With Covid 19 causing a worldwide lockdown we’re living in unprecedented times. These are my thoughts on training during this period.
Let me start by saying its so far so good in my household in terms of health. I’m incredibly thankful for this as I know many people haven’t been as fortunate. As a family we will keep adhering to the government guidelines to give us the best chance of coming through this safe & well.
In terms of training, Garden or Home Workouts have become our new normal. I don’t know about anyone else but personally this has bought back a wave of nostalgia to when I first started training in my early teens.
To coincide with becoming a teenager in the early 1990’s my folks moved to the country. This was exciting at first, more outdoor space to play, trees to climb & places to explore on my bike. But, as time went on…especially when the weather was bad, the feeling of isolation could often take over and the boredom would creep in especially during the long school holidays. I quickly realised I needed something fun, challenging and productive to fill my days.
As a kid I enjoyed a lot of different sports: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis & Athletics. Athletics was always my favourite because there were so many events to do, cricket not so much but at least there was more food at half time lol!
Even at that age it seemed obvious to me that if I was fitter and stronger it would help my performance in all these. So, during school holidays inspired by Sylvester Stallone’s training montages in Rocky 3 & 4, that’s exactly what I set about doing. Everything was bodyweight then with the addition of a boxer’s speed ball & a ‘punchbag’ that me and Dad made out of an old rolled up carpet and duck tape! I didn’t have much but it was fun & I built a solid foundation hoping to look like Sly & emulate my sporting hero’s Daley & Linford.
As my teenage years went on in came Arnie, Jean Claude & a subscription to bodybuilding’s Flex magazine. I watched sports, movies, documentaries and read whatever i could to learn about training and eating for performance and to build a physique I could be proud of.
My life changed forever when my folks finally gave in and got me the holy grail of home workout equipment from those days, a Weider Bench, Barbell & Dumbbell set. All my bodyweight training had given me a good base, I learnt how to do all the free weight exercises and experimented with different training programmes. I could see and feel the difference, my body started to change and sports performance improved…I was hooked!
When I needed more weight my Dad, a civil engineer, had some made by a local steel manufacturer he knew. Not what I was expecting, my mates christened them ‘The Flintstones’ because they looked like the wheels from Fred’s car. But, they did the job!
Like I said at the start, life in the Covid 19 lockdown so far has very much reminded me of those days.
‘Can I maintain muscle mass with only body weight exercises?’
YES!! (You can even improve conditioning during this period by doing so & including some outdoor fitness activities you may not usually do)
If you do have some training equipment, well, you’ve hit the jackpot & could come out of lockdown with significant improvements.
Having worked as a trainer for over 20 years, not having time is the number one excuse I’ve had from clients for not being consistent with training & nutrition. Well, guess what…most of us now have that in abundance. Make the most of what you have!
The only factor we’re governed by is the effort we’re willing to put into achieving our goals.