Can You Lose Weight With a Home Gym?


Want to lose weight but are not sure if doing it at home is going to be effective? That’s what I’m going to answer in this post.

It’s possible to lose weight with a home gym. To lose weight you have to use more energy than you take in. A home gym can be just as effective in expending energy as any commercial gym. A home gym also makes it easier to be consistent with your workouts which is very important for success.

Weight loss is a complicated topic let’s dive in a little bit deeper into it and how it works in a home gym.


Losing weight at home

Losing weight is a pretty hot topic. It’s simple in theory but difficult in practice. People are looking for shortcuts, cheats and everything that can give them a benefit and make things a bit easier for them. Of course you want to optimize your weight loss progress and you want to know if a home gym is effective in that regard.

Before giving the results, it’s important to understand a few things.

How does exercise make you lose weight?

The most important part of losing weight is your energy balance.

Very simply put; if you eat more calories than you expend during the day, you’ll gain weight and vice versa. E.g. You eat 1800 Kcal worth of foods and use 2000 Kcal of energy during the day, you have a 200 Kcal deficit. Fat is stored energy. 1 kg of body fat contains about 7700 kcal.  

7700/200=38.5. That means with a 200 kcal deficit you would lose 1 kg of body fat in about 39 days.

Now, when you exercise, you use energy. Let’s say you do a workout that costs 300 kcal but your diet stays the same at 1800 kcal. Suddenly, you have ((2000+300)-1800)=500 kcal energy deficit.

7700/500=15.4. Now, by adding a 300 kcal daily workout, you lose a kg of body weight in 16 days, much faster than without exercise.

Of course things are never as black and white as that but that’s the most important thing to understand about weight loss. There are many more factors that play into weight loss like;

  • Sleep
  • Food choices
  • Macro ratios
  • Muscle mass
  • Genetics

However, the energy balance is the most important part to understand and track since that’s where it all starts. The other parts are optimization. More exercise means more energy is used. If your kcal intake stays the same more exercise means you’re going to lose more body fat.

As a result of exercise, you’ll probably also gain some muscle. That’s a good thing for losing weight since muscle takes more energy to maintain than body fat. That means when you gain some muscle, your daily energy expenditure might go up from 2000 to 2100 meaning you burn an extra 100 kcal without doing anything extra.

Is a home gym different?

Of course not every home gym is created equal. Some people have all in one machines, so have complete powerlifting setups while others just have a treadmill. All of those different setups are called home gyms.

Every different type of exercise burns a different amount of energy for a given amount of time.

In the end it doesn’t really matter. You have the workout you like. Whether that’s cardio, weightlifting or circuit training, you would probably do the same workout in a commercial gym. So is there a difference in energy expenditure in a home gym vs. a commercial gym?

For weightlifting and cardio, I’d say no. They are the same at home or in a commercial gym. It all depends on how much weight you lift and how much effort you put in. Those things don’t suddenly change if you’re at home. That means you will burn the same amount of energy and therefore lose the same amount of weight, as long as your diet stays the same as well.

All in one home gym

For people that like to do a circuit workout and are wondering if an all in one home gym is just as effective, it can be a bit different. All in one machines are a compromise. They give up some functionality but are much smaller than all the separate machines you’d see in a commercial gym.

While energy expenditure is probably similar between the two as long as you put in the same effort, over the long run there can be some differences.

Not all in one home gyms and commercial machines are created equal but, in general the machines in a commercial gym are probably a bit more efficient at building muscle. Having more muscle raises your resting metabolic rate which means you burn more energy. So in the long run using a machine that builds more muscle helps with extra fat loss over the long run.


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Differences outside of exercise

So there aren’t any big differences in the exercises and how much energy they burn between a home gym and a commercial gym. There are some other factors that might impact your weight loss;

Pros of home gym

  • It’s easier to be consistent. Consistency is one of the keys to weight loss. There is no excuse not to go to your home gym.
  • No travel time. You’ll spend less time going to and coming from the gym. This helps with consistency again. You can fit in another workout in a time slot where you couldn’t otherwise
  • All the machines are always free. You can have a great workout program but if the machine isn’t available, it won’t do much good.
  • There are no temptations on your way home. If you’re on your way home from the gym and you see some fast food joint, it can be very tempting to just pop in and completely erase all the work you’ve just done in the gym. If you’re already at home, you won’t have that problem.

What do you need for a home gym? Click here to find 10 home gym essentials.

Pros of commercial gyms

  • Personal trainers are often available that can help you.
  • More social support from other gym-goers
  • You can use the commute to and from the gym to burn more energy. Go by bike or walk and use your time efficiently.

So as you can see there are few benefits to both the home and commercial gym. For weight loss, the home gym actually has a few more benefits than a commercial gym. For some people the social support is a big plus of commercial gyms but definitely not every commercial gym has that kind of atmosphere.

People have their personal preferences but you can be sure that a home gym isn’t going to impede your weight loss journey. It all depends on your motivation, effort and consistency.


Related questions

Which exercise machine is best for losing belly fat? Sadly, it’s not possible to reduce fat in specific spots on your body. Weight loss occurs everywhere in your body. In some body parts you’ll lose weight quicker than others. Where depends mostly on your genetics. You can make your belly appear flatter by doing the stomach vacuum exercise.

Does weight training cause body fat loss?  To lose fat you have to consume fewer kcal than you use during the day. Weight training uses energy so can help burn fat. Weight training also builds muscle which will help you burn more energy even while not doing exercise.

Matt

Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. I've been going to the gym for about 15 years and am now looking to build my own. In the process I've learned many things I'd like to share with you.

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