Buy elliptical or join a gym

Hi! Lots of weight to get rid of here. I have joined a gym in the past but have generalized anxiety. Just going to the gym was somewhat of a trigger for me. I didn’t have the right clothes, didn’t like the way I looked, or how sweaty I got etc etc just really overthink everything

So my question has anyone bought an elliptical to use at home and it worked well? I plan to move in about an year so I was a machine that will be high quality and can survive a move and a heavy person using it. If anyone has any particular elliptical they like as well

Thank you :)


  • sharonbryan5725
    sharonbryan5725 Posts: 2 Member
    I have a gym membership and a home gym. I use the elliptical at the gym and feel accomplished that I am at a mile without stopping! I can tell you it's a good work out! I've used several different brands and they all feel differently. I'd go to a store and test a couple to see how they fit you. I did that with my treadmill before I purchased it. I didn't want to spend that much money and not use it.

    Good luck!!!
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,210 Member
    edited June 2019
    Elliptical, treadmill, Air Bike, rower -- it doesn't matter. If you'll use it, it's great. If you won't, it's a waste of money. No one can answer that for you. Planet Fitness is only $10 a month or so. It's very cheap, but if the gym gives you anxiety and you just can't get beyond that (that's another topic, most don't even notice you there in reality), then figure out if you'll use an Elliptical.

    Have you considered a great quality Air Bike instead? Like an Assault style bike? My wife is 58 and loves her Air Dyne Pro. I bought it for her and I use it all the time too. Great full body workout and no motors to break. They are around the same price point as Ellipticals and last longer. The might even be a bit cheaper. The Echo Rogue is very reasonably priced ($750) and is a great piece of equipment that will retain its value much better than an elliptical will.

    For me personally, working out at home is preferred. I either use the AirDyne Pro or a Concept2 rower (most don't like the rower -- my whole family doesn't like rowing -- they say it's too hard for them) for an hour and workout 6 days a week. I have an LA Fitness Membership, but to be honest, the two pieces of equipment I have are better than anything there. I feel like I'm downgrading to workout there.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,176 Member
    Agree with the above......what's important is that you'll actually use it.

    Have you used an elliptical before? Personally I find most indoor equipment (with the exception of my C2 rower and smart bike trainer) bore me stiff. I'll use my treadmill if there;'s freezing rain or gale force winds but would much rather run or ride outside.

    If your anxiety gets in the way of outdoor activity then it may be worth the $10 a month that Planet Fitness costs (if there's one close to you) to at least get a chance to try out different equipment before making the purchase decision.
  • MrsTitus2
    MrsTitus2 Posts: 61 Member
    I would buy your own machine and make sure you add a warranty . I also get anxious so I dont like going out in public much. But your own machine? Youd be able to work out whenever. That sounds awesome.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,973 Member
    edited June 2019
    I'm not gym shy but I prefer the convenience of working out in the privacy of my home. Anytime I want to workout out all of the equipment I need is right there.

    I've spent $1000's on Olympic lifting/gym equipment and a $1k on LeMond spin bike. Used them extensively for awhile but no longer because I achieved my goals and my needs, preferences and routine changed.

    I also spent $1k on a Concept2 rower, which I use almost everyday (and makeup the time missed when I don't).

    It's the BEST piece of gym equipment that I ever bought and part of the reason I don't use the other gear is because I prefer to use the rower instead

    I also have a free gym membership paid for by my medical insurance plan that I never use because of all of the gear that I have at home. The only reason that I go to the gym is to use the steam room, sauna and/or whirlpool.

    So, for me, buying my own equipment was the best choice. Results may obviously differ for others.
  • HilTri
    HilTri Posts: 378 Member
    I had to get used to going in public (PTSD), it was tough at first but now my gym is like home. I have so many acquaintances there that don’t interfere w my workout. It is nice to see my people. I would really like to get a Pelaton on one hand but on the other, I know I wouldn’t use it, I’d rather go to the gym these days. Good luck!
  • Dorchi22
    Dorchi22 Posts: 57 Member
    I love my elliptical! We tried to sell it a number of times but we always decided to keep it. I'm glad it did, it really helps me, especially now that I'm watching my caloric intake. And I sleep like a baby after the workout.
  • gonnasnap
    gonnasnap Posts: 146 Member
    If your goal is weight loss I’d maybe skip the elliptical and get a few kettlebells. There’s a plethora of things you can do with just one kettlebell and it doesn’t have to be a heavy one for it to work
  • cat_lady77
    cat_lady77 Posts: 203 Member
    I have definitely considered the same thing because gyms stressed me out. However, I will say that the quality of the elliptical that you get at most gyms is going to be about $1500+ if you were going to buy your own. A cheaper one is not going to have that same "glide" easy movements as the ones in the gym. I had a cheap one basically fall apart after using it for a few months & it gave me some serious knee pain since it wasn't aligned correctly. Just a thought, hope this helps.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,320 Member
    I have an elliptical and a gym membership. My elliptical is pretty old. It's a Golds Gym brand. I like it, but it doesn't help me lift heavy things therefore, gym membership.
  • filovirus76
    filovirus76 Posts: 156 Member
    Gym membership. Just think of it as renting an elliptical plus getting use of all the other equipment they offer.

    As far as anxiety goes, I can guarantee that the majority of folks in the gym don't care what you look like or what your wearing. In fact, you would probably go unnoticed by 99% of people there.

    Planet Fitness caters to people starting out in a gym. No power lifting equipment. In fact, most the space is taken up by ellipticals and treadmills.
  • caelsav
    caelsav Posts: 6 Member
    edited June 2019
    I prefer to workout at home too. I use a treadmill with an incline, so I can simulate hiking in the mountains. I live in Florida, so it's a great way to prepare for camping vacations in hilly and mountainous areas. I vary the incline throughout each workout, and I really work up a sweat. One way that I ensure that I keep it up is I only watch my latest Netflix favorite when I'm on it. That adds to the incentive! I use it 4-5 days a week for about 45 minutes a session. It's great! I also use a set of dumbells once or twice a week for strength building.
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,469 Member
    "Buy elliptical or join a gym" Some of the many factors YOU will have to decide are important:

    What is the cost of the elliptical? (Good ones go for several thousand); What is the cost of the gym membership (mine is $24/month and I get $20 back from my health insurance each month I go 12 times or more.) Is the purchase worth the monthly payments, or vice versa? How long at gym membership prices will it take for you to payoff the machine? Will the elliptical need maintenance during this time?

    Do you have a place to keep and use the elliptical at home? They are kinda big and take up more than some space. Do you have the ceiling height to use an elliptical at home?

    Is the cost to purchase worth not having the other aspects of a gym membership available? I like using the other machines, free weights, dumbbells et al. at my gym. I like being able to use the elliptical, treadmill, assisted dip/pull up, stair climber and rowing machines at my whim or plan.

    Will you use the machine/membership regardless of what you buy?

    How far, crowded, friendly/unfriendly, clean is the gym you're considering? Is it just too far, crowded, dis-cordial to use regularly?

    For me, FWIW, the $4 net payment at the gym made the decision easy. Even at the $24 per month cost it would take close to ten years to pay off a good elliptical; and I get the use of all the other equipment at the gym. I like the opportunity use other stuff.

    Choose as you will and use it.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    You should be lifting weights, too, not just doing cardio.
  • TheRealSlim_Shelly
    TheRealSlim_Shelly Posts: 66 Member
    edited June 2019
    Honestly it’s more about your mindset than anything else. If you are disciplined, you will workout whether it’s at home or at the gym. I have a home treadmill for the past 10+ years and it has been invaluable to me. I also have a gym membership. I use them both sometimes together, sometimes strictly gym or sometimes strictly home treadmill with a home weight set. I like the gym for the weight equipment and to change up my cardio routine, but I also like my home treadmill because it’s way more convenient and enjoyable for me. I put on Netflix or shows I DVR’d without having to have earbuds in, I can workout in my sport bra judgement free, and sometimes I even just wear my socks if I’m casually just walking to get some extra steps in for the day. And I can control my own air temp which is a huge plus (my gym is always SO hot year round).

    Now that I’m a mom who can’t get to the gym very often with my schedule, I thank God I made the investment for this treadmill I use daily when my baby is napping.

    The thing about home workout equipment is that you actually have to *like* the machine and the type of cardio you’re doing. I love running and walking uphill so a treadmill made sense. Each elliptical is different so you should really try before you buy so you know if it’s a match for you. So many ellipiticals operate differently, you need to feel comfortable personally or you’ll definitely never use it.

    Check your gym’s cancellation policy if you decide it’s not for you and you want to make the investment for a home elliptical. Also see if your gym is a chain that will have another one close to where you are moving.
  • ChasingSweatandTears
    ChasingSweatandTears Posts: 504 Member
    I do both. I bought my elliptical a few years ago and it’s a professional model that gives me a CRAZY burn and great resistance workout when I really crank up the intensity. It’s a True brand and I highly recommend them. But I really only use it if I can’t get to gym, because that’s where I do my strength training
  • Spadesheart
    Spadesheart Posts: 462 Member
    The thing is, the equipment you often buy for home just isn't the same quality as the stuff in the gym, as the gym equipment is basically industrial. I can go for 65 minutes on the gym elliptical, but on my parents shaky, crappy light one, I go for a half hour with less intensity because it just kind of feels off.

    Chances are you're not going to buy the best of the best stuff unless you're an enthusiast, and there's a trend towards really cheap gym memberships nowadays. Add to that the greater flexibility for exercise, the added motivation of actually going to a place to work out, and my vote is for the gym. At $10-20 a month, you'd have to have a membership for many years to equal the cost of one worthwhile elliptical machine.
  • Binky_Muffin
    Binky_Muffin Posts: 191 Member
    I have an elliptical I use at home once in a while. I paid $200 and it's okay. It does the job when the weather is too cold or rainy for a walk or a bike ride outside. In all honesty, I would invest in an indoor trainer for a bike. They are not as big and you can use the bike to exercise outside or commute. According to my Polar watch, I burn slightly under 200 calories 30 minutes on the elliptical and it always feels like a lifetime. When I ride outside, I easily burn more than 200 calories riding my bike to/from a destination and the time flies. If you are not into biking, I would simply find free workouts on YouTube. I am not a gym person nor an indoor workout type person. Sometimes a gym will offer a free passes. You can always try that, however if you have anxiety maybe start walking outside. Walking is a very underrated form of activity. I was at my lowest weight and looked my best with simple walking and calorie counting.