SECOND GYM CLOSURE PLAYBOOK
As if the holidays weren’t complicated enough, throwing in a possible second lockdown doesn’t help. We’re going to outline how to stay on top of your fitness if your gym closes… again.
STEP 1: DON’T PANIC!
Everybody stay calm! We can’t accomplish anything in a panic and the good news (if there’s any to be had) is we’ve been here before so there should be less surprises this time. Getting worked up over another shut down is wasted energy. Although it may feel good in the moment to complain, it doesn’t get us any closer to our goals. Instead we should direct that energy into prior, proper planning to prevent piss poor performance (my Marine Corps father would be proud I remembered that)! On to the next step.
STEP 2: TAKE INVENTORY
Now that we’ve gotten our heads on straight, let’s observe the 3 core functions the gym serves. The first being supplying equipment. Obviously the more options we have, the better we can put together a workout. Take inventory of what workout equipment you have around the house. Common items might be dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, yoga mats, and maybe even a pull up bar you can jam into the doorframe. Other less traditional items can also serve you well during this time. Books, water jugs, and rice/sand bags make for great weights and a backpack serves as a perfect housing for these things. Chairs/benches can also be useful for stepping/jumping onto or for laying on for other exercises. Now that we’ve taken stock of what equipment our home gym has, let’s move on to the second main function brick and mortar gyms fulfill.
I’m willing to bet your gym is a lot bigger than your home, making it easier to move around during your workout. That’s function number 2 most gyms fill; space. If you’ve been following along, you should already know what you have to workout with but now I want you to start thinking about where you’re going to workout. In an ideal world, you should be able to lay down, jump with your hands over your head, and spin around with your arms outstretched without touching anything. I wouldn’t deem these “normal” activities to do in your home so try them out in a few different spots to see if they meet the requirements. That should give you ample room for a variety of exercises. Some of you might not have a spot that does which leads us to the great outdoors. Working out outside can be tough this time of year given the weather but, where there’s a will, there’s a way! So we’ve gathered our equipment and found a spacious place. Now what? Well, this next step is optional (but highly recommended!).
STEP 2a: GET A COACH
The third and final function most gyms serve is coaching. We’ve wrote on the importance of having a coach prior so if you haven’t read it, nows your chance to go back and check out Why You Need A Coach (And How To Pick One). The importance of a coach is their guiding knowledge. When you’re limited by not only your equipment but also by your space, your coach is there to do all the heavy lifting (pun entirely intended) of figuring out how to keep your achieving your goals. We suggest not only getting a coach, but more specifically a coach who is well versed in remote coaching. If you just asked yourself “What is remote coaching?”, you better go and read the blog rightfully titled What Is Remote Coaching? As we said earlier, this isn’t entirely necessary but it is infinitely easier. If you choose to skip this step, you’re definitely going to need this next one.
STEP 3: EXPERIMENT
This is a short and sweet step. With your hodge-podge set up in your basement, there’s still a learning curve on what works and what doesn’t. The only way you’re going to know is by trying out some stuff! You’re only limited by your imagination and if you’re having a brain fart on what to do, here’s a playlist with 50+ home workouts videos (you’re welcome!). One of the things you should definitely be experimenting with is the overall tempo of your exercises. Most folks don’t have as heavy of weights as their gym but a great way to get a stimulus with a lighter load is to slow down! Instead of doing a million reps, do one rep that takes a million seconds. Well, not literally but you get my point. Another thing to play around with in addition to slowing down and adding pauses is supersetting your exercises. This is where you do 2 or more exercises in a row with no rest in between. You can get a great effect when you choose exercises that work the same muscles.
With COVID numbers rising, so will the numbers of gyms closing for a second time. Be prepared with these easy steps. Keeping a level head will allow you take inventory of what you can use around the house to stay fit but also where you workout easily. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do, a quick internet search can help but remote coaching can help even more! If you’re looking for some help, send me an email (email@example.com) and we’ll get you started! Last but not least, try out some new things like supersets and varying tempos. This will be especially important if you don’t have a coach.
One last side note before we wrap this up! If you're in a position to given another shut down occurs, continue supporting your local gym so once the dust settles, there's a gym to come back to!
As always, thanks for stopping by and we hope you found something useful in this blog post! If you think someone you know might find value in it, feel free to share!
We’ll see you on the next one!