CHAMPAIGN, IL—Serious weight trainers should do the bulk of their weight training work at home, not at a gym where they are usually not welcome. Powerlifting champion Frédéric Delavier, author of the forthcoming The Strength Training Anatomy Workout (Human Kinetics, March 2011), says the 21st century has seen a decline in the number of good gyms for serious weight training, because many locations now invest in cardio and group classes instead.
Delavier, whose first book, Strength Training Anatomy, has sold more than a million copies worldwide, also believes that going to the gym can be tedious and impractical. “You have to drive to the gym and change into your workout clothes,” he says. “Then, after working out, you have to do it all again in the opposite order. All of this can take more time than the actual workout.” The appeal of gyms is further hampered by rising membership costs and the limited amount of time you can exercise as the result of crowds during busy hours. Because of these factors, Delavier and coauthor Michael Gundill think there are six major reasons why working out at home is the right choice for anyone looking to build mass:
1. Home offers a place that fits your program.
Sometimes gym patrons think it’s strange to see people who are seriously working out. Says Delavier, “Gyms certainly have a more social quality than your home can offer, but being social does not make your workout effective. Often, the opposite is true.”
2. Home offers a place for getting the results you desire.
Strength training must be practiced seriously and not taken lightly. Unfortunately, most gyms do not want people who think that way as members. “Gyms emphasize the fun aspects of exercising and do not focus on effectiveness,” Delavier explains. “This is why gyms often choose equipment that looks nice over equipment that works well.”
3. Home offers a chance to use effective equipment.
In many gyms, the equipment choices were made based on cost rather than effectiveness. At home, people have the option of using high-quality equipment that works well with human anatomy and is not dangerous for muscles and joints.
4. Home offers an environment where you can better concentrate.
At home, no one will disturb you while you are exercising. You’ll be able to remain focused and have a faster, more productive workout.
5. Home offers the best way to achieve the workout you planned.
In a gym, your time spent resting is largely determined by other gym members, as is your choice of exercises and equipment. “Circuit training, which is indispensable for an athlete’s bodybuilding, is next to impossible in a gym,” says Delavier. “Working out at home grants you this freedom.”
6. Home offers the chance to exercise without ego.
In front of other people, weightlifters often perform their repetitions haphazardly with the goal of lifting as much as possible. This leads to slower progress and a greater risk of injury. At home, with no one to impress, you can focus on effective work and not worry about what others think.
The authors of The Strength Training Anatomy Workout have more than 50 years of experience in fitness training between them, and they practice what they preach about working out at home. Gundill has chosen to work out entirely at home, while Delavier does about three quarters of his workouts at home.
For more information, see The Strength Training Anatomy Workout.