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More and more people are becoming gym members, but we’re still getting fatter, so what gives? Maybe gyms aren’t the answer to our fitness prayers.

Think you need a gym to get in shape? Think again. While it’s certainly possible to lose those pesky pounds whiling away hour after hour on the treadmill, you can get just as good, if not better results away from the gym.

It’s a bit of a cliché to say that gyms don’t work. It’s like those serial dieters you know who always go on about how “diets don’t work” or that they physically can’t lose weight. The right gym program can get you in tremendous shape, but you can still craft an exceptional physique without having to swipe your membership card, queue for the treadmill or make idle chit chat in the locker rooms every time you want to work out.

Fact of the matter is, there are plenty of reasons why you don’t need the gym to get in shape:

1. Gyms Cost Money

Financial reasons are one of the main barriers to exercise and one of the most common excuses you’ll hear from overweight people about why they’re fat and unfit.

While it does come down to priorities and managing your finances better, you can take the money you’ll save by not having a gym membership and put it into building an awesome home gym, or investing in a training or nutrition course to give you much better results than your pilates class or boxercise session ever could.

2. Wasted Time

Add up how long it takes you to drive to the gym, get changed, workout, get showered and change back again, then drive home. Maybe two hours? And that’s without stopping to chat to the hot trainer, the time you spent gazing in a trance-like state at the gorgeous guy or girl on the stepper in front of you, or the 10 minutes it took you to get over your fit of laughter when you saw that man fall sideways off the rower.

Gyms have constant distractions that not only waste time, but take your focus off your workout. The commuting time can be a pain too and makes it easier for you to skip workouts after a long day.

3. It’s Intimidating

How many times do you feel like you’ve been judged for the weight you’re lifting, your exercise selection or your choice of clothing?

If your gym is anything like the other thousands across the country, this probably happens once every 7.3184 seconds.

Skip the gym and train at home though, and there’s no one to judge you. Apart from your dog maybe, who gazes slightly inquisitively as you try to remember how to jump rope for the first time since high school.

4. The Gym is Old News

It’s so easy to slip into the same routine day after day, week after week, year after year. While people come and go, you see the same faces all the time in the gym. You get to know peoples’ mannerisms and could probably write down their workouts, just from observing them.

This might seem great, and resemble some sort of fitness version on “Cheers” but in reality, it’s killing your progress.

There’s no one there to push you out of your comfort zone and without realizing it, time slips by. Before you know it, you’re three years down the line, two thousand dollars out of pocket, twenty pounds heavier and no fitter than you were on day one.

5. Safety

You might think the gym is a safe haven, with CCTV cameras and experienced trainers to watch over you, but be warned. By the law of averages, you’re at a higher risk of injury when there are more people around.

Training on your own, you’ve only got yourself to watch out for and if you drop a dumbbell on your foot, that’s your own fault. You need eyes in the back of your head at the gym though, as you’re constantly vigilant towards dodgy personal trainers, senior citizens looking decidedly unsteady with their dumbbells, or the guy you know is just about to crash off the treadmill next to you.

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