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Outdoor vs Indoor training: what is the best?

Summer is the time of year that allows us to leave the comfort of our homes, get away from the stress of work and enjoy the outdoors to walk, socialize or enjoy the weather to the maximum.

During this season, it’s normal to see more people training outdoors, but at the same time there are people who train in the gym. Each training has its advantages and everything depends on what you like or need.

In this article, we’ll put the two types of training side by side in a training battle: outdoor vs gym training.

Find out which one is the best option for you!

Training Battle: Outdoor vs Gym

When you’re choosing the place to train, there are several things you can easily evaluate:

  • Type of environment
  • Level of support
  • Type of material
  • Type of training
  • Climate
  • Cost

Type of environment

Running on the beach

Studies show that physical exercise in the open air influences your physical and psychological well-being.

In a gym you’re always limited to the physical space, you can only switch between the equipment room and the classroom, but in an outdoor training you have more freedom and it’s very beneficial, among other things, it allows greater cerebral oxygenation.

You can train where you want, without space problems, set your pace and you can challenge yourself constantly.

Beach, mountains, countryside, town, or even at home … you only need to have imagination and willpower!

The results of a study by the “Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry” revealed that:

“Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments is associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.”

Even for things as simple as choosing music, you have freedom. Put your earphones on, listen to your favorite music and mark your pace, a great help in case you want to do an interval training.

Tip: If you go to the gym and you want to train with your favorite music and at your own pace, don’t leave your earphones at home.

Level of support

Personal trainer

In this topic, the gym has no competition due to the presence of trainers or personal trainers.

In outdoor training it’s each one for himself … while you have more freedom, you also have less support.


  • You may be doing something wrong without realizing it
  • You may want to ask questions but have nobody specialized to help you immediately
  • You may be doing types of exercises that don’t suit your goals

However, recruiting personal trainers and using apps to improve your technique, plan workouts, record your progress, or simply to record the momentum and share it with others, becomes increasingly common in outdoor trainings.

Tip: If you find an instructor who is Life Coach and Personal Trainer at the same time, he will be able to give you extra motivation!

Type of material

Gyms have a wide range of training equipment for various muscle groups: weight training equipment, Smith machines, treadmills, elliptical, rowing, there are many options.

In trainings for gaining muscle mass and strength, for example, gym and outdoor trainings have no comparison. Gym training, due to the presence of equipment and specialized support, can be much more effective and safe.

Fitness equipment

Outdoor training is more limited, but you have freedom! You can take whatever you want:

  • Jump rope
  • Kettlebells
  • TRX
  • Elastics

Tip: Our suggestion is that you bring practical material with you, easy to carry and that you can use (you don’t want to feel ashamed trying to use something that you don’t even know what it’s for).

You can always ask opinions from exercise professionals or personal trainers.

Outdoor TRX

Type of training

The training in a gym is more complete, because in the gym you can do various types of trainings adapted to your goals:

Localized training, pull to the limit with maximum load and strength (within what you can handle or what is recommended), group training (classes), cardio training … just choose.

Strength training

In the case of outdoor training, although you have more freedom, it can be more limited.

The training should be a type of functional training or a type of training in which you use the weight of your own body. But attention! Do not think that this type of training is easy and has no results.

We suggest that you do one month of weight training and one month of

training in which you use only your body weight!

You will see that, after all, you will also get results and you will feel good!

For people who love to run…

Regarding running, outdoor training wins.

Running outdoors allows you to prepare for future races, because it’s on the streets where race events usually take place.

The spirit of competition is also very present, even if nobody notices it.

Did it ever happen that you started running with the goal of doing only 5 km and at the beginning you were thinking that it’s a lot, but then you started to run and surpassed more and more people and then you found that you already finished? It’s normal! It has to do with our instinct for competition.

In the gym you can even do a so-called “treadmill battle”, but what you do has more to do with overcoming than with competition and be careful not to get too adventurous or even hurt yourself!


In good weather, exercising outdoors is an excellent choice, also to gain vitamin D, of which a deficiency is very common.

But when it’s bad weather, especially when it’s raining, you have no excuse in the gym. In a sunny day or even in a rainy day, you can always do your training!


Save money

The biggest difference between the two is the cost.

Outdoor training is at zero cost, while the gym “obliges” you to be bound and pay a monthly fee or a usage fee.

However, the gym offers you conditions that outdoor training can’t guarantee, besides the normal presence of an instructor to guide you, or the variety of equipment that you have at your disposal, the fact of having a bathroom or a place to store your things is a great advantage.

After a train at the gym you can take a restful bath, which will help you save time. After an outdoor training, if you want to take a shower, you have to go home.

In conclusion

Both trainings are beneficial. But in terms of gains in muscle mass and strength, comfort, support and type of material, the gym has no comparison.

On the other hand, although in an outdoor training the results may take longer to appear, the freedom, the health benefits, the versatility in the type of environment and the low cost associated with this training, makes it a good option, especially with good weather.

According to your profile, you can always choose what is more practical for you and with which one you feel more satisfied (and this is important because when you train you should feel happy and motivated and not the opposite). And nothing prevents you from doing both at the same time!

Regardless of your goals and why you choose one instead of the other – costs, type of training, comfort, environment, time … train!

If you don’t train, you won’t evolve and you will see others evolve faster than you.

Good training 🙂


The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About David Silva

David Silva
David Silva is a Personal Trainer and FIT and Life Coach. He uses his profession to inspire others and get them to achieve their goals, whether through his job or his writing. His motto is "A mission of life is a mission accomplished".

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