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Know How You Can Make Progress in a Home Gym?

 Know How You Can Make Progress in a Home Gym

Can you make progress in a home gym? This question pops up on my radar all the time. My initial answer is, "Yes! You can make progress in a home gym!" Of course, whether you make gains at home depends on several factors. Let's see if a home gym is right for your fitness journey.

Can Home Gyms Be Effective?

Because of what I do with Garage Gym Life on YouTube, I tend to see a lot of variations of questions like, 

  • "Can you make progress with home workouts?"
  •  "Can you achieve gym results at home"
  •  "Is it worth it to have a home gym?"   

Getting to yes for the three previous questions, including the one that led to this article, "Can you make progress in a home gym?" depends on your situation and motivation and has absolutely zero to do with how much equipment you have in your home gym! Let's unpack each one.

Can You Make Progress in a Home Gym?

Well, of course! Progress means that you're better today in some way than you were yesterday and that you're closer to whatever goal you set for yourself than when you started. It doesn't mean that you've arrived at your goal, which too many people assume is the standard for being a home gym owner. But let's compare the hundreds of thousands of people who have transformed their bodies with programs like P90x or even simple calisthenics. The popular YouTube channel Grow With Jo (currently 5.3 million subscribers vital) features mostly bodyweight workouts and progress for someone following that kind of program is simply a matter of tuning in daily and doing the workouts. It's the same method that military and first responder training academies use to get their recruits in shape. Minimal equipment, maximal commitment, daily consistency. Can you make progress in a home gym? Sure. The secret to progress differs from where you train; consistently doing the workouts and fueling yourself properly.

Want to Try Workout Programs You Can Do In Any Corner of Your Home? Get Access to 40+(and counting!) Different Programs + Create Your Own With a Workout Generator! Follow on desktop or mobile!

But Can You Achieve Gym Results at Home?

home workout

That's another question that could ask more about what you think it's asking. If you mean, "Can I look like my favorite fitness influencer who posts to their Instagram during her workouts at Globo Gym surrounded by the latest equipment that the gym franchise leased from XYZ equipment brand?" then I'd have to ask if you have the number one prerequisite to looking like anybody, and that is, "Do you share the same parents?" Genetics are a real thing. 

I'll also tell you that most of the fittest people you see in public gyms didn't build their physiques there. In fact, according to the International Health and Racquet Sports Association (IHRSA), "Most gym memberships last an average of 4.7 years". That's mainly because gym memberships tend to be skewed towards younger people who are more likely to move because of career and life changes.  

So that fit-looking thirty-year-old on the treadmill probably started working out at the school gym in college and then changed gyms a couple of times as they moved for work. In fact, they may have started working out at home and joined a public gym due to a recent move to a place where they can't have a home gym for one reason or another. That's how I started my own fitness journey. First, I went to a public gym at my college and then transitioned to a 100 percent home gym lifestyle.

But if you're asking if you can look like you work out if you only work out at home, then the answer is 100 percent Yes! Again, whether you can progress in a home gym goes back to consistency. Showing up daily to do something that gets you closer to your goal pays off over time. Unless you have a mutant physique from the Mirror Universe where everything is backward, the law of causality will ensure that your body changes even if you don't see it immediately. In fact, your friends and family will probably notice changes in your physique from your dedication to your workouts even before you do! 

But if it doesn't matter where you train, is it worth it to have a home gym?

Life dictates where and how you need to train. I've had a home gym since 2001. My first home gym consisted of two 70lb dumbbells from Play It Again Sports and a wooden step aerobics box that I bought for $5 from a local gym upgrading its equipment. My next home gym was in a shed and was outfitted with the latest, cast-off infomercial junk that all of my coworkers gifted me once they found out I worked out at home. I learned some strange things about late-night TV shopping during that period, but that's a story for another time. 

Every home gym I've had since that shed has been in a garage, and the point I'm making is in each living situation, I adapted the size of my home gym and the equipment I owned to my available space, funding, and training goals. I addressed this last because once you understand that it's not the people around you or the amount of equipment you own, that determines whether you can progress in a home gym. You'll avoid the fallacy of comparing the average monthly cost of a gym membership to the cost of owning a fully equipped gym at home.

Like anything else, I advocate setting a budget and sticking to it. Full disclosure, many of the equipment you see in fancy home gym tours is there because the owner just liked how it looked, not because they needed it to reach their goals. You can absolutely get jacked enough to make everyone in your friend's circle green with envy at next summer's pool party, even if all you have is a weight vest, a couple of kettlebells, and the discipline to show up faithfully to your home workouts for the next 90 days. Keep up the consistency for six months, and you'll have to take a new driver's license photo or be accused of identity fraud on yourself. A year's worth of consistent grinding will have you looking like you've been taking shots of Steve Rogers' super soldier serum.

Want to Try Workout Programs You Can Do In Any Corner of Your Home? Get Access to 40+(and counting!) Different Programs + Create Your Own With a Workout Generator! Follow on desktop or mobile!

So Can You Make Progress In a Home Gym?

Progress in a home gym

Absolutely, you can! Once you believe that and start putting action into your intentions, you'll be one step closer to becoming your own hero.

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John Greaves III

John Greaves III is the founder of Garage Gym Life, a lifestyle and culture brand focusing on the at-home fitness community. You can find his work at Garage Gym Life Media and hear him from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EST every Friday on the Way Too Early for a Friday! morning show.

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