Tam’s Tribe Health & Fitness Blog

Pros & Cons: Find Out Which Style Of Training Is Right For You

If you’re looking to build healthier exercise habits, you might feel just a smidge overwhelmed by the variety of fitness options out there. 

Should you hit the gym? Invest in a personal trainer? Or is it possible to reach your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home? 

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of all things exercise – no matter how it’s delivered. The benefits of exercise – like improved brain health, reduced risk of disease and better ability to do everyday activities (to name just a few) – speak for themselves. 

But in my 16+ years working in the fitness industry, I know that different people thrive in different environments.

But it’s not only that; when you’re looking to establish (or reestablish) exercise habits , you’ve got to account for your fitness level, any injuries you may have and what kind of exercise you enjoy most, too. 

So let’s explore some of your options! Take a look at the pros and cons of these four alternative women’s fitness options. 

 

1. Gym Memberships

Pros

  • Motivation Working out alongside others can give you that extra push and motivation to get your workout done. 
  • Affordability Many gyms memberships (although not all) are set at affordable prices, typically starting from $15-$20 per week.
  • Accessibility Many gyms are open 24/7, so you don’t need to fit into anyone else’s schedule. If you can only make time late in the evening or at the crack of dawn, you’ll be sure to find others pumping iron at your local spot, too. 
  • Community Because gyms are communal spaces, they’re a great place to strike up conversations and meet new people. But, equally, if you don’t fancy chitchat, just pop your ear pods in and get down to business. 
  • Access to equipment Depending on the type of exercise you’re interested in, you generally can’t beat their access to machines and equipment. While you can replicate certain exercises with what you have at home, gym equipment makes incorporating variety into your training very easy. Plus, if you need a hand or some advice, you can just rock up to the front desk and talk to their staff (although generally only within business hours). 

Cons

  • It can get expensive (and can require a lengthy financial commitment) – If you’re after a gym that’s better maintained or offers more specialised equipment, you’re going to be up for more of a cash splash. Depending on how often you actually go to the gym, the cost might make sense for you (and actually break down to be fairly cheap per visit). BUT if you’re not enthusiastic about attending the gym on the regular, it can become a giant ball and chain around your wallet. And depending on the contract you signed up for, you might be locked in for a certain amount of time. If you’re new to the gym scene and you’re not 100% committed, I’d recommend finding a gym with a weekly or monthly membership option. You’ll know pretty soon if it’s your vibe or not.  
  • Your physical safety Many gyms are largely unsupervised, increasing the risk of accidentally performing exercises incorrectly and hurting yourself in the process. And because you’re using equipment and machinery, there is a possibility of something malfunctioning (or the chance of dropping a heavy weight on yourself). 
  • Gyms can be uninspiring Some people LOVE repetition, and others get bored senseless. They need variety. And while you can switch up your exercises, it can be hard if you don’t have expert guidance to keep things fresh. 

 

2. Personal Training 

Pros

  • You can get a tailored workout plan Taking your goals, fitness level and any injuries or limitations you have into consideration, a personal trainer could create a plan that is tailored to you. 
  • You’re held accountable (and staying motivated is easier) – When you’re all on your lonesome, keeping up your motivation can be hard. A personal trainer is your personal cheerleader, checking in with you and keeping you on track to reach your goals. 
  • You can learn about new exercises and improve your form – Say you’ve never done strength training before but you decide to give it a whirl. You’ve seen people do it – surely it’s not too hard! And sure, you might get it right, but there are intricacies in your form that only a pro can point out and help you correct. And that goes with anything you’re learning. A personal trainer can teach you exercises you’ve never even heard of, specifically designed to target what’s relevant for your body.
  • Personal training provides variety and challenge Left to our own devices, we can often fall into a slump. We’re doing the same exercises and they’re getting easier and easier. You’re bored with the status quo, but you don’t know how to shake things up. Enter: personal trainer. 

Cons

  • It’s not the cheapest option (but you do get what you pay for) – I’m not going to lie, and I’m sure you already know, but personal training isn’t the cheapest way to train. But that’s because you’re paying for a fitness expert’s undivided time, attention and knowledge. But as I’ve spelled out in the “pros” list, personal training can be an excellent option for those who have an injury, want to learn more and feel confident at the gym, or have a specific fitness goal they’d like to reach.
  • It’s an investment of your time Usually, when you engage a personal trainer, you have a fitness goal in mind. Working together, you can create a plan – but executing that plan is going to take a time investment each week from you. Are you up for it? 

 

3. In-person fitness classes

Pros

  • You get motivated by being in a group environment – There’s something about suffering in a group that just gets you through a workout – am I right? But seriously, there’s something energising and invigorating about exercising in a group environment. 
  • You can make new friends and socialise Making friends as a grownup is HARD, but fitness classes provide the perfect opportunity to meet some like minded fitness folk. 
  • You get some variety in your workouts Because you’re at the mercy of your instructor, you never quite know what they’re going to throw at you. If you need variety in your workouts, classes are a great way to mix up your fitness routine. 
  • You get access to expert guidance without PT prices This of course depends on the classes you’re taking (pilates can get up there), but generally speaking, classes are cheaper than hiring a PT AND you still get that expert guidance from your instructor (although their attention is still divided between more people).  

Cons

  • You have to deal with inflexible class times – Annoyingly, you don’t have control over class times, so they will dictate your fitness schedule (as opposed to a gym membership that’s way more flexible). However, having set class times can be a good way to create some routine and structure in your week. 
  • Classes can be expensive Again, depending on what type of fitness class you’re doing, they can get pricey. Especially if they’re your only fitness activity and you go multiple times a week. If you love a group environment and need that exercise variety, I would recommend seeing what classes a gym near you has on offer. Usually, group classes are included in membership costs (making them a pretty cost-effective option). 

 

4. Online workout programs 

Pros

  • They’re accessible anywhere (and they’re super convenient) The beauty of the internet (in my opinion) is how easy it is to get a quality workout in without having to leave the house. Talk about alternative women’s fitness that’s easy to access and convenient! If you’re time-poor (aka parents) and want variety (but can’t make restrictive class timetables work for you), I would highly recommend signing up to an online program. 
  • You have a plan I know one of the most daunting and overwhelming parts of maintaining a fitness routine (and motivation) is having a plan. With an online workout program, it’s all done for you. Just hit play on your video and get started. 
  • It’s more private than the gym For a lot of people, working out in private is a huge consideration. And hey, I get it! If you’re new to it, it can take a while to find your footing and confidence. There’s always that fear of judgement when other people are nearby. Plus, this is your ‘you’ time. It doesn’t have to be a social activity! 

Cons

  • You don’t get that group motivation Going it alone in your living room can kinda be a bummer when it comes to motivation. If you struggle with your motivation, I’d recommend finding an online program that comes with a real person attached to keep you motivated and accountable (not an impersonal app).

    P.S. Our Power Women online workout program is fully customised and offers fortnightly check-ins with your coach to keep you accountable and keen. 

 

  • You don’t receive in-person guidance It’s unavoidable – the whole being online thing does come with this caveat. BUT, again an online workout program should give you clear guidance and instructions with tutorials. So, while you don’t have someone to correct you in realtime, a good instructor will still bring attention to posture and form during video demonstrations. 

 

Want to explore our fitness options so you can see what we’re all about? View our services here.

Much Love

Tam

Tam’s Tribe

Tam's Tribe Custom Online Programming

Dedicated to helping women love their bodies, make them fall in love with fitness and strength and build their self confidence to heights they never imagined.

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