So it’s official… we’re on lockdown.
No going out, minimal socialising, and all gyms closed. Reminds me of those school holidays where I used to sit on my Playstation playing Grand Theft Auto until 5 in the morning, but I digress..
All those times we promised ourselves we’d go to the gym, or that we’d hire that PT next month, all gone.
Now we have no choice.
Yet, this might just be a blessing in disguise for some people.
This could be the ideal time to start or rekindle the training habit, one of the most important habits you will develop in your entire life.
All you busy guys who say you don’t have time to train – well now you have time to train.
You won’t have to deal with the annoyances of a packed, noisy commercial gym.
You can do everything right there in the comfort of your own home, at the time you choose.
So while having to train at home might be seen as a step down from your usual training, I think there are actually 3 benefits of home workouts over gym.
I hold pads for people who like to do boxing as part of their workout, and while I really enjoy it, it has completely busted up my shoulders and elbows. I find it difficult to press dumbbells with my right hand due to the pain.
I also have a lower back issue going back a long time, and sometimes have to avoid heavy hinge work on days where the pain is bad.
The beauty of working out at home is that you’re forced to use lower loads and equipment like bands, which still provide great tension, but feel much better on your joints.
In the workout video below I use a kettlebell to press, and because I only have a 16 kg available, I was forced to really slow the tempo down and focus on technique. Not only did this feel amazingly difficult, but because I was using a lighter weight, I didn’t get the associated elbow and shoulder issues I would have got with a heavier weight.
I got a fantastic workout in without the aches and pains, felt challenged, and left with a pump.
When I say commercial gym, I am referring to the plethora of cheap gyms now available on every street corner. This doesn’t apply if you go to an independent or boutique gym where there is a cap on numbers, and usually a much better gym culture.
For the most part, commercial gyms are an absolute cesspool.
They are crowded, noisy, dirty, and some of the people there make you want to stick pins in your eyes.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I chose to skip a work-out because I dreaded the work-out experience.
I used to put headphones on and not be able to hear a thing due to the dreadful music from the Zumba class.
Weights were strewn everywhere.
Attention-seeking ‘Instagram girls’ taking selfies for their latest stream-of-consciousness nonsense ‘influencer’ post.
Fake tough guys with invisible-lat syndrome walking around like they own the place.
That one delusional guy who needs 10 pieces of equipment to do the SAME circuit every single week (and surprise, surprise, still looks the same after a year).
Give me a break.
In this aspect, training at home easily beats a commercial gym. Thank you Corona!
By training in a gym environment, we tend to stick to the same exercises time after time. While this is necessary for progress (you need to have a number of core movements you aim to progress with for life), it’s also important to get some variety in your training.
Variety will keep things fun, but is also important if you are looking for muscle growth.
Changing the exercise, changing the grip, changing the implement (band, dumbbells etc) will help to stimulate muscle growth.
The different angles and joint positions created by new exercises can help to stimulate the different heads of a muscle (for example, the quads have 4 different heads).
So with that said, here is a workout I did at home, just yesterday.
Do everything with perfect, German-like execution and focus.
You can make a set of 5 press-ups feel like the most gruelling exercise ever when done in this way.
Once you add band tension to properly executed reps, you will get an amazing pump.
And that’s it..
This coronavirus situation will pass.
One of the things we can (and must) do is look after our own health in the meantime. We want to come out of the other side ready to go, stronger than before. This could be the perfect opportunity for those who have neglected themselves to finally take charge of their bodies again.
F*ck the Netflix. F*ck the PS4. You will have plenty of time for that, but make sure you look after your priority first (YOU).
Let’s make this period the best yet 🤲.