You don’t have the time, the desire, nor the budget to exercise at the gym? No problem: home workouts can be just as effective and varied. We’ll show you what you need for your home workout. Plus: The best exercises and training plans.
Home Workout vs. Gym: advantages and disadvantages
Workout at home or at the gym – a question many people ask themselves at the beginning of their fitness journey. What are the arguments for and against it? A quick fact check:
Why a gym workout?
Almost everyone is or has been a member of a gym. The membership fee can be a hurdle, but the costs can be a good incentive to work out. At the gym, there is usually a wide range of equipment and courses to choose from. From cardio training and weight training to yoga and boxing, you name it, anything is possible. Lack of variety is no excuse for not using that membership.
In addition, there is the enormous variety of equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, weight machines, and more – a convincing argument for the gym, especially for strength athletes. You can meet like-minded people who can help give an extra push, and trainers can also give you helpful tips and track your progress.
Why a home workout?
There are also many arguments in favor of home workouts: You have one-time purchase costs for your basic equipment, but you are not bound by any contract. There is no monthly fee, which can be a real financial advantage in the long run.
Tip: Have you already found our foodspring workouts? Whether you want to lose weight, stay in shape, or bulk up muscles – you will find a lot of free workout plans and instructional videos.
If you exercise at home, you’re also much more flexible and don’t have to worry about opening hours. Even the weather or traffic won’t get in your way. Neither do other members who might hog the weights during peak hours.
You can set up your workout equipment just the way you like it – the huge selection in the gym can be overwhelming. Plus: You alone use and maintain it, so you don’t have to worry about cleanliness and spreading germs. Although you may not have the chance to interact with other athletes, the constant comparison at the gym can be intimidating. With a home workout you can concentrate completely on yourself and your personal performance. On the other hand, there are no coaches who can point out bad form or give you helpful tips.
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for both forms of training. In the following table, we have summarized the most important factors for you to decide for yourself. What you ultimately choose depends entirely on your needs and options. Of course you can also mix it up with both training at the gym and at home.
At the gym
High, totally unaffected by external factors
Dependent on opening hours, the weather, traffic, and peak hours
Registration fee, monthly fee, possibly other costs
Limited, depending on your needs and the space available
Generally large selection of machines and weights
Wide range of apps, online exercise programs and YouTube tutorials
Depends on the gym, but usually a wide range of courses and equipment
Completely independent training, no pressure from others
Contact with like-minded people can push and motivate, but can also put too much pressure on you
Risk of injury
Relatively high, as no trainer can correct your form and execution, but there is less complex equipment
The more complex the equipment, the greater the risk of injury, but you are usually under the supervision of qualified trainers
**** Very good
Equipment for your home workout
If you decide to work on your fitness from your house, you’ll need some basics – even if you’re only using your body weight.
Here’s some equipment that will make your home workouts easier and more fun. Plus: What’s recommended for endurance training and muscle building as well as for yoga and pilates.
What you definitely need and probably already have at home:
Towel (instead of resistance band)
Water bottles (instead of dumbbells)
Chair (instead of weight bench)
For our free workouts you need nothing more than a mat – you can start right away!
The equipment that provides more variety includes:
Dumbbells (e.g. a dumbbell set consisting of bar and discs)
Resistance bands, long and short
Equipment for cardio training
For endurance fans, it could be worth your while to get some kind of exercise machine, such as:
Rowing machine (ergometer)
Strength training equipment
For anyone who is fully committed to weight training and is willing to invest a little money:
Medicine ball or slam ball
Sandbag or Bulgarian Bag
Power station (Power rack) with cable pulls and weights
Equipment for Yoga and Pilates
Theraband (resistance band)
Bodyweight training vs. equipment training
Do I need equipment for a home workout at all? Whether you train at home with only your own bodyweight or with additional weights depends on your goals and requirements.
Here’s a comparison guide:
Training with Equipment
Fat burning, muscle definition, increased coordination, and mobility
Muscle building, fat burning, increase in strength endurance
Risk of Injury
Mid to high
Mid to high
None, therefore cost-effective
Necessary, investments necessary
Home Workouts: Frequency, regeneration, and nutrition
It has been scientifically proven that two to three sessions of full body training per week of 45 to 60 minutes each is the optimal workload.
If you want to train more often than four times a week, however, a split plan is better advised – be it at the gym or at home. That means that you should train two to three muscle groups per session in isolation and alternate between the upper and lower body, for example.
Always make sure you give your body enough time to recover after particularly long or intensive workouts. As a rule of thumb, take a 48-hour break between two training sessions of the same muscle group.
Of course, you can also be active during your recovery periods – for example with low intensity workouts, easy running or walking, yoga, mobility training, or fascia training.
Tip: You can support your recovery by taking in essential amino acids. For example, try our Recovery Aminos after every workout. It will recharge your muscles and get you fit for your next workout.
Besides the pillars of training and recovery, a healthy,balanced diet is the foundation for your success. Your body needs sufficient energy every day: carbohydrates and fats help you to perform at your best in all areas of life.
Protein is just as important so that your muscles can recover and grow after the workout. If you don’t have much time and still want to supply your body with energy and protein quickly, a protein shake is the right choice.
Whether your goal is to build muscle or increase your endurance, here are some of the best exercises for your at-home workout. With a few exceptions, you can do them all without any equipment. Of course, you always have the option to intensify them by adding dumbbells or resistance bands.
4 weeks training plan for your at at-home workouts
Ready to get started? We’ve put together an intensive 4-week training plan for you. All you need is a mat, the willingness to work up a sweat, and an extra dose of motivation.
You’ll train five days a week. On four of these days, you’ll give it your all with our workouts, while day 5 is dedicated to active recovery – for example with yoga, mobility training, or a relaxed run. The other two days are well-deserved rest days.
An at-home workout has many advantages: You can save money, you are flexible, and you have the option to train according to your individual needs.
The challenges of at home workouts are the lack of interaction with other athletes, the high degree of personal accountability, and the lack of supervision by a personal trainer.
For training with bodyweight exercises you only need a fitness mat. Some examples of optional add-ons include free weights, resistance bands, pull-up bar, weight bench, jump rope, or exercise bike.
Two to three 45 to 60-minute training sessions per week are ideal for increasing your fitness, burning fat, and building strength.
For optimal training results, you should have sufficient recovery and follow a healthy, balanced diet with sufficient protein and carbohydrates.
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