The gym membership vs home gym dilemma is perhaps every treadmill enthusiast’s concern. Here you are, ready to invest in your health and fitness, but you also want the most out of that investment. So, which one is the best way to go?

Cost-wise, buying a treadmill is better than going to the gym. That’s because you can share the machine with others at home, and the return on investment is likely within 2 to 3 years. It’s a considerable saving given that treadmills have an average lifespan of 10 years.

However, other factors affect our decision between going to the gym and buying exercise machines.

Specifically, gym memberships have advantages you won’t get from at-home machines and vice versa.

And that’s because we all have different fitness needs and preferences.

Let’s look at these individual points of comparison so you can make a more informed choice.

Gym Membership vs Home Gym Treadmill Cost

Money is probably everyone’s top deciding factor when choosing between a gym membership and a treadmill.

And so, I want to highlight this factor more by citing specific price ranges.

Here’s a table for easier comparison:

Price CategoryGym Membership (Cost per Month)Treadmill (One-Time Payment)
Budget$10 to $40$1000 or less
Mid-Range$50 to $75$2000 to $3000
High-End$100 or more$4000 or more

Gym membership fees vary depending on inclusions, special offers, location, etc.

But here, it is clear that the initial investment for a gym membership is considerably lower than any treadmill type. However, you need to pay for it monthly or yearly.

If Aussies can spend an average of $95 every month for a gym membership, three years’ worth of that can easily buy you a good mid-range treadmill.

And with good upkeep, this treadmill can last for at least ten years.

Of course, there are maintenance costs to consider, which increase as your machine gets older.

But generally, treadmills are more cost-efficient in the long run.

Buying a treadmill is also more practical if you have long-term fitness plans or if there are several gym-goers in your household.

Treadmill at Home

Other Gym Membership vs Home Gym Factors

The choice between going to the gym or getting a treadmill is not just about costs. Other factors can affect your decision. Here are some of them.

Fitness motivation

You only need to buy a treadmill once, making it easy to be less driven to work out. Still, some people find a personal treadmill a motivator since it’s a significant investment.

However, a gym membership is more motivating as you have to pay for it every month.

Fitness motivation is also higher when you have to go to a gym and stick to a schedule.

Gyms also generate a competitive vibe of some sort. I guess you get that when you’re working out in a group.

And it can work to your advantage by pushing yourself to perform better.

Accessibility and availability

Do you need to commute or drive to the gym? Aside from spending on fare, gas or parking, going to the gym takes time.

And once you finally get there, your favourite treadmill is not available. Some fitness centres even have time limits for gym equipment use.

You won’t encounter these issues if you own a treadmill. With it, you can walk to your home gym and start working out when you feel like it.

It’s ready early in the morning, late at night or during bad weather. For single users, the settings will be the same the next time you use your exercise machine.

If you value time and convenience, then a home gym treadmill is for you.

Sense of community

I think in this gym membership vs home gym factor, both are on equal footing. Some like to work out and socialise simultaneously, while others prefer to exercise privately.

You can meet and interact with other users in a commercial gym setup. Exercising with others (and good music) during classes is pretty enjoyable, too.

But if you are with people most of the time, perhaps social interaction at the gym is the last thing you want. In that case, some “me” time on your treadmill is ideal.

Some beginners or people with weight issues may feel more comfortable working out alone, too.

Treadmill Workout Assistance at the Gym

Expert assistance

Getting your running form right is crucial to cardio workout success, especially if you’re a treadmill beginner. It will protect you from soreness or injury, too.

Of course, you can learn this by watching tutorial videos online. But if you try it with your at-home treadmill, no one will tell you if your form is correct or not.

On the other hand, gym staff and personal trainers can give you helpful tips and insights. You can also get valuable workout recommendations and other inputs from experienced gym-goers.

Less distraction

Between gym membership vs home gym, you can focus more on your workout session with the latter.

You’ll be running on the treadmill alone with no people chitchatting or taking selfies.

There won’t be gym spas or bars to distract you either. Some gyms will also play loud music or have TV shows that could affect your concentration.

At home, you can play your favourite playlist with a controlled volume.

And if you have kids in the household, you can always time your routine when they’re in school or asleep.

Workout diversity

Comparing the exercise variety of a single treadmill and a gym full of machines is tricky.

However, I decided to include it as you might be considering the effectiveness level of both options.

And if you want diverse workouts, getting a gym membership is the way to go. With it, you get access to equipment other than the treadmill.

There are machines for strength training, muscle building and more. Plus, personal trainers are there to assist.

At home, limited space often gets in the way of fitting in multiple exercise machines.

But while you can effortlessly perform a diverse workout at the gym, it doesn’t mean that an at-home treadmill is less effective.

Remember that there are other variations you can do to make your treadmill workouts more challenging.

You can even use it with weights, like dumbbells, ankle weights or a weighted vest.

Some treadmill models also have an adjustable incline level and multiple preset workout programs.

Both gym membership and home gym are effective for achieving fitness goals. But gaining workout diversity depends on how you use either.

Workout Diversity at the Gym


So, who wins the gym membership vs home gym battle?

If money is your top deciding factor, then having an exercise machine at home like a treadmill is a clear winner.

But if it’s not, your personal preferences dictate your choice. Getting a gym membership is best if professional help, workout diversity and social interaction are essential to you.

On the other hand, buying an exercise machine is ideal for people who want to save time and have fewer distractions and easy access.

I have tried both set-ups. Right now, I enjoy the advantages of having an at-home cardio machine. I can work out even without assistance, too.

Since the global pandemic is still around, I feel more confident using my exercise machine and maintaining it when needed.

Do you think an at-home treadmill is also for you? If yes, then my top treadmill picks might interest you. I’ve highlighted their pros and cons to make comparison easier.

1. Is it worth getting a treadmill at home?

Walking, jogging and running on a treadmill are weight-bearing exercises that burn calories and improve cardiovascular health in a short time. A 30-minute treadmill session for five days should be good for sustainable weight loss. As most people have busy work lives, getting a treadmill at home makes it easier to get these health benefits.

2. Which gym is best in Australia?

According to a 2021 consumer review by Canstar Blue, F45 Training is the best gym in Australia. It got the most five-star ratings in the categories selected, including overall satisfaction, atmosphere and staff availability. Genesis Health +Fitness has the best equipment and facilities, while Crunch Fitness got five stars for value for money. Ideally, check what each gym offers, then match it with your specific needs, fitness level and budget to get the best service.