On March 16, 2020, my company along with many others across our nation closed its doors. When our boss gave the word, my mind immediately began racing with all the mostly negative ramifications. Beyond the obvious health and financial implications for our country, I wondered how in the world I would be able to train at home.
Since I’ve always trained at a gym, I had very little exercise equipment at home. I had my trap bar and two 25 lbs kettlebells and that was about it. That evening, I ordered a resistance band set from Amazon which thankfully arrived a couple of days later. The next day I purchased a stability ball and ab wheel from Walmart, and a small number of free weights for my trap bar along with some extra resistance bands from Busy Body Fitness.
I would have purchased more weight however they were out. As crazy as the rush on toilet tissue has been, the rush on fitness equipment has been almost equally crazy. Even as of this morning, it’s still difficult to find fitness equipment locally or online. My one other purchase was a trip to Home Depot for a metal pipe, chain, and a couple of spring links to build my homemade chin-up bar.
Now I will admit that while training at home is not the same as going to the gym, it’s still doable and it certainly beats the alternative of not doing anything. I had never used resistance bands before as one of my primary tools and I’m still figuring out little tricks almost daily in better utilizing them. Actually, in some ways, I like them more than some of the equipment I was using before, and will definitely be integrating them into my training in the future once I’m back in my gym.
With that short background, I want to shift to my biggest reason for this post. As I’ve reached out to a number of my clients over the past few weeks, the most common feedback I’ve received is that they’re not motivated to workout at home. This is even coming from a few clients who actually have some decent home equipment…certainly more than my little hodgepodge.
So here’s the same tuff love that I’ve given to my clients regarding their lack of motivation. Motivation is a trap…based on your emotions. If you live your life based only on how you feel, good luck. You will live your life on a freakin’ roller coaster as your emotions go up, down, and all around. Live your life based on your commitments to yourself, your family, your friends, your coworkers, and your fellow man…do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Question? Do you always feel like going to work? The answer is “no” for most. So why do you go? Because of your commitments to take care of yourself and your family. Obviously, there’s more, but this really cuts to the core reasons for why you go. Feeling like it generally has little to do with it.
So, when it comes to your exercise, it doesn’t matter if you’re motivated or not. Do it because it’s the right thing to do…for you. Further, do it because you’re no good to your family or anyone else if you physically break down. And this will be the end result of not taking care of your self. World renown physician, Dr. Ken Cooper teaches that you can proactively invest time to build and fortify your health…or you will reactively be forced to take time to put yourself back together once your body breaks down.
As a morning person, I’ve trained in the early mornings for most of my life. Since I’ve been training at home the past few weeks, my schedule has not changed at all. I get up at the same time and do my morning bible study along with coffee and a small protein shake before getting dressed to train. The only difference is that instead of driving to the gym, I’m simply training in my apartment.
So, depending on your circumstances, figure out first of all when you’re going to train and then schedule the time. Then when you actually do your workout, go through the same warm-up process as much as possible as when you were going to the gym. It will be different on the one hand because you’re at home, however, I promise that your body will start to kick in once you take action. If you usually wear head-phones, wear your head-phones…if appropriate. The more you can simulate the feel of the gym, the better.
Once you get your first workout in, I promise the second will be easier and so on. To add a little gamification to the process, add your training to your calendar. The calendar in your phone or computer will do however an old fashioned wall calendar is the best…because of the visual element. Commit to your next week of training and then focus strictly on the first workout. Once it’s done, mark it off your calendar and then focus on the next. There is power in seeing your progress as evidenced by the check marks on your calendar. One workout at a time, one week at a time, and you can do this.
Closing thoughts for my readers:
In my previous life as a manufacturer rep, I used to travel quite a bit and trained in a lot of different gyms. I learned what I shared regarding your training at home from my time training on the road. At first, it was difficult because of the different environments, the variations in equipment, and the fact that I was coming from my hotel instead of the comforts of my home.
Once I learned, however, to follow the same routine as my home town gym in terms of my warm-up, the differences seemed to fade away. Further, after a few trips, I got used to the variation to the point that it wasn’t a big deal. In fact, I had some great workouts over that three and half year period and value now all the more the lessons I learned.
As I’ve said to my clients many times, I will never ask them to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. So, in that same spirit, the following are screen-shots from my Fitbit starting back on March the 17th right up to this morning. My rotation is four days of weights followed by an off/cardio day. As of this morning, I haven’t missed and you can do the same with whatever your personal schedule is. Set your goal for how many days you’re going to train this next week and get it done. Just turn your brain off and do the work. You will be so glad you did.
Best of luck in your journey.