Monday 21 December 2020

Training, Another Lockdown? How to Stay Motivated

Less than a month after reopening following the end of lockdown 2.0, gyms here in Kent have been forced to close once again.
With a surging Covid infection rate and a fast spreading mutated variant, there was almost an inevitability about stricter measures coming in for the region. Tier 3 was failing to halt the rise in cases.
A large swathe of the South East, not just Kent, now finds itself in the new tier 4 and is once again closing gyms, leisure centres and all non essential shops.
It's prompted huge anger on social media, of course. Not just that it's Christmas and lockdown 2.0 ended less than a month ago, but because it comes in the wake of a high profile campaign by the fitness industry to get gyms excluded from any future lockdowns. 

For many people losing access to their gym cuts off their ability to cope. They also can't understand the logic, given the low infection rates in gyms - forgetting that the figures are "reported" positive cases, and one in three Covid cases is asymptomatic, but moving on...
So here we are, in lockdown number three. Nine months into the pandemic and it's back to home and outdoor training.
As for me I never returned to the gym after lockdown 1.0 (see post). It wasn't just Covid: I had other reasons for continuing to train at home, not least worsening hip osteoarthritis.
I've learnt a lot about home training over the past months. Perhaps the biggest challenge to overcome is motivation. I've found it really hard to get myself in the right mood. Another issue is lack of kit. Without all the big machines at your disposal trying to maintain the level of muscle tone you once did is well nigh impossible.

Training Plans
But it is possible to train, and it is possible to train effectively. Perhaps the biggest piece of advice I would give is to plan. Write out programmes and timetable your training ahead. I've found maintaining a routine key. It doesn't take much effort or time to do.
I've made a few simple tweaks to my old gym routine. I've continued with training programmes but rather than follow 6-weekly plans I've dropped them down to four-weekly ones.
I've also allowed myself one off-plan training session a week: I'll spend a few minutes before I start writing out a new workout, incorporating exercises that I fancy doing at the time.
These small changes have worked for me, so it's worth having a little play around with your own routine and seeing what happens.
Whatever you do make sure training is manageable and fun. That way you'll soon find yourself back lifting with a passion!


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