Updated: Sep 29
- AND I HAVE A SURPRISE FOR YOU AT THE END OF THIS POST
I have not posted in a while, probably because I shy away from doing what everyone else is doing. Have you noticed how everyone with a smart phone and a pair of tights is suddenly a home training expert? Don’t get me wrong. - I love that peeps wanna get in front of a camera to do the push-ups. It’s like sharing the love and it takes some courage. - But when there’s a stampede into one direction, you may want to hang back and see if the cattle are heading for a cliff…
What I love, is that people now actually DO want to get fit and since they can’t really head off to the gym anymore, they are finding ways to find some "hurt" at home.
The traditional model lay in packing your gym bag, and shuffling off to the place where you had signed up to become a member. In an ideal world, you'd head to your gym locker, chanting the Faithless tune… “this is my church, this is where I heal my hurts”
But then, reality kicks in and Joey from up the road accosts you and wants to tell you all about his date with Mary, telling you that there’s something about her, while you are trying to maintain a manly personal space, since it’s the change-room you’re in and he's only wearing a towel. On your way to the cardio machines, you meet Pete, who has not been on a date in years and once again, and once again, you assume a safe distance to compensate for his bad breath. You make a mental note to offer some gum next time. All the while, you've been at the gym for 20 minutes and still a real sweat remains elusive, (even if you’re surrounded by state of the art equipment). Chrome Dumbells, ergo machines with VR capability are ready and waiting for you to switch to "beast mode".
Now that you’ve spoken to nearly everyone and are finally ready to get sweating, your mother calls while you're on the stair master and you decide to call it a day... - you may as well head for the shower and pick up a smoothie… You get the Peanut Butter Bomb because, what the heck, the workout was a waste anyway.
I’m only being halfway over the top here, but the point that I wish to illustrate is that more chrome and glitz does not mean you're going to get a better workout. I for one, have been getting amazing workouts done at home.
I have no chrome dumbbells, barbells, benches, or Olympic lifting equipment at home. In fact, I am so under-staffed in the chrome bar department, I’m almost embarrassed to admit what amazing workouts I have been doing, with as little as I have.
Since the start of Lockdown, I have lost 3Kg’s of fat, dropped 2 inches around my waist, and maintained the muscle mass I had “earned” in the gym. - What gives?
The bottomline is that you don’t need to be the Gold Member at the Virgin Active to get into really good shape. It may even be a little easier when your options are reduced.
My total lockdown training equipment looks as follows: I have a yoga mat to do sit-ups and stretching
There are 2 resistance bands and a another stability band as well as a skipping rope.
The various items were pieced together from Sportsman's Warehouse, Yoga Life and Mr Price Sports.
Ok, I have to admit that I have a stationary bike too, - quite a fancy one actually, but I will still make my point here.
Less is more...
A workout should be comprised of cardio and some resistance training, as well as some pre or post workout stretching. - especially for the older guard… I will go into specifics in a later post, but know that a teeny little skipping rope will give you a better cardio workout than a R100k stair-master will. ANY DAY!! - If you can skip for half an hour, you are my hero, and you’ve burned 3 times the calories you would have, talking to Mary on the stair master.
(10 minutes of skipping = 30 minutes of jogging in caloric expenditure)
Here’s the first lesson…. Get a skipping rope!
You don’t need a trainer, you don’t need the Platinum membership and you certainly don’t need a fitness and lifestyle coach to get you fit and feeling great.
(On a side note, skipping jars your endocrine system and gets you to actually produce excrete all the good stuff… more easily - adrenaline welcome, but more about that in a later post about hormones)
Ok, so you’ve skipped, hit your toes a few times, cursed a few times, but eventually your timer goes off, informing you that you’re managed all of 30minutes.
Now it’s time for some resistance work...
I use the following split:
Monday - Back and Biceps (mostly pulling movements)
Tuesday - Chest and Triceps (pushing movements)
Wednesday - Shoulders and Legs
Rinse and repeat with Sunday being a rest day...
In between writing this, I am about to head into my courtyard to actually sweat this stuff.
I will throw a towel over a tree branch in the garden, and do a good 'ol pull-up. - works just fine. In fact, it works great!
Then, in a back to back fashion, ie without resting, I will find a movement which engages the bicep… (like maybe curling bands towards me, having fastened them to a door handle)
I will perform both sets back to back, until I hit total muscle fatigue.
I rest for a minute and do it again.
If you're able to do just that for 45 minutes, you will be on your way to the best shape of your life. - guaranteed, and all you needed, was a towel, a tree and a rubber band.
For the Platinum personal training squad, this may seem too simplistic, but let me assure you. You can take just 2 exercises and literally kill the workout and the muscle.
"Yes, but what about all the other exercises that my personal trainer has me do?" - you might ask...
- I would agree that there are literally thousands of combinations and types of exercises you could do....
...but if you do all of those, you won’t master any one of them.
Gym is like golf. You need to practice your swing if you wish for it to be great. Similarly, you need to pick a few exercises and do those until you’re good at them. Do you really know what it feels like to squeeze the last bit of juice out of a rep you have preformed with perfect form, or are you too busy waiting to be told what the next workout movement surprise is going to be?
Since Covid, home training has become a thing.
Since Covid, gym training may not be as alluring as it used to be.
People are learning that one can do a lot with a little.
They don’t want to commute as far, and exchange the germs, waste time on small talk and spend money on pricey gym memberships that they don't really use anyway.
There are many ways to skin the fitness cat, and if you’re ok with building up a sweat within your property boundary, I’m happy to help.
Other benefits of training at home include:
You become a self starter. A personal trainer can't do the exercise for you. You have to find the hurt yourself. This involves stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing a voluntary discomfort. Statistically, it's those who train themselves to do this time and again, who are also not afraid to take on other challenges in life. - just saying ;)
You begin to understand how your body works. - When you're not obsessing about leaving a good impression with your personal trainer, or the "hottie across the room", you make time to listen to your muscles. You feel the contraction, you feel the squeeze at the end of the rep. You experiment with other movements and you begin to "get it"
You save money. - Besides the cost of getting to the gym, the monthly membership, your post workout latte, and your trainer, there is opportunity cost to take into account. If you train for an hour a day, you may be spending an additional hour a day just getting there and back. Time is money and it's quite scarce these days.
Since you have been kind enough to devote a few minutes of your time to reading this little home training rant, I would like to give you something in return. The home kit which I put together by default, cost me around R2,500 and it works great.
I have compiled a home training kit for our Thor's Army members.
The kit is a Pre-Order product, meaning that you can reserve yours and save yourself R1000 bucks, compared to buying the kit, the way I did.
Click this link, leave me your deets, and I will inform you when they have arrived.
(mid-June is the expected import date)
You're under no obligation to take the unit, should you change your mind, but by putting your name down, you will be first in line.
Take Care and Happy training