In: Exercises, Health, Nutrition

Untangling your fitness regime

I believe that people’s success with health and fitness is down to three factors:

  • Knowledge
  • Motivation
  • Opportunity

It’s likely that each of these has taken a hit with the current lockdown, but all is not lost.  As politicians start talking about lifting restrictions, it’s time to get back on top of your fitness regime to make sure you’re the best version of you when we’re allowed back into society.

You don’t need much to stay fit

In the last year, I’ve moved from having my own gym studio at home, to becoming a member of a big gym, to this …

Resistance bands
Lockdown home gym

… a pile of tangled resistance bands, suspension trainer, skipping rope, step, rucksack loaded with (appropriately) exercise books and two pieces of cardboard in corner of the spare room.  It might not be fancy or extensive, but my home “gym” has been used five or six times each week for the seven weeks gyms have been closed.

Despite not having access to the range of weights and machines of the big gym, I’m still progressing in my goals of building muscle and getting leaner, without adversely impacting my health.

And keeping on top of training makes it easier to stick to my nutrition plan.  That, and only being able to shop once a week so the opportunity for going off-plan are limited!

Why am I telling you this?

Throughout lockdown, I’ve had a plan and I’ve stuck to it (mostly).  As we head towards fewer social restrictions, I’d encourage you do get a plan too.  That way, when you can get back to the gym, sports club, Zumba class, it won’t feel so difficult.

Here’s what you need to do:

Knowledge

Decide what you want to achieve, consider what you already know, and find a way to fill in the gaps.  This might be asking the family, mates or the internet.  Or you could work with a personal trainer.

If you decide to go it alone, then you should check out Thrive’s YouTube channel with almost 300 exercise videos.  Each one demos a specific exercise with instructions, and lasts about 30 seconds.  Perfect for checking your form between sets or designing your own workouts.

The channel is searchable and I’m in the process of organising the videos into playlists for each muscle, piece of equipment or whether it’s suitable for the gym, home or anywhere you happen to be.  Here are a few examples:

Resistance Band
Romanian Deadlift

Resistance Band
Standing Row

Press Up
Shoulder Tap

You can subscribe to the channel to be notified of new videos as they go live.

Motivation

I’ve shared my views on how to get things done before, and from experience with clients, I know that motivation doesn’t just come knocking at the door.  We need to edge towards action for it to kick in and sweep us forward.

My biggest piece of advice is to find someone (or something) you trust to hold you accountable.  That could be someone you live with, a colleague, friend or gym buddy.  It could be multi-coloured training programme which you tick off each day, or an online productivity app.

Whatever it is, you still need to take the first step, which could be an email to your friendly online personal trainer.

Opportunity

For those of us spending lockdown at home, it’s easy to forget that many people are still going out to work, and some of them are surrounded by the controlled chaos that is the NHS at the moment.  Finding an opportunity to exercise in those conditions is going to be difficult.

As was the case for supermarkets and toilet paper, online sports equipment stores ran out of resistance bands, dumbbells, suspension trainers, etc. when gyms were closed.  The internet became flooded with free training sessions (typically aerobic- or yoga-based, not resistance training).  Celebrities became overnight fitness gurus.

My point is that if you want to get fit, then the opportunities are there to do it, regardless of how much equipment you have at home.  Yes, the more equipment you have available, the more varied and interesting your training sessions will be, but it’s not essential to have a well-stocked home gym.

If you have a stair, a chair and room to move, you can get a good resistance training session completed.  If you can get hold of some resistance bands or fill a bag with books or tins, you’re sorted.

Now you just need to make the time.  An hour, 3 or 4 times a week is perfect, but almost anything is better than nothing.

Still need help?

Doing anything new or different can be daunting.  With health and fitness, that’s where I come in with online personal training packages designed around you, your goals and the facilities you have available to you.

Here’s how it works.  You sign up to a monthly subscription, and then:

  • You talk: I want to learn as much about you as possible so your programme can be fined tuned to your needs.
  • I design: Designing programmes is an art and a science. It may take a few days to get you your exercise and nutrition programme, but it’s better to spend time getting it right than rushing things.
  • You thrive: You get to train when and where you want. As your programmes are on a mobile app, you will always have them with you, whenever you need them.
  • We assess: You’ll record each and every exercise you do in the app, keep a track of what you eat, how you feel, how you slept, your body measurements and health markers. I’ll review your progress with you during regular video calls.

If you want to find out more, you can book a chat with me at a time which suits you.

Two pieces of cardboard?

In case you were wondering …