Everywhere around the world this year we have all experienced the COVID-19 pandemic consequences. If you were a regular gym-goer, like myself, this situation most likely stressed you out. Being in a lockdown and training from home does not mean that all your goals are lost. There is plenty to do with minimal equipment.
Here are my top tips for "lockdown" training from home.
1. Invest in a few essential pieces of equipment- either a set of dumbbells, a kettlebell, a set of resistance bands and a mat. You can purchase all of this online.
2. Get your head right and be adaptable and accepting of change- find a new routine fast.
3. Make a monthly plan or hire a coach to write a monthly program for you. This works! Yes, you need to do the work and schedule time in your day for your workout, but it is much easier to follow a proper periodised plan, especially if you have specific goals you want to achieve.
4. Decide how many and which days are your training days and put it in your weekly diary- this is important for success -to find your new routine and set it up as quickly as possible. If you can do 3 sessions a week, I recommend 3 full body strength training sessions. To increase the intensity you can use a timer. This is especially effective if you have limited time.
5. If you normally train at the gym 4 days a week, then keep this 4 day split. It could be 2 upper body + abs and 2 lower body/glutes workouts. Keep your de-load week and add in more volume training if you only have bands or light weights- between 10-20 reps with 3-5 sets per exercise.
6. Practise the harder bodyweight exercises- perfecting your full push up, chin ups, pistol squats or any of the more plank variations or hollow holds.
7. On "days off/recovery days", utilise YouTube- there are so many free workouts on there- from yoga, pilates, abs and stretching for recovery. Add in 1-2 of these sessions to your weekly plan; they can be as little as 15 minutes a day, it is still better than nothing.
8. In a lockdown it is much more tempting to eat out of boredom, stress, emotions or just being near the fridge all day! Have herbal teas, water and healthy snacks/meals in the fridge ready to go.
9. Utilise this time to meal prep and try out some new recipes in advance, write a weekly menu and have a daily plan (from the night before). Make an effort to stick to the plan. Set some "foodie rules" or structure to adhere to- for example, have at least 3 hours in between each main meal before eating again. Keep the fridge and cupboards closed unless you are cooking. Only eat at the table- not standing or meal prepping (this one takes some discipline and practise). Have a "kitchen closed" time, immediately after dinner until breakfast.
10. Focus on "weight maintenance" and muscle maintenance. If this period is already stressful for you, now is not the time to start a weight loss diet or a muscle gain phase. Just stick to healthy nutritious balanced meals and be proud of yourself for every home workout that you do- it all makes a difference, the lockdown is not forever!!
On a personal note, both of the lockdown periods here is Israel have been very successful for me because I followed the above steps. My training would have been very random, if I wasn't following my monthly plan. I also track my macros in MyFitnessPal app and this has helped me stay on my "maintenance" goals in this time. Following a plan works. If you are self motivated and have some equipment at home, I can write a monthly program for you. When the gyms re-open I will adjust it accordingly. IT REALLY WORKS! If you struggle with accountability, structure, motivation and you need support in your training or nutrition I can help you. Please email me and set up a Zoom/Skype call- 2020 is not over yet.