Recently, COVID-19 has brought upon vast limitations worldwide. One of the limitations is the inability to access a weight room or gymnasium. Unfortunately, this may lead to the stoppage of exercising or working-out for some. However, there is an alternative way to consistently stay in shape and that is working out in the comfort of your own home. At my present employer, I had to make the shift to e-learning and to provide online strength and conditioning services for my student-athletes. However, this was a simple adjustment because I fortunately have experience with training individuals online and obtain the experience of making adjustments for specific movements. If you are suffering from the pandemic with the incapability to access the the gym, I listed three concepts that you may consider when training at home:
1. Be open to variety.
There are variations or modifications that you can use. For example, a barbell back squat can be modified into a single leg squat or a bodyweight squat at home. In addition, a dumbbell bench press can be modified into a push-up. Typically, a unilateral bodyweight exercise (i.e. single leg squat, lunge, one arm push-up) are more difficult compared to bilateral bodyweight movements (i.e. bodyweight squat, push-up). If you are an experienced lifter, try implementing unilateral movements to make the workouts more challenging.
2. Understand that this situation is temporary and think of it as a maintenance phase.
You will be able to access the gym again. Don’t panic. Understand that this situation can be used as a maintenance phase or active recovery phase. If you have been training hard for the past couple of weeks, great — use this time to recover, but still move! Don’t sit on the couch for long periods of time.
3. Focus on movement and increase tempo or duration of the movement to make bodyweight movements more challenging.
Use this time to focus on form and make sure you are moving properly. In addition, you can implement a longer tempo during the execution of the movement. For example, try using the 4/2/1 tempo during a specific movement of choice. Go for 4 seconds on the way down (i.e. eccentric movement), 2 seconds during the bottom position (isometric hold), and 1 second on the way up (concentric movement).
Please, if you need any help with your training at home during these difficult times — feel free to contact me, I will be happy to help.