Updated: May 14
Firstly, I genuinely hope all of you reading this is in good health and your families are well.
I wanted to write a few tips that I found helped me and some of my clients during this quarantine.
With the outlook looking so bleak, motivation is going to be low for everyone including me!
I know that personal trainers are there to help motivate people and be that inspiration for many of our clients but we are human and we are equally frustrated, head in our hands thinking what's going to happen to our businesses, how do we pay the bills, how are we going to eat!
It was a bit of a blur at the start because all days seemed to be the same but from what I remember, there was a bit of a panic in the beginning, then came the acceptance of "lounge" life, watching a few films, playing some games, wife coming into the room looking at me with disapproval. Dark times (-_-}
How did I get out of my slump?
Being the introvert, I prefer to spend time indoors but after a while you do get sick of seeing the same four walls. It wasn't until I started my own training routine that everything clicked into place. My routine is documented here if you want follow - Training Plan
Create your routine
Creating a routine for myself helped greatly, I know that if I'm not on a regimented schedule then I could easily accept the couch potato lifestyle.
The key points for my routine was to ask myself how many days could I realistically do training? As my work schedule is not the issue and time was not a problem, what other factors did I need to take into account.
If you had seen the training plan in the link above, I wrote down that I had some injuries that I needed to work around, this and the lack of equipment was going to be the limiting factors in my routine so I gave myself that mental flexibility to adjust the plan where I needed to in-case I couldn't do an exercise.
Here are a few of the questions that might help you create your own plan...
How many days can you realistically do training? What time will you do the training sessions?
If they are before work will you be able to get up? If they are after work will you have the energy? Do you need to eat before you train?
Do you have injuries?
What kind of equipment do you have that you can create a plan around?
How do you feel after training, does it make you feel tired or energized? Will you be able to carry on with your work and focus after it?
I know you're thinking why would you need to ask these questions but from my experience and conversations with clients, training should fit your schedule or lifestyle, if you're finding that your mind can't concentrate on work then training after is probably better for you. Find the optimum balance for your energy levels and focused work flow.
Join a class
The classes can help you feel part of the community and see where you rank amongst the best of them, not everyone is competitive but if you are then joining a class online does help add that competition. Even having a virtual session with a friend can help while you chat and both do your workouts.
Inspiration can be taken in many forms and one for me was this article by Megan Kelly, she is currently trying to regain the Guinness World Record for ‘Heaviest Weight Lifted by Kettlebell Swing in One Hour’ by a woman. This was an old article back in 2017 but I was pretty blown away by the sheer will and mental focus of a person, what spoke out to me was the plan that she followed to reach a monumental goal and how it was broken down into smaller workouts, if there were challenges along the way, the plan was adjusted. The article felt like it was saying to me "Hey, it's okay, just keep going! Just take small steps you'll get there."
I actually say the exact same thing to my clients but it just felt comforting to hear it from someone else (I think I need a personal trainer!)
I would have to say that this was the catalyst for me to start this plan...it may not be a fancy plan, but it was a plan for me that I could follow and progress through.
Take breaks if you need it
I haven't missed a training day yet but I almost came close after a headache stopped me from doing kettlebell snatches. The medicine helped and I decided to do a run later on in the day and turned out to be my best run so far. From past history, I knew that I could do 3 days higher intensity before I'm completely done, however since I have more time during the week to get enough good sleep, a training day on day 4 might be do-able.
After dropping the weight on the floor (oops) I decided to swap the days around so that I perform Quad day before Hip Dominant day and just listen to how I'm feeling. It helped because I managed to complete 5x5 of the 64kg for the first time.
The KPI for this exercise wasn't the weight or the repetitions but it was more about how strong I felt when I did the Kettlebell front squat. It could be as simple as cleaning the kettlebells up to my shoulders or how comfortable my upper back felt when holding the kettlebells. I could feel each week that something had improved but it wasn't always apparent to how it looked on film.
Try out a challenge
Call me a grouch but I hate doing those fitness challenges, my friends always send me them and I ignore them just because I'm already training, I don't really need the motivation. This time while in Quarantine, I finally accepted one and actually it was really good!
The challenge he sent was the Fitbit Bingo Challenge.
If you have a Fitbit, you know that you accrue steps, active minutes and it also measures your distance, while doing the challenge all those measurements that you gain each day is added to a Bingo "bank" where you can chose a circle. Each circle may have something different like a distance of 24km or 120 active minutes so you have to choose them wisely.
In the end, I came 2nd and honestly I don't think I would have done as many steps or go that far.
The game seems to favour cyclists and runners/walkers mostly so strength training sessions will be fine for the active minutes but when it comes to winning in this bingo board it's all about cardio.
Hope this helps!