For some, gyms are all about getting in shape or losing weight. For others, they’re a place where you build muscle and get stronger. Whatever your reason for going to the gym, it’s a great idea.

Whether you’re doing, weights, cardio, or training for a particular sport, the gym is a great place to do it. That said, there are some downsides to going to the gym.

In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of a gym membership. We’ll also look at other ways to train.

Reasons to Go to the Gym

There are plenty of reasons to go to the gym and work out. Having a dedicated space where you can enjoy working out is one of the main reasons.

The Benefits of Working Out in the Gym

After you’ve picked the right gym, you’ll find you have plenty of options when it comes to weight training or improving your fitness. It’s much easier to do all this in a gym.

What are the benefits of a gym membership?
A gym membership will not only give you access to a gym, but it'll give you a reason to go. (Source: ZOE-Animation-Studio)

There are a few reasons why gyms are the best place to work out. Most people see this as somewhere they can exercise to lose weight or train to build muscle.

Whether you do workouts on your own, attend classes, or work with a personal trainer, the gym is a dedicated space designed with these goals in mind.

Find out more about gyms in the UK.

Workout Machines Galore

In a gym, you’ll have access to plenty of different workout machines. Abs, glutes, quads, pecs, whatever. You’ll find something for whatever muscle group you want to work on.

There are also machines like:

  • Treadmills
  • Bikes
  • Workout benches
  • Weight machines
  • Free weights
  • And spaces dedicated to classes, boxing, squash, etc.

Generally, the machines are grouped by function or muscle group. Some gyms even have saunas, steam rooms, etc.

As well as the gym equipment itself, you’ll also have access to changing rooms and showers. A lot of gyms can rent towels and will also have food and drink for you to buy.

Coaching in Gyms

You can also get personal trainers and coaches to work with in gyms. They can help you by offering advice, putting together personalised fitness plans, and supervise you as you train.

Get an online personal trainer on Superprof.

What classes can you do at the gym?
Spinning is a very popular class at the gym. Of course, you can use the bikes on your own but it's easier with someone there motivating you. (Source: marybettiniblank)

Whether you want to work on a certain part of your body or improve your fitness in general, you coach will be able to help you by pointing you in the direction of the right machines and the right exercises. Coaching is especially useful if you’re doing cross-training or CrossFit.

Personalised training is rarely free but can be incredibly cost-effective. Tailored training programmes will help you get the most out of the time you spend working out.

You can also take part in classes. There are exercise classes like Zumba, pilates, boxing, spinning, etc. In some cases, you may have to pay extra to attend them.

Find out more about gym equipment.

Low-Cost Gyms

You might be familiar with a few different gyms. There are now a lot of popular low-cost gyms across the country changing the way people see gym subscriptions.

How much does it cost to join a gym?
There are both cheap and expensive gym memberships available. (Source: PublicDomainPictures)

You can get monthly memberships for little more than £10 and there often trial periods you can take advantage of. You’ll be able to access the gym and try out the machines.

What’s more, with so many of them across the country, there may be one closer than you think. There's never been a better time to get a gym membership.

Find out more about the cost of a gym membership.

Work on Your Mental Well-being

Nowadays, gyms are about more than just your physical well-being, they’re also a place where you can unwind from the stress of everyday life. Gyms are a place for your physical and mental well-being.

Usually, gyms have a friendly atmosphere and people are happy to help one another and they're also making a concerted effort to make them safer and friendlier places for women.

Thus, gyms are good places to relax, make new friends, and look after your mental well-being. In addition to your gym gear, don’t forget to bring a smile with you!

Staying Motivated

Even if you come last, you’re still ahead of those who didn’t run. Going to a gym is a good way to stay motivated and being surrounded by others doing the same can help.

A lot of gyms also have scales that can show your progress and tailored training programmes can help you get the most out of the time you spend working out.

Consider changing things up every so often to keep your workouts fresh and entertaining.

Discover the best gyms in the UK.

What Are the Disadvantages of the Gym?

Nothing’s perfect and gyms are no exception. There are plenty of reasons you might not want to get a gym membership and that doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on your health and fitness.

The Cost

The biggest problem when it comes to joining the gym is the cost. Depending on your budget and where you live, gym memberships may be too expensive for you.

If you’re lucky, you might live near a low-cost gym and be able to afford a monthly membership between £10 and £20. Make sure you check that the gym is suitable before signing up, though.


Not everyone is comfortable in their skin. This is one of the biggest problems some of us face when it comes to the gym. We mightn’t necessarily be happy with our physique and don’t want to exercise in front of people who are in much better shape than us.

Even though most gyms are friendly and welcoming places, you can still understand why people mightn’t want to go. Exercising in front of others isn’t always enjoyable, especially if you have low self-esteem.


Gyms are great places to exercise but you have to get there first. Not all of us can find the time to get to our nearest gym or go when it’s quiet. It’s not great getting to the gym and having to spend our time waiting to use certain machines.

You also need to consider how far away your gym is. You may need to drive or take public transport to get there, costing you precious time. Gyms aren’t always open 24/7, either.

Lack of Direction

When you sign up to a gym, you don’t have to get a personal trainer. There are staff members to help you correctly use the machines but they aren’t your trainer and generally, unless you have a gym buddy, you’re on your own.

This can make going to the gym quite complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing or what you should be doing.

Can You Exercise at Home?

If you’re not sold on the idea of a gym membership, you might be thinking of working out at home. You can do this but you won’t always be able to get the same workouts done as you would at a gym.

The main advantage of working out at home is the privacy you can enjoy.

Can you work out at home?
When we say work out at home, that doesn't mean you have to stay in the house! (Source: Free-Photos)

Of course, you’ll still need to get some equipment. Even if you don’t build a dedicated gym in your house, you’ll still have to pay for things like weights, a workout bench, etc.

There are also online resources available and tutorials to guide you through what you need to be doing. There are a lot of free resources but you'll find that you have to pay for the very best. The toughest thing about working out at home is staying motivated, especially if results aren't quick as you’d like.

A good way to stay motivated at home is with a personal trainer. They can help you train at home and ensure you’re not doing anything that can cause injury. You can get private coaching from the tutors on Superprof.

There are plenty of personal trainers and coaches all over the country so you should be able to find the perfect trainer or coach for you.

There are three ways to get personal training from one of the coaches on Superprof: face-to-face, in groups, or online. There are pros and cons to each option so you'll want to think carefully about your fitness goals, your schedule, and your budget.

You can also read reviews left by the coaches' other clients before you get in touch with them so you'll have a decent idea of how good they are before you even speak to them.

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.