So you think that going to a gym is the best use of your money to get the best exercise that you need. Let’s do some calculations to figure out roughly what the cost would be in a year. You may extrapolate from these figures what you might spend. Assume that you will go 5 days a week and it is 5 miles from your house. A membership averaged out based on the part of the country you’re from will be roughly $40/month or $480/year. Your car gets 20 miles per gallon and traveling roundtrip makes a total of 10 miles a day. Going five days a week times 10 miles is 2600 miles a year divided by 20 miles per gallon times an average gas price of $3.50/gal. Equals $455.00. So in a year we have spent $480 in membership dues plus $455 in gas which equals $935.00 to use a gym. We are not talking about how much your time is worth but you might add it into your equation.
What are the disadvantages of going to a gym assuming you do almost the same exercises at home.
- We have already established the cost factor being high.
- Time away from home is another factor and your time going and coming is worth money or more importantly your time with family is priceless.
- Many are always overcrowded, so there are wait times or you use a machine that you don’t like.
So what is an alternative?
You could exercise at home. If you buy that home gym advertised on TV you could be out even more dollars than you would spend in the gym at least for the first year, but you would be at home. Unfortunately they are so big and bulky, they soon become an annoyance and you may stop using it. The home gym gets shuttled to the garage where it stays forever.
But, why not try adjustable dumbbells. They are small and compact and you get many of the same type exercises that you do with your membership or even with that monstrous home unit. But when you are through with the adjustable dumbbells store them in your clothes closet. They take up no more room that a shoe rack takes up.
What are some of their advantages?
- They are small and compact
- All the weights are contained in the dumbbell that sits on a rack when not in use.
- No weights lying around, no mess to clean up.
- Their health benefits include a good cardio work out and they help build muscle mass and bone density which are essential later on in life.
- Move these from room to room or even take them on vacation if you’re driving.
- Very easy to change weights and move to different sets.
Overall for their money, you will get a good workout, either tone or bulk up. No travel, very little time lost in setting up, and you are home with your family every night.
What type should I get?
There are three main types of adjustable dumbbells to consider.
- The spin-lock is your basic set of traditional dumbbells. You must take the weight off and on by spinning a threaded collar on the rod. No rack comes with these but is available for purchase. This set is the cheapest but the biggest disadvantage is the time that it takes to set up for your next routine since you have to replace everything.
- The pin/tool type has all the weights on the barbell and you select which weight by pulling a pin up, sliding it to the correct weight then lift up and the dumbbell is already set up. Extremely easy, no weights lying around, and it sits in its own rack.
- The dial dumbbells are essentially the same as the pin type but instead you just dial your weight, lift up, and the weights are attached. Some come with two dials for each end of the bar and some come with one dial that changes both ends. How easy and fast is that?
Price wise your dial dumbbells will be more expensive but still better off than going to the gym. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are a good example of the dial type. So summing up, some people will still want to go to the gym as they can socialize, but to me the better alternative is to be home exercising on my terms and not having to wait on a machine. Don’t forget to vary your exercise routine with other forms of exercise to achieve a well- balanced training program.