3 things you can do right now to get fitter than ever during lockdown!
Updated: May 2
Imagine if you will that it’s the first week after lockdown has ended and life is beginning to return to normal! As you catch up with friends and colleagues the compliments are flying in about how great you look, coupled with questions about how you’ve managed to get in such great shape!
You get your first workout in, back where you used to train and the improvements in your strength and fitness are obvious. Your fitness compadres are clearly surprised and impressed!
You manage to get out in the sun on the weekend and for the first time in ages you feel totally confident
and proud about going shirtless and soaking up the rays!
The truth is that all of the above is totally plausible! Being stuck in lockdown does not mean that you cannot take care of what I call ‘the 3 pillars of health and fitness’ – movement, diet and mindset. Here are 3 areas specifically, that if you shift your focus on during this time, will have you leaving lockdown in way better shape than you started it!
"You can apply for coaching with me right now! Just click here"
Cameron Roriston, TBM Coach
1) Movement - Start getting jacked at home!
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve heard chatter over has been missing the gym, with all it’s fluffy machines and sparkly bars and racks. It’s true that the amount and variety of weight- loaded equipment makes the gym the obvious place to go for muscle-gains, but it aint ‘all that’ and if you think you can’t put on muscle at home then think again!
This study showed that men who performed resistance training with as little as 20% of their 1RM (the maximum amount of weight able to be lifted for 1 x repetition in a given movement) still increased muscle-mass density by 8-12% over a 12-week period! What’s more, for those of you worried about losing the gains you’ve already worked so hard for, this study showed that even in conditioned men aged around 70 years old, muscle-mass could be preserved with only one resistance training workout per week!
So what should you be doing?
Aim for 3-4 resistance-training sessions at home each week, using whatever equipment you have, and if that is ‘none’ that’s no problem! Focus on variations of simple but highly-effective exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges and bodyweight abdominal exercise like sit-ups and leg raises. Where you can, incorporate some pulling movements such as pull-ups and rows. Some of my clients have been blown away by how much benefit they’ve seen from performing bent over rows with just a towel but contracting the back muscles hard throughout the movement.
Mix up the formats – some days you can go for total volume within a time limit, other days can
be circuits done fast, and other days can be focused on the more difficult variations performed
slowly and under control with longer rest breaks. Each method provides a different stimulus to
provoke a different adaptation. 2) Nutrition – Understand your diet for the fastest result!
For many of you, right now has never been a better time to start getting to grips with the
dietary habits that will get the absolute most out of your training and give that hard-earned
muscle the appearance it deserves!! Any clued-up fit-pro will tell you that the hardest way
to increase muscularity is to actually gain muscle. The easiest? Drop some bodyfat! Getting
shredded is the absolute quickest solution to getting the muscle that you already have on show,
and getting shredded is all about diet! Dinners out and beers with friends are quite literally off the table during lockdown. Working from home means no more temptation to join in your colleague’s afternoon biscuit breaks! Many of you have more control over food choices than ever before, so here’s what I suggest;
Step 1 - Download a food tracking app and start tracking! The app I've found to be the best is ‘My Fitness Pal’. It may seem like work at first but trust me,
once you’ve got used to popping everything on the kitchen scales before inserting it into your
face, and all your frequent meals and recipes are saved, it’ll become second nature and the benefits
are well worth it. I often find with my coaching clients that after a few weeks of tracking, almost
everything else they need to know about nutrition just falls into place, and the best bit is that because
they start to understand their diet for themselves, they don’t need me to support them with every single step, which gives us more time to work on their other challenges! Use the app to calculate your daily
calorie goal, based on whether you are hoping to lose, maintain or gain weight.
I did an in-depth interview with nutrition-expert Lorne Empson on exactly this topic, which
you can find below!
Step 2 – Focus on protein!
Calculate your minimum protein requirement for each day as 1.6 grams per kg of your
bodyweight and aim never to drop below this number. On a calorie-restricted diet this is
likely to account for at least 30% of your total calorie consumption. This number will ensure
that you are able to recover from your training effectively, preserve/build new muscle and
keep your metabolism elevated above a low-protein diet alternative. 99% of the time, focussing
on these two steps through tracking is enough to achieve my client’s goals without ever knowing
anything more complex about diet.
For more info on appropriate protein consumption check out my video below!
For a free copy of a TBM 'Optimised Eating' recipe book, click the pic below!
3) Manage your mindset – now the only thing stopping you is you!
Many of you may assume that the first 2 points are enough and that this is just a bolt-on
third point, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Mindset is at the core of everything.
Almost every single client I work with achieves more through the changes they make in their
attitude and the way they manage their thought processes, than through exercise and diet coaching.
The only thing I want you to do for now is the very first thing I ask everyone I work with to do - create a clear vison of your ideal future-self. There is no time-frame for this vision, it is
simply the version of you that you ultimately want to become. This won’t be a 30-second exercise.
You are going to need to sit down somewhere quiet and really dig into what it is you want. How you
want to look, how you want to behave, how it feels, the presence that your ideal-future self emanates
and what that says about your character. Does your vison of you stand taller as you walk because your
ideal future-self is more confident than you now? Are your muscles popping through your sweater because
you’ve gotten so much stronger? Are you visibly healthier and more energised after however many months
of moving better and eating well? Are you wearing more expensive clothes because your improved health
and the confidence that’s come with it has helped excel your career or business? There's no 'right' or 'wrong'
version of this vision, it is characterised specifically by what you measure your own success by.
To emphasise just how important this is, you can think of it this way – if you wanted to take a taxi now to a
friend’s house, what three things would the driver need to know to get you there? They’d need to know;
- where you are now,
- where you want to go exactly,
- and finally, the route to take between the two locations.
It’s exactly the same as the journey between your current self and your future self. Where you are now is the
easiest bit, although you still need to be sure - what is it exactly that you’re not happy with about where you are now? The vision of your ideal future self is like knowing the specific address of where you need to go. The devil is
in the details. Your cabby isn’t gonna have much luck if your destination is as vague as ‘Dave’s place’ - the equivalent
of saying 'I want to be fitter'. And there’s no way you can successfully navigate a route between the two if you aren’t
100% sure about the destination!
Results come fast in the presence of consistency! When it comes to fitness, like just about everything, we always want the shortcut, the magic trick to speed the process up. Well, to be honest, this is it! Nothing will get you to your goals faster than taking action on the three areas listed above, and just being consistent! You will have days that don't go as planned, you'll have better weeks than some weeks but every week you practice becomes easier and every good week you have gets you closer to that vision. And you will never see results sooner than if you start now!