By now, most of you are sequestered at home, deep into your home workouts. You’ve cobbled together a hodgepodge of at-home workout gadgets, rubber bands, and rusty dumbbells from the garage, and you’re doing your best to replicate the workouts you used to love at the gym. (Remember the gym?) If you’re like me, your email and social media feeds are full of doorway stretch bands and foldable equipment that manufacturers tell you are so versatile, you’ll never need the gym again. And if that’s not enough motivation, there are dozens of home workouts on-line that are only a few keystrokes away. So I’m not going to “enlighten” you with yet another exercise routine, but rather offer some advice that will help you make the best of your home workouts, and may provide some additional solace during our national shelter in place.
MAKE A WRITTEN SCHEDULE:
Seriously. Write out an hour by hour, daily plan of each day. Start with the time you will rise, shower, eat breakfast and so on. Include your work hours, if you're fortunate enough to still be getting paid for working from home. Schedule time for lunch and coffee breaks. Block out a time for your workouts. For me, its 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That’s realistic for me but may not be for you. If you go to the gym twice a week, workout from home twice a week. I also wrote out a rotation of 3 workout routines that utilize the equipment I have. (Day 1: Chest and Arms. Day 2: Back and Shoulders. Day 3: Legs. Do abs everyday). You may want to include unstructured free time on your schedule. That’s great. Get it written down with start and end times.
STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE
I mean it. If you scheduled yourself to rise at 6:30 and you don’t roll out of bed until 7:30, you’re running late! If you are exercising from noon to 1:30, do it. No excuses. You have a schedule to keep. A little self discipline will go a long way towards keeping you sane. Adjust your schedule as necessary when new things arise, but don’t ignore it. And if your workout is scheduled for 5pm, be there.
Distractions are many in a home environment. The phone. TV. Social media. Pets. Your significant other. Insulate yourself as best you can. “What” you are doing is important. The “way” you are doing what you’re doing is even more important. In my workouts for instance, I am using bands for some exercises for which I used to use machines or free weights. They can be clumsy and difficult to master. It would be easy to blow them off and move on to another more familiar exercise. But my chart says 4 sets at 15 reps. So I stay intentional and thorough. I do each rep, each set, deliberately. I stay engaged and present in the moment, trying as Thoreau says to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” In bro speak that translates to “feel the burn.”
The energy that you bring to what you do is the difference between doing something well and phoning it in. With a little discipline and focus, you’ll get the most out of your home workouts and continue to reap the benefits of good health during these challenging times.
Philip Hitchcock is an independent, Certified Personal Trainer specializing in “Fitness after 40,” Resistance Training and Weight Loss. He maintains his own client base and is also the exclusive trainer for the Four Seasons Hotel. Check out HitchcockFitness.com