I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. Sharing my thoughts on my workouts through this pandemic period. For the most part, I would consider myself highly motivated to go to the gym, but workouts at home are totally different. Also with no AC and 90 degree days, the heat wore me down and I just did not want to sweat more than I was just walking around the house.
I am now in week 20 of working from home and really it has been about 21 weeks without a gym to go to. To put it simply, it has been very hard, mentally and physically. At first, in March, I was like, OK I can finally try out some of these at home workouts and I purchased the PIIT28 1.0 program as I have enjoyed the Blogilates videos on Youtube and it was a simple program laid out to follow. Also the price was around $30 which wasn’t bad for a month program.
Even though I have been working from home, I have my alarm set for 5am most mornings. I would wake up and put on my workout clothes and do the warm up and get into the PIIT program for the morning before making my breakfast. The program ended up taking me 2 months to complete though, as I started out with a little too much high intensity for myself and realized I did better doing the workouts every other day instead. I also took a few Zumba classes through Zoom on Saturdays so that was my cardio. I added lots of walking to my routine with lunch time walks and sometimes evening walks with Brian. I missed going to yoga classes and tried a few through Instagram live, but it was hard to watch on my phone screen. Here was another opportunity to try something and I got a membership to Bad Yogi Studio online which is only $9.99 a month, basically less than 1 yoga class and I had been previously going to 1-2 classes a week when I could. So on days that I didn’t do my PIIT28 workout, I would pull up a yoga class or just stretch in the morning. Sometimes I don’t do a workout and I was doing homework instead.
Week 9 hit and they had announced that gyms could possibly open at the end of June, so I had a month or so to wait. After finishing PIIT28, I felt like a break was good. The weather was warming up and I decided to start trying to run. This lasted only a couple weeks, running 2-3 times in the week as my right ankle would get really sore. I think I need to strengthen my ankles more. Then as the days got hot, I lost all motivation. I was counting down to the gyms opening, which would have been around 14 weeks.
Just 2 days before the gyms were supposed to open, they announced they couldn’t. I was crushed!! It was seriously really hard. What I had been doing was walking 2 miles in the morning and doing yoga from Bad Yogi. Both of those things were great, but NOTHING could replace my weight lifting I missed so much and how it makes me body feel. I basically spent a night crying because gyms were not opening. The gym has been my second home since college, a place to get out and also just make me feel good. A place to socialize and chat with others who enjoy lifting. I know this has been tough on many others as well.
Knowing that gyms would now have no date of opening in the near future, I needed to do something. In mid July, the number of states I am not allowed to travel to per New York, is increasing. The one thing I had to look forward to in mid July was a trip with a couple friends to Kentucky and that was quickly taken from me as their numbers rose and last minute we cancelled. I knew it was the right decision but I was very sad about it because all my plans I have tried to make this year have been cancelled (and I know so many other people out there are dealing with the same disappointment).
One thing was though, I was not feeling myself without my weight lifting. I only had 8lb and 10lb dumbbells and after so many weeks without a gym, I needed some 5lb dumbbells for some of the arm exercises. So our trip was cancelled and here I was searching for weights and pricing out squat racks online. A squat rack was 5 weeks backordered, but the hardest part seemed to be locating weights and a barbell. Brian searched Craigslist and happened to see a weight set and bar that had just been posted. Since we switched our plans to head towards the Thousand Islands, we would be heading right through Syracuse to get the weights. Luckily, they were still available in the morning and I texted with the guy all morning as we drove and scheduled a place and time to meet. Besides my Bad Yogi membership of $9.99 a month, buying these weights has been the best purchase I made in quarantine. I now could work on some moves to get some strength back. I still have not purchased a squat rack, but for now, I wrote up 3 beginner weight workouts to ease back in. I am taking things light and doing the workouts every other day in the morning. On the opposite days, I am either going for long walks or doing a 30-40 minute yoga class from Bad Yogi. I love that Bad Yogi comes out with a couple new videos each month and that there are fun, not ordinary, moves sometimes. I always love the more creative flows and vinyasa style.
So after about a month in a funk over what to do, I am in a good spot as I can work on deadlifts again. I hope to also work on my bench press from the floor (since I don’t have a bench) with some help from Brian too.
I have hopes for next year to get back to Powerlifting training and maybe hire a coach again. I know I did the best when I had a coach, but with school, my mind hasn’t been totally focused on training. If there is one thing this pandemic has taught me though, it’s how important I need to make my training, because it helps me feel the best. Right now, I am enjoying just a quick 30 minute session of some weight lifting and by starting really light, I feel I can increase a little each time and then I will work to increase number of sets or reps. I am also working on my nutrition again, focusing on protein intake to help with recovery and lots of water.
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