I worked in gyms for many, many years, I opened a gym, I met many friends and colleagues in gyms, I gained the qualifications that enable me to make workout videos in a gym.

I even met my wife in a gym.

Yet I am categorically stating that working out AT HOME, using not much more than your own body, is far superior to working out in the gym for all but a slither of the exercising population.

Why? Read on reader.

Reason 1 – YOU have to do everything at home (yes, that’s a good thing) 

The gym is filled with equipment covered in outlandish promises.

Want to target the muscles on the inside your thighs? Here’s just the machine to help you do it.

Fancy targeting the gluteus maximus? All aboard the buttmatics 3000.

Want to get your heart pumping? Then ably mount this 23rd-century bike (yes, we flew it back from the future – THAT’S how good it is) adorned with miraculous gadgets (that you’ll never understand, let alone use) and watch your favourite soap opera while you do it. What the heck, let’s blow artificial wind in your face at just the right temperature while we’re at it.

What do they all have in common? They are taking the burden of work away from you. (P.S this is NOT a good thing.)

Muscles are moved through the range of motion, expertly directed by the axles and pulleys of these finely tuned machines. Nice, yes, but you’ve inadvertently given around 50% of YOUR benefits to an inanimate object. The only machine you want to be finely tuned is yours.

When you exercise at home with minimal equipment, you have to do ALL the work.

Let me save you the effort. No matter how nicely you ask, a burpee just WILL not do itself!

Not a muscle moved or heartbeat pumped without YOU instigating it. You are the director of a movement, the high chief of action and the master of motion.

Therefore you get ALL the benefits.

Reason 2 – You actually LEARN about movement 

Leading on nicely from point 1.

When you don’t have a machine to guide you through a movement, even an exercise bench to support you, you HAVE to learn the mechanisms of movement by tuning in to your body.

A plank performed incorrectly may cause a twinge in the back. You’ll quickly learn about the importance of glute, pelvic floor and TA engagement. A bad lunge could damage the knee. It will need expert placement of the foot and knee alignment – you’ll need to know this.

Want to target the glutes? Better learn the mechanisms of the squat.

One of the most important relationships a person will ever have is with their own body. Why create an unnecessary ‘menage a trois’ by inviting fancy equipment to the party?

Working out from home is a private movement affair with just you and your body.

Monogamous relationships flourish.

Reason 3 – Free as a bird 

You may not relate to this slightly odd reason, but this is my blog so I guess you’ll have to learn to live with it…

The much-loved T-shirt I’ve had since I was fifteen years old, covered in holes and so worn you can barely read the print (thankfully), is not considered suitable gym attire by Steve and Sarah Mcjudgeitall with their brand new Under Armour clothing and fancy trainers.

Not that it bothers me, but I do feel sad for the t-shirt. I like that t-shirt and it pangs me that fashion decrees it no longer up to scratch (actually, it probably wasn’t fashionable when I bought it)…but that isn’t what reason 3 is.

Me and my t-shirt can deal with the heat.

Instead, imagine that I wasn’t wearing that t-shirt at all. Or my shorts.

Picture, if you will, me turning up to the gym in only my underpants and trainers…(actually, don’t imagine that – especially if you’re eating breakfast).

Steve and Sarah would have a sensory overload!

Yes, on a warm day, I like to work out in JUST my underpants. There I said it! I LIKE IT! ( a little too much…)

No sweaty shirt sticking to my body. No shorts getting caught on my leg hairs. Just an open window with a cool breeze on my skin…

When I work out from home, I make the rules and in MY gym exercising in your underpants or tatty t-shirts or even your birthday suit is just fine!

Reason 3: Your house. Your rules. All the rules.

Reason 4 – The sands of time 

“So much time, so little to do.”

Said Willy Wonka (no reference to reason 3) sarcastically, as he showed golden ticket winners around his chocolate factory.

Time is precious.

Too precious to; pack my workout gear, get in the car, drive to the gym, find a parking space, wait for the receptionist to let me in because my card is broken, go to the changing room, find out I haven’t got any change for the locker, go back to reception, wait for the receptionist to finish helping the member who’s card is broken, get some change, get changed, find a way to attach my locker key to my body without looking like a four-year-old with a name tag on a school outing. WORKOUT. Go back to the changing room. Wait for a shower. Have a shower. Find out I forgot to pack spare shorts. Put rest of clothes on. Put sweaty shorts back on. Go back through reception. Drive home with cooling sweat dripping on the car seat. Have another shower to remove congealed sweat from legs. Done.

Total time taken: 27 hours. Workout time: 45 minutes.

Working out from home.

Workout. Shower. Done.

Total time taken: 50 minutes (I have very little hair and don’t wear makeup). Workout time: 45 minutes.


Reason 5: Money can’t buy you health 

Gyms don’t actually want you to turn up. No, really. It’s true. I know because I used to run one!

If all paying gym members turned up, every day, there is no way the gym would be sustainable. NO equipment would be available and the gym would have to close as the membership caps would be too low.

They don’t want you to turn up (at least the majority of you), but they do want rather large amounts of money from you every month.

This is not a dig by the way, gyms are well justified in asking for this money.  It is the only way to sustain the business.

They have the equipment to maintain, high rents to pay, employees wages to cover, swimming pools to keep clean. They need YOU to pay for it.

Working out from home, the overheads are low.

You can workout for free by following our youtube channel (if you have exceptionally good taste), or somebody else’s if you don’t (that’s a joke by the way….well, sort of) or for a small amount of money you can get structure and the support of coaches and team members by joining us at Team Body Project.

Oh, and we DO want everybody to turn up every day and we do everything we can to try and help make just that happen.

  1. Lynn Jongeneel 6 years ago

    Even more reasons- my 24 year old daughters arm was damaged during birth- most equipment in the gym only hurts her, a yoga class is impossible because there are so many poses using both arms- think downward dog! Very confronting and frustrating for her ( and hard for her mum to see her suffer)
    She has just gone through a period of depression and it is frustrating when everyone says ‘ go to the gym’ or ‘ do yoga’ bevause they don’t work for her.
    And then we discovered TBP workouts- we do them together, she can adapt and dance about without feeling judged-fantastic!

  2. Cecilia Lau 7 years ago

    Hi all, I am a new member and have been contemplating for years to quit my gym membership and work out from home. I tried on and off to do exercises that I could find on YouTube but none of them could convince me to cancel my 13-year gym membership. Of course not until I came across TeamBodyProject videos and it took me a mere week to finally break up with my gym and sign up for this. RESULT: unhappy gym + a more than grateful home-gymer! Thank you Daniel and Alex.

  3. Jess Espinosa 8 years ago

    I am a morning person. I set my alarm at 5:30, do my exercise, do a few other things, then I go back to bed for an hour of sleep if I want to (and very often, I do). Would I be able to do that in a gym? One other advantage of doing my workout through your YouTube videos is I can switch from one level to another depending on how I feel when I wake up. And finally, at home, I do not get intimidated by the sight of heavily built people around me that will cause me to set impossible goals for myself.

  4. Kim Hefley 8 years ago

    Love your sense of humor! I’ve had memberships at gyms before and go once or twice, because getting ready and driving there is too much! Your workouts I can do at 5:30 am from my living room with no problem and take my sweaty self right to the shower lol. I hadn’t lost any weight in years even with working out. Your program is the first one that has help me to lose weight. I’ve lost like 8 pounds and that’s huge for my 4ft 11 inch frame. I love your workouts (even the burpees…well no not really lol). And being from the US the accent doesn’t hurt either lol.. “take on some worter” . Thanks for the motivation Daniel!

  5. Jessica Rinn 8 years ago

    I have sooooo little time, and number 4 is my MAIN reason for home workouts. I am also a super fast shower taker, which is a bonus. And working out from home I never had to worry about WHERE to stash my large brood while I was exercising! I do workout in minimalist clothing due to the heat we have here, so that’s also a good point. I might add that, considering how much water I drink during the workouts, it is sure NICE to be able to use the restroom at any time I wish without having to worry about what the other people at the gym might think 😉

  6. kavita patel 8 years ago

    Love the blog…makes complete sense, have worked out at home for many years for all the reasons share by Daniel and more…dirty equipment ( at least sweaty, who cleans in between use); love the time just me, my mind and body, personal trainers (y’all)

  7. Ronald Pusateri 8 years ago

    Liked your amusing comments on working out home. I have been working out at home for many years. To go to a gym I would have to drive 25 miles round trip. I only enter a gym if I’m traveling. Watching your videos are much more rewarding and supportive.

    I wanted to join the T-shirt contest but it appears you have to be member of FB.

  8. Shekira 8 years ago

    This was hilarious and true and relatable. I just started a gym membership and I still prefer working out at home for many of the same reasons you listed here. I only go to the gym to lift heavier weights on the machines since i don’t really have weights at home, but home workouts are still #1!!

  9. Lisa McQueen 8 years ago

    I agree with you completely Daniel. Especially if you’re working out at home with video from someone that’s so invested and comes across as well as you and Alex do.

  10. Theresa Bennett 8 years ago

    I am really enjoying the blog posts. I had to call out my husband the other night when he showed up in the home gym with his star wars boxers on and not much else.

  11. R. A. C 8 years ago

    Now I’m gonna need to try number 3

  12. Mark Sheehan 8 years ago

    This came at the right time for me. I’m currently on vacation (although you would say holiday 🙂 and with my hotel stay we’re able to use the local YMCA which used to be my gym before I moved to Florida. So I’ve done two workouts there now and I felt like maybe it was time to join a gym again and fuse Body Project and Gym workouts together, but then reading this led me to believe that I’m doing the right thing for ME by not letting the machines do some of the work for me. I think I’ll keep my Body Project Team with me instead of paying for a gym membership, thanks for saving me,this came JUST in time.

  13. helen mccarroll 8 years ago

    Oh Daniel, again you are too funny! I agree with you on all of your points but point 3 really is me in a nut-shell. I see so many ppl posting post-workout selfies but OMG I could NEVER as I like the old undies myself! I know the BodyProject is NOT that kind of community/forum! Why wear extra clothes that r going to stick to you with sweat if you don’t have to? Less laundry too! I have gym set-up in my basement and no kids to catch me looking, uh, inappropriate. Keep the thoughtful blogs coming;>)

  14. Daniela Follador 8 years ago

    Couldn’t agree more. I don’t waste time or money going to the gym, waiting people to finish their workouts and also they don’t have to bother waiting for me. Plus your shower is YOUR SHOWER, right? No stranger’s microbes on your feet. =B
    Other perks:
    No one will steal or take your clothes home by mistake ever again ( true story ).
    No more horrible music.
    No more air conditioner drying your poor nose and throat.
    Just a good and honest workout. Plus the nice advice by Daniel and Alex just for you.

  15. Eldon Bruno 8 years ago

    Loved your blog. I can relate to everything you wrote.
    When I use to go to the gym I hated waiting for equipment I got in, did my business and leave. Sometimes I would start training and the same person would still be on the same exercise or bench when I left as they were talking most of the time

  16. Amanda Cook 8 years ago

    Well, if I didn’t have 3 teen boys living at home, I might also do it in my skivvies, but not possible for me! 🙂
    What a a great post, Daniel, and working out at home for over 15 yrs. has been my choice place for so many of the reasons you outlined. You keep driving home the philosophies that I follow in my fit life and its just so refreshing to have found like-minded fitness leaders.

  17. Eric Frith 8 years ago

    I joined a gym in 2015. My routine: 30 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes upper body lifting, 30 minutes on the bike. Results: lost about 10 pounds in 6 months. Discovered Body Project at the end of 2015. Results: lost 35 pounds and 4 inches off my waistline in 6 months. The results tell a pretty clear story. BTW – I do a Body Project workout everyday in my basement – often in just my tighty whities!!!

    • Author
      Daniel Bartlett 8 years ago

      Well done on the amazing results Eric. Also pleased to know i’m not the only one 🙂

  18. Violet Mecum 8 years ago

    I think everyone is motivated by different things, and at one point, going to the gym on my way home from work for a boring stint on the treadmill was all I was willing to do. But I am definitely on team home workout, which is why I’m here! There are moves I will try with you that I would be too self conscious to attempt in front of other people. My body is way more capable than my mind allows it to be with others present. I also live in a rural area, so driving to the gym is so far out of the way. So thank you for such a comprehensive and challenging set of work outs at an amazing price for those of us who would rather stay home. 🙂

    • Author
      Daniel Bartlett 8 years ago

      We’re delighted to have you with us Violet 🙂

  19. Allyson Carter 8 years ago

    Hysterical! I love it. Had to be careful not to spill my coffee while chuckling… Yes working out at home is what mostly works for me. Working out is hard enough for me, let alone adding in all the other reasons. I have to say I love working out barefoot on my carpet!

  20. Jane Brooks 8 years ago

    That was very entertaining pre-workout reading! I agree with the old t-shirt thing. I’ve rolled out of bed and dragged myself to gym at 5:30 am in my oldest t-shirt and sweatpants only to see my pastor at the gym! ..a little embarrassing! I am also uncoordinated and at home I am not embarrassed if it takes me awhile to learn the moves that require balance as well as my left leg combined with my right arm. Thanks for sharing. It encourages me to hear about the benefits of working out at home.

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