I have done it before, and you do what you’ve gotta do, but to quote the eloquent lady from the internet, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” That extra 50 minutes can be used for proper warm-up or recovery techniques afterwards.
4.Best coffee in town – I love me some Starbucks, but that just added more time and cost to our equation. No Bueno. Grab a Keurig and customize your pre-workout brew while hanging with the fam.
5.Cleanest restrooms – No one likes going #2 in public restrooms, except if they are the nice Italian Restaurants that teach you to speak Italian while you are doing your business. Use your own restroom at home. It maybe not actually very clean, but it will at least match your level of hygiene tolerance. *Note* - males can always just pee behind a tree in their yard when they get the “pre heavy squat jitters.”
6.Be a role model – If you have kids, especially if they are under 10 years old, they will be watching your every move. Show them that exercise and living the “strenuous life” is important and worthwhile. You might be saving their life 40 years from now. If you don't have kids, also know that your friends and neighbors are noisier than you like to admit, and might be looking up to you, too.
7.Time with family – See #6. I have had some great quality time with my son between sets of deadlifts, and VersaClimber rounds with my wife. I take that back, love the wife, hate the VersaClimber.
8.Advanced (or not so advanced) exercises – Always wanted to try something out? Single Arm Snatch with Barbell? Don’t mind if I do! And ain't nobody going to kick you out or set off some “Lunk Alarm” upon discovering your grand scheme.
9.Lenient dress code – When I finished installing the Sorinex gym (2005 location), I stripped down to my undies and lifting shoes, filled the chalk bowl up with bottles of beer, and proceeded to do 140k snatch pulls until I vomited in the parking lot. Why? Because it was my gym, and I could. Honestly, no other reason.
10.Gym never closes – Can’t sleep? Train. Nothing good on TV? Train. Wife mad at you? Train. Commercial gym closed? Train. You get the picture.
11.Awesome decor – From nostalgic lifting posters, to sports team memorabilia , random flashing stop lights, wild boar heads, old Christmas trees, graffiti… all fair game. Remember, it is YOUR DOMAIN!
12.Perfect music – From Abba to Zeppelin and all in between. You don’t have to live with any watered-down, radio blitz. Just plug in your iPod (with no goofy earbuds may I add) and crank your faves. You can even turn it up to 11.
13.Tactical / combative drills – You can pull out your concealed carry piece and train (unloaded of course), with elevated heart rate, and under stress (like right after a heavy squat set). Work the heavy bag, or do the Atlantean Sword Kata from Conan the Barbarian in the comfort of your own yard.
14.Project warm ups – Sometimes you have to decompress a bit before training, and I have found that wood working or laundry is a good way to get a few things done while shaking the dust off. Keeps the “honey-do” list to a minimum as well. Double win.
15.“Sneak in” training – There is always time for 10 squats and 10 pull ups. Bang them out, and you are that much further ahead for the day, even if you really don’t have time to really train.
16.Multi – use equipment – We all know that you can get insanely strong with only a barbell and a great power rack. Did you also know that with a few quick modifications a Power Rack works as a great deer skinning rack or makeshift jungle gym for the young’uns.
17.Neighborhood cred – “Who’s that jacked dude pulling deadlifts in the driveway? I probably wouldn’t mess with him.”
18.No gym bag or locker needed – Bang some long nails into the wall and you have a great spot for your belt, lifting shoes and knee sleeves to air out. Safe and sound, right there in the open.
19.Become a student of the Iron Game – You can never really become a true master of a sport or discipline until you live it. Set up your own “training center,” no matter how humble. In your Iron Cave you can train more often, read about training, watch videos and enjoy the ride of the Iron Game for a lifetime.
20.Great gear – You never have to complain about the crappy squat rack being used for curls or lack of bumper plates. Choose what works for you best, and invest in your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. My first home gym consisted of a Single Squat stand with chin up bar, bumper plates, 2” thick bar and Landmine. It took up all of 4’x4’ when packed up, and I managed to get strong on a steady diet of thick bar cleans and presses, deadlifts, squats, pull ups and Landmine Rows.
21.Don’t have to re-rack weights – Although not proper gym etiquette, sometime you need a bar just staring you downloaded to your next PR. Richard “Pops” Sorin did this as a kid, and left 500lb. on a deadlift bar in his cellar gym growing up. He said walking past it infuriated him every single time, until one day on New Year’s Eve 1965, he gutted it out and hauled it up. Sometime you just need that constant adversary.
Although I own a decent sized training center (Sorinex HQ), I cannot tell you what having a home gym did for my mood and life at home. The pressure and time requirements of running a business leaves me with very little time to get with my brothers of iron and train like the old days. When I can make it in to the gym, it is special, and I have extra fire in my belly. But for the other days, the “Iron Cave” is waiting like a loyal friend to take, and hand out a beating.