This is Everything You Need to Know About Working Out at Home From Someone Who Cut the Gym Membership 8 years Ago!

Have you ever kept a New Year's resolution? I've kept one that I can think of in my whole entire life and I know I've made far more than that! But I feel really good about the one that I kept, so I'm calling that long-term success! I was one of those people who flooded the gyms in January with a resolution to create new healthy habits. I had never really worked out before. I wasn't super athletic and I didn't do any sports outside of rec gymnastics for a handful of years at the Y when I was in elementary school. I was often last picked for any PE group and despite finishing in the top every year when I ran the mile for the presidential physical fitness challenge, no one really saw any athletic potential in me. So I just figured it wasn't important. Until I started getting older and I kept hearing how your body changes with age and I knew I needed to probably do something. So I joined a gym. Of course, I switched as soon as my free six-week trial was over and I tried another gym! But through it all, I remained consistent.

I gained confidence in what my body could do, and I genuinely felt better and stronger. I loved group fitness classes and I had a routine. That was until we moved. We didn't move far, but it didn't make sense to continue to drive out of my way for 25 minutes just to work out, so I switched gyms. The new gym was close to home, but it lacked those group fitness classes I really liked. I tried a multitude of things from specialty gym facilities to online programs, before I finally found something that worked for me; working out at home. I cut my gym membership eight years ago and I haven't looked back!

Here is everything you need to know about working out from home! I've got the good, the bad, and the ugly! Are you ready for it?

at home workout

This is Everything You Need to Know About Working Out at Home From Someone Who Cut the Gym Membership 8 Years Ago!

at home workouts everything you need to know

Start here: Should You Join a Gym? The Pros and Cons of Gym Membership

It's Convenient

Working out at home is convenient. I turned my seldom-used bonus room into a workout room, and it's got everything I need when I need it. I've also completed workouts in my bedroom and living room shoving weights and mats under beds and sofas, so it doesn't have to be anything fancy! 

I don't have to plan for extra driving time when I work out from home and I never run the risk of seeing people, so it doesn't matter if I'm wearing the same tank top and yoga pants for the fourth day in a row! 

If you have young kids, you don't have to plan for childcare. When the kids were home, I'd often plan my workouts around their school schedule. That way, I could wake them up, make sure they were getting ready, and then after my workout, get them breakfast before they headed out the door. 

Your home gym is always open! You just need to make the time to use it.

Push Yourself

If you are new to working out, you may not have the confidence to push your body in the same way that you would with a trainer in person. The older I get, the more I realize things crackle and pop. Had I not had a physical therapist telling me that all those things were normal, I would have likely pulled back.

I did find that when I was in a group fitness setting, there was a bit of a camaraderie to push myself harder and to go farther. If you are working out from home, you'll need to learn how to do this on your own. If you are already setting the foundation for this in a gym, the transition to working out from home won't be an issue.

I find that having an Apple watch that tracks my heart rate helps. It pushes me to get into the heart rate zone that I know I need to be in during a workout. 

Focus on Form

It's important that you have the proper form and have help coaching so that you don't injure yourself. I don't think that working out at home, on your own creates any greater risk of injury than working out in a gym, but it does take some attention to detail and being willing to learn how to have proper form so you don't hurt yourself.

I've used a few different online platforms and they've all been really good about providing coaching for good form. You just have to pay attention to what they are saying and be open to watching your body to help improve. As I get older, it's also important for me that programs have modifications as well. No shame in the modification game!

Pro tip: Have a mirror in your workout room! This will help you keep an eye on your form. Just when you think your back is straight, you'll take a glimpse and see that you are rounding it. Ask me how I know!

Create Balance

I like being part of a fitness community and often find that diving into a 3 or 4-week program helps me create the balance that I need. There are likely exercises you'd never do on your own {hello squats!}, that these programs will push you to do. 

I also find that they create programs that help avoid those overuse injuries and encourage full-body fitness. If you left me in a workout room on my own, I'd likely not even know where to start. I'd maybe do a few crunches and some arm curls! Leave the program creation to someone else if this is you too!

Find the Accountability

When I used to do group fitness classes in person at the gym, I had workout buddies who held me accountable for being there. If I reserved a bike for spin class, I knew if I didn't show, someone else who had wanted that spot in that full class would be disappointed if I slept in instead of showing up.

When you work out at home, you have to find new ways that you can hold yourself accountable. This could be from joining online accountability groups, posting your daily workout on social media, or holding yourself accountable for closing all your rings on your Apple watch. 

Rest and Recover

Give yourself time to rest and recover. I have found that the weekends are for family, so I take off from my normal workouts on Saturday and Sunday. I challenge myself to work out five days a week. You need to give yourself time to recover, so make sure you build those in. 

Stay Motivated

I never try to convince people to work out how I work out. Sure, it works for me, but the best workout is the one that you will do. Period. The end. 

I have often said that I have exercise ADD. I get bored easily, so I need to change up my routine often. Find ways that you can stay motivated too. Maybe that means setting reward goals like buying a new workout outfit if you complete a 30-day program, or changing up your fitness routine to help keep things interesting!

Find What Works!

Through the years, I've found what works for me. I like 25-30 minute workouts that include a balance of exercises. I don't like doing the same workout every single day. I don't like pilates {I've tried!} and I don't mind yoga, I just don't push myself hard enough to make it more than an active recovery.  If I don't work out first thing in the morning before I shower, it likely won't get done. I don't fool myself. This means that I adjust my schedule {sometimes waking up earlier}, so I can get a workout in. I like lifting weights and I like when I get my heart rate up.

I know all of this because I have tried all kinds of things. I've tried workouts I didn't think I'd like {but then I did} and I pushed play on others people rave about {and hated them}. I tried a bunch of things first to find out what worked for me. Find what works for you.

Measure Success

This doesn't have to be a physical measurement, though sometimes that helps too, but a way that you can measure your success in an at-home workout. For me, that usually means did I complete the 28 days {or whatever} that I signed up to do? Did I show up five days a week like I promised myself I would? This is more than just a victory on the scale, this is about a lifestyle change that you personally committed to. 

Curious about the benefits of HIIT training? Check this out!


What Kind of Workout Equipment Do You Need in Your Home Gym?

Whatever works! I have a minimal amount of equipment and most of it was purchased on the cheap. You could spend a ton of money on at-home gym equipment, but you don't have to!

I used a yoga mat for years, but I like a big space, so I bought these a few years ago. I have an elliptical that I purchased used at a garage sale {and it's never leaving the room because it was incredibly hard to get up the stairs!}. I have resistance bands, a variety of weights {adjustable ones are really nice}, a yoga ball, and a medicine ball. That's about it. 

Know what I use on the regular? The weights. The mat is always out, so I guess that too. But getting a good set of weights in a variety of sizes is important. I use my 10 and 15-pound weights every time I work out. 

I carefully decide what I bring into my workout space. I considered purchasing a {used} spin bike earlier this year. But I wasn't sure I'd use it that often. There are lots of used options for fitness equipment on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and OfferUp. Take a look!

At-Home Workout Programs

I started working out from home because I had a new company {Gixo} reach out to me to do influencer marketing with them. I LOVED Gixo! Unfortunately, they never really caught enough steam and transitioned a few times before getting bought out by BeachBody.

I'm going to share the programs I've tried. There are TONS out there, these are just the ones I have personal experience with. 

Bodi by BeachBody

Now, I've got a sorority sister or two who jumped on the BeachBody train and I knew I wasn't interested in buying expensive shakes and recovery drinks. I simply joined for the workouts.

I was grandfathered in for a year, so I gave it a solid try. I did several programs through the Bodi app, and it was fine. I probably could have joined their online accountability groups, but I was apprehensive and didn't want to get sucked into any upsells.

So for that reason, I give Bodi by BeachBody a B. Some of that comes from my own hesitation to go all in I'm sure. I know plenty of people who love it {and make it their whole personality!}, but it's just not me. 

I've found that Bodi has absorbed several workout programs and kept them on their platform for no other reason than that they already have them there. I'll tell you, there are a few that really need to go away {I'm looking at you Tony Horton}

What I like about Bodi is that they have a diverse set of programs that really do offer a range of balanced workouts. I can start a program and work through that program on my own. I often pick 3-4 week programs and rarely do any program more than once. 

There are always sales and promotions for Bodi it seems. Heck, I got sucked in again after I canceled my yearly subscription they reached out to me about a month later and offered a full year for $29! I couldn't pass that up. Even at $179 for an annual subscription, that's only about $15/month. I rarely see gym memberships that low, so I think it's a deal.

Apple Fitness+

I had a free three-month trial, so I thought I'd try Apple Fitness+. I have an Apple watch I use for workouts on the regular, so I liked how these workouts were integrated. 

I give Apple Fitness+ a B+ rating. I really liked how easy it was to keep track of my workouts using my Apple watch. It would start automatically and the calorie count seemed far more accurate than it did when I was using it for other workouts. 

There are diverse workout programs available on Apple Fitness+, but my favorites? I loved the treadmill workouts. I don't have a treadmill, but I was using this program when I was on a cross-country road trip, so after sitting for 8+ hours while driving, and checking into hotels with a treadmill, this was an easy way to push myself. 

I have been a runner in the past, and pacing myself has always been an issue. I'd join this program again if I had easy access to a treadmill and if I was training for a race. I felt like the workouts flew by!

There were plenty of workouts that didn't require any fitness equipment, making this a really good option for at-home workouts. You'll usually find a promotion for three months free, so you can really give this app a try. After that, it's around $79 for an annual subscription, making it under $7/month. Again, no gym membership can touch that rate!

Netflix and Nike

If you have a Netflix subscription, you'll likely see several Nike fitness programs that are included. I've tried several of these videos. I give them a C. Only because there aren't that many programs to choose from.

Your choices are limited, though it's essentially a free program if you already have a subscription. If you are traveling, these are downloadable, so I could see that being a plus. Otherwise, relying on this program likely won't keep you going for more than a month or two and you'll start seeking out more programs.


When I was in between programs, I had a lot of people tell me that they LOVED FitOn. I joined but never did any programs. FitOn is a free app and there are tons of free programs. However, nothing free is ever totally free. I got so many e-mails from FitOn after I signed up. I stayed subscribed so that I could stay in the loop, but dang, it was a lot. I ended up unsubscribing. 

I just downloaded the app again, and I saw that there was a push for the pro plan. Of course, there are promotions, but without it, the total is $129.99 for the year or less than $11/month. Again, a decently affordable option compared to an in-person gym. If I were to use FitOn, I'd likely sign up for the Pro program but only because the ads and push to sign up look annoying! I'd always feel like I was missing out on some option. 


What I'm Using Now

So what am I using right now? I got a deal I couldn't refuse to sign up for Bodi again. It's working for me right now. I am two weeks into a four-week program and I'm enjoying it. I like that I can log in and go straight to the program and know that I have a balanced workout planned for me I don't have to think about. 

I'm constantly reevaluating what works, and that's easy to do when you work out from home. Less easy to do if you are locked into an in-person gym membership where you have yearly sign-up fees or dues.

In the end, the flexibility and convenience of working out at home has me sold on this option. It's not for everyone! But it's been working for me!

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