Depending where you live your gym access is either prohibited, looking like it is soon to be prohibited, or it is heavily restricted. Although this is far from ideal, just because certain industries are being forced to a standstill, there is no reason why your progress should do the same.
BESTFIT Editor, Mark Laws, has this advice:
- Focus on weaknesses. I know you want to get stronger, and I appreciate that you have some favourite exercises that you like performing regularly. However, the human body is a chain of many different components and like all chains it is only as strong as its weakest link. Being gymless for a few weeks could be turned into a massive positive if you use this time to work on your weak areas. It shouldn’t be difficult to find a reliable rehab/prehab programme for the area/s that you know are your weak bits – but if you struggle, email me.
- Train unilaterally. I apologise for using a big, scary-looking word, but it is for your benefit. Unilateral training is simply loading up one side or the other, rather than both at the same time (which is bilateral training). This approach will be useful if you don’t have access to the normal heavy loads that you are used to. Don’t have a squat rack and bar in your garage to bang out your back squats? Well why not cram as many books into a rucksack as you can and do some step ups? It is a very similar movement for your lower body, but because you are focussing on one leg at a time you don’t need as much load to push yourself.
- Get some fresh air. Gyms are great, but nothing can beat a lungful of fresh morning autumnal air. Whether you go into your garden for some bodyweight training, run/cycle/power walk a few laps of the block or combine the two by running to the nearest park for some pull ups on the children’s climbing frame, an outdoor workout has plenty of holistic benefits that a gym environment cannot compete with.
- Rest. In some enthusiast’s vocabulary this is a heinous swear word, but for anyone embarking on a strenuous activity/fitness programme it is probably the most important part. If you only got into fitness a fortnight ago your body might not be as desperate for rest as someone who has been training 3-4 times for week for the last few years, but learning to listen to your body and give it a chance to de-load will not do anybody any harm. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that a solid 7-14 day rest should be scheduled in every 12-16 weeks.
There you have it, four extremely useful bits of advice from a long list of potential items I could have included. Nobody will be at a disadvantage by listening to any of this advice, but we are all grown-ups, and you do not need to feel pressured into anything. Stay safe and stay strong…even if that means doing nothing more than enjoying a gentle walk.