One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get into better shape; it comes as no surprise then that gym subscriptions spike in January, then lapse throughout the year.
As a nation, we are becoming more fitness obsessed; according to statistics released in May of 2016 gym memberships nationwide are in excess of 9 million for the first time in history, meaning that 1 in every 7 people in the U.K has a gym membership.
On a student budget, sustaining a monthly gym subscription can be quite expensive. One way around this is to buy a longer membership, rather paying for a month at a time, pay for the entire year. This means that you spend more money initially but save overall. However, as the intensity of university work tends to increase as the year progresses, there will be less free time to spend at the gym.
A possible solution to this problem that would allow you to both save money and get a good work-out would be to switch to an entirely calisthenics based routine. Calisthenics employs body weight exercises such as pull-ups and push-ups and has a low reliance on equipment when compared to the predominately free-weight exercises at the gym.
There are several benefits to a calisthenics based workout for those on a budget or a busy schedule. Financially the only real expenditure will be the purchase of a pull-up bar, which will cost you less than a one-month gym subscription and last far longer.
“Working out at home requires the motivation to come completely from within”
The principal benefit however will be the amount of time saved each day by not making the trip to and from the gym. Sets of pull-ups or push-ups for example can easily be spread throughout the day without ever having to leave the house, ideally suited for maintaining a level of fitness during busy periods.
There are negative aspects as well; firstly, bodyweight exercises do not allow people to target individual muscle groups as effectively as free weights do. In addition, many people derive motivation from the friendly competition that comes from going with friends. Working out at home requires the motivation to come completely from within.
Truthfal spoke to four students and a member of staff at the Tremough campus gym to find out how they felt about the two styles of workout and ultimately which one they preferred.
“It’s sort of a mental thing as well you feel like once you go to a gym that’s the time when you’re working out, whereas at home you might just do one set and feel like that’s enough”
“I go to uni here so it’s so much easier going to one of the classes, having someone to actually push you when you’re really exhausted from uni.”
The consensus that arose from the people we spoke to heavily favoured a gym workout over a calisthenics based home workout. The social aspect only available at the gym seems to be far more conducive to motivating people to push themselves farther, which ultimately leads to a better workout.