How to survive Lockdown 2.0 - Fitness and Nutrition
So it happened again...old BoJo has decided to put us all in lockdown for another month, including all gyms. However, that doesn’t mean that all your fitness and nutritional gains are now lost or put on pause for the next month. Here are 5 tips to ensure you stay on track, and continue to make progress on your fitness and nutritional goals.
1) Fitness - Be creative with the kit you have
We have rented out a huge amount of our kit to our members to help everyone through the next couple of weeks. If you were someone lucky enough to get a piece of kit, try and get the most out of it. For example, if you have a kettlebell, you literally have a home gym in one piece of equipment, great for strength training as well as conditioning, you just need to find the right exercises appropriate for the weight of the kettlebell. If you have a spin bike, you can repeat as many spin classes as you would like, but it doesn’t need to stop there...the bike can be part of a workout and not simply the only piece of the workout.
If you were less lucky, and your lockdown home gym kit consists of yourself and yourself - you can still be super creative! The possibilities with bodyweight workouts are endless. You can test your strength by trying to progress to more complex bodyweight movements. You can get your pump on, for example, by varying the tempo at which you perform movements or by performing static holds. And burpees will always be effective if you’re unsure of what to do.
Equally, be creative with what you have at home, remember, resistance is resistance, just because it isn’t a dumbbell or a weighted plate, does not mean it isn’t useful. That backpack filled with books will still do the trick! Able to get your hands on a bag of sand or soil? Wrap it in some tape to make sure it doesn’t leak and you have a bonafide sandbag to use.
2) Fitness - Modifying or making new fitness goals
Ok, so obviously, if your next fitness goal was to hit a new deadlift PB, unless you have a home gym at your disposal, you might need to reassess this goal. That said, just because you can’t specifically practice that movement at the required weight, does not mean you can’t better prepare your body for that eventual goal. For example, if we use the example of the deadlift, do you have weak glutes or hamstrings? Does your lower back blow up when deadlifting? If the answer is yes, then why not focus on strengthening these areas or perfecting technique, so then when lockdown is over, you are better prepared to hit that new PB. Just because your fitness goal is dependent on the use of a gym, does not mean you can’t do something to progress towards it in the meantime.
If however, you did not have a specific goal planned for the next month, having one can really help in terms of motivation. Mine, for example, is to get better at pistol squats, something that I know I can work on at home, equipment free and perform pretty much anywhere. Your goal doesn’t need to be the same as mine, have you just started running? Try to build up to a 5k. Have you got access to a pull up bar? Try and build up to performing your first pull up. Picking a goal that you are able to work on for the next month (uninterrupted) is a great way to refocus the mind.
3) Nutrition - Have simple rules and stick to them
People tend to overcomplicate nutrition, for example, deciding to start the latest diet trend with the hope that it will magically transform their body within a week. Ultimately, regardless of the diet, if you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll likely put on weight and if you burn more than you consume (within reason), you’ll lose weight. Simple. Obviously, there are other nutritional tips to consider, such as the benefit of eating nutrient dense food, eating sufficient protein, sufficient fibre, whether your body works better on fats or carbs energy-wise etc, but these are all secondary to how many calories you eat. So start there. Match your food consumption to your energy needs.
Similarly, I’m not sure about you but if I’m stuck in the house all day and bored, I think about and consequently eat so much more food than I normally would. If you are the same, make sure you fill your cupboards and fridge with healthy foods and snacks. For example, I like ice cream A LOT, if I buy it, I know I’m going to eat it within a few days, so if I’m trying to be slightly stricter with my diet, I just won’t buy it. Out of sight, out of mind. Everybody’s situation is different, but having simple rules to stick to will help a tonne as we manoeuvre our way through this next month.
4) Nutrition - Stay away from the weighing scale and the mirror
Obviously I don’t mean purge your house of anything that allows you to make out the slightest bit of your own reflection. Similarly, there are some people this won't apply to. However, if you are someone, like me, that has a tendency to overthink or be slightly self-critical about their appearance, then avoiding things such as the mirror or the weighing scale over lockdown might be a good idea. Not because you are suddenly going to look different or have gained 30 kilos as soon as the gym doors shut. However, if psychologically, you are already stressing about not being able to perform your regular workout routine, then, looking at yourself in the mirror (excessively) can easily trigger anxiety about weight gain and the like. Similarly, if the same thing happens when you step on the weighing scale when you see 0.001 kilo gained in the past 24 hours. Probably best to step away from it for the next month or so.
5) Try not to stress
And lastly, remember, it's only a month, exercise wise, do what you can with what you have, something is always better than nothing. Nutritionally, make some simple rules specific to your situation and try to stick to them and most importantly, try not to stress if either of these things are not perfect. We’ll hopefully all be back in no time :)
By Luca Samara