My 5 Quarantined Fitness Trends
Your fitness routine is messed up.
My fitness routine is messed up.
Even if you have all the equipment you could ever want the fact that we’re living in a pandemic and being told to stay home for weeks on end has some how messed up your fitness routine.
Unless of course you didn’t have one to begin with. In which case, why are you even here..
We’ve all reacted to our situations differently. And adapted in the only ways we know how.
Maybe it’s been your wake up call to take control over your life and the hours in your day. Maybe you’re like my older sister. Who has seen her at home situation as zero excuse NOT to get on the bike in her basement. So that’s where she’s been by 5:30am every morning M-F so she can be ready to go when Joe, the most wonderfully hyper, smart, and psychotic two year old, wakes up and she has to be mom.
Oh, and then somehow squeeze in time for her full time job as a principal and, you know, run a school.
Maybe you’re like her.
Maybe you’re like me. And many others. Who don’t have access to what they used to have access to and have had to rely on little to no equipment to keep them moving. But you’re doing the best you can with what you can. And while you don’t have a two year old or even a job to keep you honest and on schedule, you somehow are using nothing but will to get your butt moving.
Have I thrown a tantrum out of pure frustration over not having what I did weeks ago?
Was Jerry judging me?
No matter what, we’ve adapted. We’ve turned our homes and neighborhoods into our offices, virtual coffee houses, and gyms.
Here are 5 trends that have happened in my fitness life throughout quarantine:
That was REI’s phrase, right?
Talk about being on brand. Anyway. They nailed it.
How many walks would you say you’ve gone on during quarantine? I average maybe two a day, sometimes three. For awhile there I was purposely trying to walk during the times I’d normally be coaching classes. I’m used to being on my feet and I wanted to mimic that.
Then walking became a way to fill the days and an hour to write into my daily ‘schedule’.
But now, more than anything, being outside has been the best way to deal with stress, laziness, and overall mental wellbeing.
We live in Ohio. It’s gross out. It’s currently been raining for days on end. But that hasn’t stopped the walking train. And when life gets a little bit easier to deal with and going places is less of a six feet away process, it’ll be nice to know that being outside will always be free and during the cold and rainy months of March-May of 2020, we were out there.
What used to be my warm up workouts are now my only workouts.
It’s no secret that I have an active lifestyle. My works itself for the last four years has been very active. But for over two months now it has only been me against me forcing myself to move. the part that has taken the most toll on my general fitness level is simply being confined to my apartment.
Yes I’m working out and doing what I can.
But I think we underestimate the energy it takes to simply be in a meeting, talking to other people, being ‘on’ for your clients, classes, or coworkers. So while I’ve been moving, my fitness level has certainly declined.
But. That’s okay. Because I also know that our bodies are smart. Really smart and very elastic. Meaning they conform easily to what we are making them do. Give a new diet a few weeks and it will respond. Put yourself on a workout routine and it will respond. Learn a skill and dedicate time to the content and your brain will respond.
Sit and walk around your small apartment most of the hours of the day and it will respond..
I’ve learned to deal with my former active recovery workouts as my real workouts. I’ve done what I can to keep the volume and intensity up, but it simply is not and cannot be at the level it was a few months ago. So instead I’ve been opting for slow and steady living room lifting, for a few solid miles in the rain, and of course, for doing lunges on lunges on lunges.
Start a streak
Even though the intensity has declined. The mental edge has not. And my way of staying mentally competitive is to stick to something I know many others wouldn’t.
Cory G is a name I’ve brought up before. He has some of the best content out there and practices what he preaches. He’s the man to thank for the tried and true lunge streak. He ends his workouts with 400m of walking lunges. Sometimes up to 800m. Sometimes while wearing a weight vest.
Cool cool cool.
Today is day 22 for me. I”m going every day in May and I’m at the point where I don’t even think about it anymore.
If you attempt to do this, know that after the first day you shouldn’t be able to walk well for a little while. If you’re a beginner, start with doing walking lunges for a solid 5 minutes. Then increase minute by minute.
I will saying, being three weeks into this, one of the craziest things is that my hip flexor pain is gone. After a few back flares and constant hip flexor pain, I’ve had to re learn how to properly fire my glutes and core so my back and hamstrings don’t compensate. Well I’ll tell ya what, lunging is a great way to keep your core in check and work that booty.
Even sitting here now my right hip flexor would be in a constant sharp pain. And it’s gone.
But at the end of the day, whether it’s lunges or pushups or sit ups. What better time to start a streak than under lockdown?
I sold my couch.
I sold my couch and bought dumbbells.
Jerry is pissed.
Have you learned yet that you can workout anywhere? Maybe don’t take my approach. But you have a body and you can move it wherever you are. My coffee table has been pushed under my window for over two months. Not that I have a lot of space to deal with, but early on I tried to designate an area where I would workout. Which led me also to do hand stand push ups in my dining room.
Lockdown has forced me to free up physical space in my life to keep myself active. And forced me to free up mental space in my head to deal with the world around me.
Excuses are cute but have you tried taking control of your situation and making it work for you? If you were to look at your lockdown and the mats you’ve rolled out on your floor, the walks you’ve taken, the bike you dusted off, you’ve made space. If you’ve had your freak outs and got over your freak outs, you’ve made mental space.
You’re dealing. I’m dealing. And we will continue to deal for months to come.
Won’t it be neat to look back on this and remember the will power you had to make physical and mental space to keep yourself moving and stick to the routine and purpose we all so desperately need.
Here’s the one that’s easier said than done. It’s taken weeks and constant daily practice, but I’ve accepted this situation. Simply because there’s no other choice. Not accepting it doesn’t do anything and makes zero sense.
Even the other day. I did a workout in my living room where my couch used to be that old Emily would have laughed at but this Emily was totally cool with.
I’ve felt the shift in my attitude. Because I know it’s temporary. And I’m looking forward to the day years from now when I can look back and think about how hard I worked to hold on to any workout, routine, and purpose while I quite literally had nothing. And while I know that there are harder days yet to come, I know that if I can accept these past few months for what they were, I can approach the next few more steadfast and determined than ever.
I can accept that my workouts are seemingly watered down. And accept that when I get back on a rig it’s going to hurt but my body is smart and it will be better than it was before.
It’s like learning to ride a bike, right? You just have it. You don’t forget that. And what used to take me months to work up to at the gym will now only take me weeks. Because my body has done it before.
My best friend and yours, David Goggins, talks a lot about callousing your mind. It’s the theme I love about his book more than anything. Sure he’s a psychopath and enjoys pain possibly more than anyone. But the trying times. The mental and emotional breaks are all opportunities to create the strongest mindset you can. Just like you callous your hands at the gym and build them up to be able to withstand more reps, you callous your head when you go though a trying time.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I do believe this pandemic would be considered a trying time.
Bring on the callouses. Bring it on. Pack it on so I can look back on it knowing I accepted it for what it is, learned from but didn’t dwell on my freak outs, and held on to the fact that this is temporary. This time has been hardening we needed for the majority of this world who had, quite frankly, gotten soft.
Accept your situation. Don’t dwell on your situation. Remember there is always someone out there fighting a harder battle than you. And harden your mind. While the physical strength may have had to take a back seat in some regards, the mental strength is what we should be after. It’s only through that will we get the body, outlook, perspective, and results we are after.