In this scenario, you are stuck at home. Unable to access a gym, the survival of your training has become a paramount concern because however long your home quarantine lasts, you need to maintain a state of constant physical readiness in order to perform the job that you have been trained to do.
The foundation for a successful training program starts in the brain. If you don’t have a positive outlook on the “at home” situation, you’ve already set yourself up for failure and a loss of gains. Get your head straight and look at possible opportunities instead of restrictions.
Remember, don’t let a tragedy such as losing access to gym equipment be your excuse for kicking back and falling out of shape. That’s failing and it reflects more on your personal will power than the quarantine you’ve come under.
Look for OpportunitiesSo you’re stuck at your home, but it may be better equipped for resistance training than you thought. Look around for what you have available to you.
Do you have four walls? You can do decline pushups.
How about the floor? You can do Supermans which are great for strengthening the posterior chain and prone shoulder presses with empty hands or a towel for some shoulder activation.
A box or tote? You can load that up and get some deadlift variations in.
These are just off the top ideas, but there are countless more ideas depending on what you had in your possession before the quarantine began.
Take a Recovery Week
It may be counter intuitive to what we talked about earlier, but this may be a prime opportunity to take that recovery week that your ego has been neglecting you from doing. For most of us with the A-type personality, taking a recovery week proves to be one of the hardest requirements we have to abide to. We don’t want to lose an opportunity to make gains but fail to understand that those gains are made while at rest. The current situation might help to force that and you’ll be stronger because of it.Personally, we at Bravo Actual prefer active recovery weeks. This means that you’ll still be getting the heart rate up a little bit, but will not be training to failure or exhaustion and resistance training will be kept to a lightweight minimum. Keep in mind this is only for one week! If your quarantine lasts for 4 weeks, you’ll have to resume more intense training when the recovery week concludes.
The ego is the biggest adversary when it comes to this because we are here to make gains and not lose them. Realistically, you could take a 2-3 week break of not working out at all and still maintain your strength. Muscle size will decrease and if you aren’t stretching, your flexibility will be reduced, but these can be regained exponentially faster once training resumes. Muscles lose their size during periods of rest because there is a reduction of blood and other fluid being pushed through them, but size loss does not equate to strength loss.
If triggering the type 2, or fast-twitch fibers for anabolic growth is your concern, plyometrics (or jump training) are going to be your best friend during these adverse times. These can be done in place, side to side, or in a bounding motion.
Also, they are not limited to lower body movements. Plyometrics can be applied to the upper body as well in the form of explosive pushups.
Keep in mind that plyometric training should be done when you are beginning your training for the day in order to activate the fast-twitch fibers to their maximum potential. This helps them to develop at an optimal rate and allows you to get the most out of the training session.
If you have something available to jump on to such as a box, tire, or another stable surface, these can be utilized to enhance your plyo training. Obviously, you can jump on and off the platform, but you can also perform one-legged variation to this for additional resistance or perform plyo pushups with the feet elevated.
When resistance training is limited, plyometrics allows you to activate the same muscle fibers and can be a great substitute during your home quarantine.
Focus on Mobility
Resistance training takes a toll on your overall mobility if you aren’t mindful to stretch. While overall strength is important, it amounts to nothing if you aren’t able to move that mass of muscle. Even powerlifters require mobility training in order to maintain hip flexibility, so nobody gets an exemption from this.
Mobility training also helps to prevent potential injury. The more limber and fluid the muscle is, the less likely it is to suffer from an injury due to excessive strain. You can feel a difference too when your muscles are loose when performing movements as opposed to when they feel locked up and your range of motion is limited.
We could go over examples of mobility style workouts, but that would just be retracing the path that ROM WOD has already paved. If you have never tried ROM WOD, we highly recommend it as their sessions can brief, or in upwards of an hour long. It’s nothing to be taken lightly as these stretch sessions will leave you exhausted but relaxed all at the same time. We don’t get any kickbacks, nor are we partnered with them, but we do believe in their approach to mobility training for optimal results.
Boost Your Cardio
In most cases, you can still go outside for physical activities such as walking or running. If you have been telling yourself that you need to step up your cardio, this could be the opportune time to do so. Lace-up your running shoes and get moving!
Cardio can be performed indoors as well. If you have a treadmill or rower, the choice is obvious but there are more options that would be worth your while to explore such as full-body movements. These are a great option because they are not only taxing in a cardiovascular sense, but they also allow for total muscle activation and helps to promote the lymph in your system to be mobilized.
Our favorite full-body exercise is burpees. Not only does it go from a pushup to squat, but you also get some plyometric work as well. These can also be combined with a Tabata style programming approach to create a HIIT style workout.
Throughout the duration of your home workout routine, cardio is the one thing that has no excuse to suffer.
All Aboard the Pound Town Express!
No at-home workout suggestion list would be complete without mentioning that if possible, have some sexy time with your partner. It’s a physical activity that can be a moderate cardio session and delivers a reasonable caloric burn. If you’re able to, take advantage of this time to get a few sessions in. Who knows, in 13 years you might even have a “quaranteen” to remind you of the home workout chapter in your life.
All is not lost if forced to stay at home. There is still potential to maintain all the progress you’ve made and possibly prepare yourself for better progress once life returns to normal. The key is not to allow yourself to fall into a state of being sedentary and continue to remain active. Even though the new routine may be completely opposite of the standard programming you’ve practiced in the past, the opportunities to take maximum advantage of the situation still exists and it would be a waste to let the potential benefit it brings to pass you up.
About The Author
Stuart Baxter is a former Airman, currently employed in the law enforcement sector and co-founder of Bravo Actual Supplements.