I know you’ve asked the question. Garage Gym or Commercial Gym? Then maybe you’ve gone one step further…If I go garage gym, should I buy everything or should I build it all?
Each one has its pros and cons, and maybe you have found a combination of all fits your needs, or maybe you are a 100% DIY Garage Gym kind of person. Either way, let’s take a look at some of the factors you should consider.
The infographic above says it all, but here is a little more explanation to each category.
Defining the gyms…
- “All Out” Garage Gym – The garage gymer who really has no budget and would prefer to purchase everything. However, we are not talking about a rich-guy garage gym, all estimates are still feasible and on the low end.
- DIY Garage Gym – On a budget, prefer to build unless it is not feasible, i.e. no DIY barbells or plates, but everything else is fair game. Learn how to build EVERYTHING at the DIY Corner.
- Commercial Gym – The globo gym!! Your big-timers like LA Fitness and Life Time Fitness.
*Note: “All Out” Garage Gym Recommendations are based off of Rogue Fitness, as they are the only vendor I will publicly endorse.
Initial Costs (Start up)
- “All Out” Garage Gym – Based off of the “Warrior Package” at Rogue Fitness, view here. But we added a squat rack and a few other items you would need to purchase to be fully equipped. That leaves us at a minimum $3,200.
- DIY Garage Gym – If you have read 14 Days to Fitness Freedom: The Garage Gym, you know that I show you how to set up a fully functional garage gym in two weeks for $871…and I think it could actually be done for less than that.
- Commercial Gym – Generally, if no specials are running, you will end up paying a signup fee and your first monthly dues. This leaves you, on average, at about $100.
*Note: For the nerds: Calculate how much your time is worth on an hourly basis and factor in the cost to time ratio for the DIY option.
Winner = Commercial Gym
- “All Out” Garage Gym & DIY Garage Gym – After the initial costs, a lot of the considerations for these two are exactly the same. With a garage gym, your time is going to increase. You don’t need to muster up the energy to get up extremely early, or in the evening, and scrounge together all the items you “need” for the gym. Wake up, roll into the garage, get fit!
- Commercial Gym – Commercial gyms are a time suck!! You have the commute (5-20+ minutes), the checkin-put-my-stuff-away-and-get-to-the-exercise-equipment dance (10 minutes), waiting-on-randoms-doing-the-exercise-wrong showdown (10 minutes), the hi-I-see-my-neighbor convo (5 minutes)…do some of that in reverse and we are at over an hour…without factoring in the workout!!
*Note: If you want to get really technical, factor in the DIY time.
Winner = Garage Gym
5 Year Cumulative Costs
Ok, I am not getting into a hug debate on how to break down the costs here. I took accounting and finance in college so I know there are more business-appropriate ways to look at this…but that’s not what we are doing. We are going to look at it very simply. How much did it cost me this year? The next year…ask yourself the same question…so on and so forth.
- “All Out” Garage Gym – You have the expensive year one, then you should really never have to factor in any other costs, especially if it is from Rogue Fitness.
- DIY Garage Gym – Same as the “All Out” Garage Gym, year one holds all the costs, then smooth sailing. Considering it is DIY, and depending on your craftsmanship, your DIY garage gym equipment may only have a 5 year shelf life. Most DIY should last at least 5 years. If you are looking past 5 years, factor in replacement costs.
- Commercial Gym – This just keeps going up and up. See the chart in the infographic, but it is basically the buy or lease argument. A lease has you pouring money into a service, more or less, with no ownership. You keep shelling out money and your ROI is your health.
Winner = DIY Garage Gym
This is a minor factor, but it is worth a mention.
- “All Out” Garage Gym – You will be able to recoup some of your initial costs by reselling your “All Out” garage gym equipments.
- DIY Garage Gym – Even if you are a badass carpenter, you could only sell your DIY equipment for a few bucks on craigslist, at best. You may have to actually pay someone to haul it off.
- Commercial Gym – Absolutely no resale value.
Winner = “All Out” Gym
- “All Out” Garage Gym – Safety. Installation mistakes. Shipping time/costs.
- DIY Garage Gym – Safety. DIY mistakes.
- Commercial Gym – Travel expenses, commuting adds up. The globo gyms can suck you in with their $9 eggs and $7 protein shake smoothies, that you know you will fall prey to at least a few times. People are always a factor in a gym (not garage gym) setting and you need to decide if you like the people or if they make you want to set off the lunk alarm.
In the end, you have to decide what works best for you. But whatever you decide, here are some resources for you:
“All Out” Garage Gym – Rogue Fitness
DIY Garage Gym – End of Three Fitness DIY Corner
I would love to hear your thoughts! What am I missing?
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