Hacking Your Workout Habits Header

The biggest goal for many people looking to get in shape is to establish a consistent workout schedule. Establishing good workout habits may take dedication and time, but the rewards can be unbelievable. In fact, transformative stories are often highlighted on social media and inspire followers who seek to achieve similar outcomes.

But a commitment to exercise first requires the optimal environment. Is it at a gym? Could it be at home? Which activities stimulate performance gains? To find out, we spoke to 1,002 people who worked out at least once a month and asked them questions about their exercise schedules, preferred fitness activities, and overall satisfaction regarding working out.

Compare your exercise habits with the survey results below.

Sticking to Exercise (Even When It’s Tough)

Consistency is Key Infographic

The more someone works out, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their exercise: 81% of respondents who had been working out for seven to 12 months reported feeling pleased with their workouts, compared to 65% of people who were newer fitness fans.

This may be true for two reasons. First, more seasoned fitness fanatics are likely fluent in form and technique, improving leaps and bounds since the first day of their fitness journey. Second, endorphins released through exercise have been shown to initiate feelings of happiness. In fact, even just one day of exercise per week has been shown to improve someone’s overall outlook on life.

Are you trying to turn a new leaf? Hoping to keep up with workouts for a longer period? Respondents who chose to work out at a gym franchise were more committed than those exercising in other settings, consistently working out for an average of seven months, while community gymgoers only reported around five months of consistency.

Location, Location, Location

Where to Work Out Infographic

Speaking of gym franchises – they were preferred by people who had high levels of workout satisfaction (86%), were motivated to get up and go to the gym (68%), and spent the most time on each workout (52 minutes, on average). Top fitness equipment, leading trainers, on-site assistance, and the dozens of other perks can help justify the cost of a gym membership. And the accountability factor of group classes is appealing to many who desire a support system.

Home workouts, on the other hand, may appeal to people who prefer quick workouts rather than traveling to and from the gym. In fact, many popular workout regimens, such as P90X, rose in prominence due to their efficiency: short, high-intensity workouts that appeal to busy professionals, parents, and anyone who has limited time for exercise. Roughly half of home workout enthusiasts looked forward to their workouts, but they only spent 38 minutes on exercise during each session, on average.

Cost of a Gym Membership: Is It Worth the Money?

Gym Franchise Effect Infographic

Fitness clubs can be costly. Average memberships will set you back $58 per month, plus any additional fees. But some people may find the cost absolutely worth it – especially if it motivates them to work out.

We found that gym memberships, regardless of cost, yielded higher-than-average satisfaction toward workouts. Taking the step to join a gym (and actually going) can help someone feel better about themselves, no matter if they have the base-level membership or all-service access. However, survey participants who spent $31 or more on their membership were more likely to be motivated to work out, likely due to the enhanced experience that a costlier enrollment can offer (or they may just not want their money to go to waste).

Common Fitness Activities

Top Ten Most Satisfying Exercises Infographic

Everyone’s relationship with fitness is different; thus, workouts and preferred methods of staying in shape will vary accordingly. Survey participants enjoyed a range of low- and high-intensity exercises. From yoga to weightlifting and everything in between, the activity that respondents felt the most satisfaction from was biking. Cycling can be an extremely rewarding (and relatively inexpensive) form of exercise.

One of the most consistently slept-on exercises is walking, which continues to be a dependable and reliable source of fitness. Walking was second-to-last for respondents’ preferred workouts, but it was used by participants who, on average, spent the most consecutive time exercising.

No matter which type of activity you like best, it can establish good routines, create dramatic results, boost self-confidence, and even lay the foundation for your children to value physical fitness.

Want Fitness Success? Find Your Passion

Find the activities that get you wanting to move. Often, you can exercise without even realizing it because you are enjoying yourself. This point becomes crucial when setting yourself up for success with sustainable workouts.

Are gym memberships not your thing? Is a lack of time keeping you from your workouts? Short on time and want your workouts to count? Try specialized workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), to take full advantage of your time. To look into which exercise equipment would work best, head over to FitRated.com where you can compare machines and turn your dream of a home gym into a reality.


To conduct this study, we surveyed 1,002 Americans. To qualify for the survey, respondents had to say they exercised once a month at a minimum. Respondents who failed an attention check located about halfway through the survey were disqualified and had their responses excluded. Outliers in the number of months respondents consistently worked out and the average duration of their workouts were eliminated.


The data used to conduct this study leans on self-reported data. There are several problems that stem from self-reported data, including but not limited to selective memory, exaggeration, and telescoping. We can’t be certain how closely our results match up to reality.

Fair Use Statement

Our study shows that the longer you consistently work out, the more likely you are to feel satisfied with your workouts. Feel free to pass this knowledge to your readers, as long as it is for noncommercial purposes. Please link back to this page so that your readers can take in the full breadth of our research.