At home, at the gym – is there a difference?

I’ve been mulling something over since this weekend where “Kimmie” our Kick fitness director mentioned something that really got me thinking. She mentioned to my sister during practice on Sunday that her arms were looking great (and by default, mine too, ha!). Jolene mentioned our obsession with STS and the great results we’d both seen in the past year of doing the program before taking time off to switch it up with Power at the gym.

Her reply? Well, for one, she’s skeptical of workouts like STS (she mentioned P90X first, to which we both exclaimed that that workout is nothing in comparison to STS). Her view is that those workouts just aren’t as effective.

She pointed out that we’d done STS for an entire year and saw results, but what kind of results?Β  She pointed out that since we started Kick training in December until now, three months later, the results we’ve seen have been pretty noticeable. Her point is that Group Power, Group Kick, etc. have been the real “it” workout that’s done us the most good.

So two things are rolling around in my mind now.

1 – Can I really say that Power and Kick have done MORE for me than a year of STS training?

2 – Or, was the past three months’ worth of results really just a result of seriously kicking up our training regime and less a result of WHAT we’ve been doing, but how MUCH we’ve been doing it?

I want to say that it’s a combination of things that have proven the most effective for me, and for my sister. And I think I’m right here (but I’d love your collective two cents). In the past year, let alone the past three months, I’ve really taken my workouts up a few notches and that’s what’s made the biggest impact. I’ve also been better about eating balanced and “cleaner” for about 75% of the time (can’t be 100% perfect, right, how boring would that be??) which has also helped.

My other question, and the basis for this very blog post is this:

Working out at home?

Working out at a gym?

What’s better? Is there a difference?

I actually think that it doesn’t matter so much the environment in which you’re working out but the intensity of your workouts (i.e. how hard can you and will you push yourself). Looking back in retrospect on the past year of STS training, I think that I could’ve probably pushed myself harder, paid closer attention to how I felt with each rep, within each mesocycle, than I probably did at times. And that is NOT a ding against STS because I firmly believe in the program (and duh, in Cathe!) and will continue to weave it into my workouts. But, I think that working out in a group setting has forced me to look at my workouts differently, especially now that I’m an “instructor” I feel like other gym members look at me differently, with a higher bar, than before. So I push myself harder to meet and exceed that bar.

Long story short, I don’t think you have to do one or the other to be successful at reaching your fitness goals. I think it comes down to personal preference (where are YOU most comfortable working out?), what motivates you to push yourself (group classes where you’re sort of “competing” with others in the room? or feeling like your own personal drill sargent in the privacy of your own home?), and how you want to balance working out with your personal ife, professional life, etc. (is it easier for you to squeeze in a workout during a busy day by going to the gym at lunch? Are you a morning person but hate hitting the gym that early?).

What do you think? Is there a difference in workout environment that’s most responsible for the results you achieve? Or are other variables involved, like I mentioned? Do tell. πŸ™‚

14 thoughts on “At home, at the gym – is there a difference?

  1. I definitely think you can still get in a great workout at home as long as you’re the type of person to stay self motivated and enjoy working out alone. I love my at-home workouts and while I may not be in the best shape, I do think if I wanted it enough, I could without a doubt be in awesome shape if I stepped it up a bit more.

  2. Interesting topic. I find I do best in group classes because I feel like I’m being pushed by the instructor and by my friends in the class. Being at the gym is more motivating for me for my cardio workouts, but I find that I enjoy my DVDs more than doing strength training at the gym (probably because of the instructor aspect again). It’s finding what motivates you, I guess!

  3. I think a workout is a workout, no matter where it takes place. I need to get out the house in order to work out for more than 10 min. I guess have a touch of attention deficit disorder. πŸ™‚

    If you have the discipline to work out at home, by all means save a gym membership and do it at home.

    • Hey, thank you for stopping by! And you know what? You make a good point – as long as you’re working out, that’s huge in and of itself. Especially when you consider how much of our country is OUT of shape and not in the workout habit at all.

  4. Um, I think I should be co-author on your blog since half your topics are from me! Just kidding, you worded it perfectly, I just half-sorta-kinda gave you the idea πŸ˜‰

    • Puh-leeze, you KNOW we share a brain, how do you know I hadn’t already thought of this post? And in fact, HAD been mulling it over when I brought it up over dinner last night. Thbbbb. But yes, you may as well have been a co-author of this blog, I’ll give you that πŸ˜‰

  5. I had to make myself read the whole post before jumping to put in my 2 cents. I am a little aggravated by your GFM’s comment about Cathe’s workout….she OBVIOUSLY does not know the intensity of her workouts!!! πŸ™‚ And the majority of your strength gains were from STS in my opinion and not Power and Kick. Power can be intense but only if you know how to work it right. Do you ever finish a track in Power and wish you had added more weight in the beginning? I always try to tell my peeps how much weight they should use so they don’t feel jipped at the end…so unless you know the song and movements you can leave feeling cheated…make sense? I only saw significant gains with Pump after I started teaching…just because I knew how much weight to use….Same with Kick or any other program.

    And i totally agree that as instructors we are being watched to see how much weight we use or how high our kicks, etc. Even if I am tired I can’t slack off when others are watching!!!

    So i dont’ think it matters if you are working out in the gym or at home. As long as you are getting healthy. I am currently looking for something to supplement my gym workouts just because I am getting tired of the same ole, same ole….and i want a challenge. I started getting out my Cathe DVDs and really want to do a triathlon(the small, tiny ones) this year.

    • Oh, I agree with you Mary Kate, I know my fitness director isn’t truly aware of what STS is all about (she really only knew of P90x which just doesn’t compare to Cathe) and was making a pretty big generalization. Plus, she totally wanted to claim credit for the results which isn’t necessarily fair either. I still believe it’s a combination of both the Cathe STS workouts I’ve done this past year that have given me some great strength gains and that the shocking to my body I’ve been doing with both Power and Kick as the “something new” to shock the system that’s given me the next level of results. So it’s been a combination of both, for sure.

      I do think next time I do an STS rotation I will pay much closer attention to how I feel with each rep. It’s something I’ve been watching with Power, making sure I up the weights when things don’t feel as painful anymore. I did that yesterday with the leg track and boy are my legs screaming at me today (thank you Butts & Guts!).

      And PS. a triathalon, wow! Go you!!

  6. I always feel I get a better workout at the gym… At home, I put in a DVD or try to do yoga and my 2 year old is right on my heels. If I had free-weights at home it may be different. But, for now I like my gym “me time” . Running is a whole different situation. I love to run outside.

    • Hi Jenna! Thanks for stopping by, glad to have you πŸ™‚
      I definitely agree about running – I LOVE to run outside, it’s totally different than the treadmill which is my nemesis. I only stomach it to get through the long winter months around here but as soon as I can get outside, I’m all about it!

  7. Until recently, I did all weight training at home and have always seen gains as long as I remembered to push myself. I will admit that it’s easy to just go with the flow and get into a habit or rut without a group or partner to push you along so in those instances, yes, gym is likely more ideal. However, I’m pretty good about pushing myself (as you’re well away LOL) so it works just fine for me to do my workouts at home.

    At the same time, I am lucky enough to have the option of a gym if I want, especially since I don’t have a complete or ideal home gym.

    If you seriously cleaned up your eating recently, then I guarantee that’s one of the biggest reasons you’re seeing results. During Meso 1, I still ate like crud, once I started cleaning it up, by the end of Meso 2, I was like a new person. It was insane the difference it made without changing much else – just the eats.

  8. I’m not motivated at all to work out at home. Like I’ve turned on a DVD, did a few tracks and then turned it off. But it works for some people! I wish it was me so I could save money!

    I haven’t tried the Cathe DVDs, but I think your GFM wanted to promote the programs and said something without thinking. I support the programs completely, but one single thing can’t do it all. You could take those classes all day long and not have results if you don’t push yourself.

    • Totally agree – its obviously best to mix it up vs. sticking to the same ‘ol same ‘ol all the time and I think that’s what’s been MOST effective for me lately, not necessarily what types of workouts I’m doing but that it’s very different than what I was doing say, 6 months ago.

      You should definitely try a Cathe DVD, I swear you’ll be a convert! I can give you suggestions if you’re interested πŸ˜‰

  9. This is makin’ me think!

    You know, a few years ago I definitely would have said a gym is better. Now I know that is NOT the case!

    I think it’s 100% motivation. There are people I see at the gym who are so dedicated, day in and day out. Yet if they are overweight, I don’t see any changes over time (not to be mean, but you know!). Why is this? I don’t know…maybe they aren’t pushing themselves enough? On the other hand, I know people who don’t belong to a gym and are VERY fit and healthy. So really I think it comes down to how motivated you are – no matter where your workout takes place!

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