Over the next five years, my gym membership will cost me about $2500. That amount could buy me an awfully nice strength training setup or cardio machine to put in my parents’ basement. However, the “or” in that sentence was the clincher. Therein lies the great debate: gym membership or work out at home? In this week’s column, gym membership wins.

One of the upsides to a membership at a well-equipped gym is the vast array of strength and cardio options which make for a monotony free and plateau resistant workout. Even homeowners contending for spots on MTV Cribs often don’t have the space for the range of toys you’ll find in a health club setting. If they do have the space, it’s probably filled with a bowling alley or something else ridiculous. As well, if you’re like me and have workout ADD at times, that range of equipment is a necessity to keep you interested.

Speaking of ADD – sometimes one of the ways I fight distractions and focus on getting to the gym is keeping in mind the relaxing post-workout tanning session. Alleged health risks aside, amenities like tanning beds, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and unlimited hot showers are a nice perk. Not only do they give your utility bill a break, they can be good motivators on those I-don’t-wanna-go days. And of course, if peer motivation is key, group exercise classes tend to take place at the gym… unless you have a huge house and an exorbitant number of keen friends.

And on the topic of friends, the gym can be a great place to meet new people – friends or maybe even more! Way better than wasted at the bar on a Saturday night.

Read more from Jenn at inthebeginningwasmuscle.wordpress.com

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