Kelli Fox is the Senior UX/UI Designer for TrainHeroic. Her love of design has always stemmed from a curiosity to learn how people think, what’s important to them, and how to make it easier for them to accomplish what they’re trying to do. A lifelong marathoner and endurance athlete, she also just generally enjoys training for life and outdoor adventures of all kinds. Strength training has been an amazing foundation behind her endurance endeavors, and increasingly critical for performance.
// the worst thing you can do is nothing
Ingenuity is what makes humans, human.
Our ability to adapt and creatively problem solve is quite remarkable, and quite necessary in times of great upheaval.
I’m sure many of you are feeling some mixed emotions with all the gym closures, and are unsure how to stay on track toward your training goals. And the last thing you want to do is derail all of your progress.
Even Olympians are saying, what do I do now?
Most of us, if not all of us, have had an injury at some point that prevented us from doing something active we loved over a period of time. And I’m sure it royally sucked.
After I ran the Boston Marathon in 2015, overuse injuries prevented me from running at all for several excruciating months, and running well for much longer.
So when you can’t do what you really want to do…What do you do? Well, I pool ran, I cycled, I climbed, I took barre classes, I did PT home exercises, and I got to the gym to lift.
Remember: as an athlete, there is always something you can do to continue in your training journey.
The hardest part may be adjusting to a new—albeit temporary—routine, or finding the same amount of joy in a home session with no/minimal equipment as you would at the gym.
In the wake of current events, it’s easy to let things fall by the wayside, but it’s also why being active and healthy is more important than ever before. And don’t let a small space deter you; I’ve been getting creative with small living spaces for a long time.
That said, here are 6 tips to help you stay active while you are stuck at home during lockdowns and times of gym closures.
6 tips to stay active while stuck at home
1. Schedule in the exact time of your training
And I mean on your calendar. Block off the exact time and amount of time you need to train. What gets scheduled gets prioritized.
2. Tell your coach or a friend you’re going to do it
Sometimes I tell friends or coworkers I’m heading to train just to give myself the kick to actually do it. Because I can’t possibly face the repercussions if I don’t follow through…
3. Create a dedicated (this can also mean temporary) space in your home
If you don’t already have a devoted home gym, this could mean your garage, your living room, or a section of your bedroom.
If you want to have some fun with it, make up a name and sign for your gym and hang it up in your space. The most important thing is that this is your dedicated space.
I have a desk that I force myself to work at when I’m working from home.
This helps me to create a sense of separation between home and work that is almost entirely mental, as it’s not in a dedicated “office” room. If you are interested and have the space to build out a larger-scale home gym, these are great resources: Podcast #595: Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Home Gym, Garage Gym Reviews: Gym Equipment Reviews
4. Swap exercises, if need be
If you don’t have the equipment you need, let your coach know so they can suggest some equivalent alternatives if they haven’t already created alternate bodyweight programming for you.
Or use the exercise swap feature to trade in similar bodyweight/free weight movements (E.g. Air squat or lunges instead of back squat or goblet squat, or push-ups instead of bench press).
You as the athlete can take ownership over your training by swapping exercises by going to the 3 dot menu from the logging view exercise.
Feel free to also leave exercise and session comments, or message your coach on TH Chat.
5. Remove any physical or mental barriers
Willpower is overrated. James Clear has written some interesting psychology about the myth of good behavior change being founded in willpower.
What matters is making training as easy as possible to do.
For instance, can you pair training with another activity, like right before lunch or right after work?
Set your clothes out the night before so they’re ready to go.
As the designer for our website and app, I think a lot about how to reduce friction as much as possible to encourage good behavior…Which is why I only buy chips when I’m fine with eating a whole bag at once.
6. Share photos or videos of yourself training
Send photos or videos to your Coach or Team on TH Chat! Add in a gif and a reaction for extra fun.
Here is what I use to give you some Ideas
My small living room set-up has a basket to keep my resistance bands, rolling balls, plus a set of dumbbells, and a foam roller.
Pro tip: if you buy a hollow foam roller it’s great for travel because you can stuff it with clothes, which I’ve done when flying for races. Lacrosse balls also make a great recovery roller and travel well.
I shoved my coffee table to the side, and I’ve now entered my “gym”.
I call it “Fox In Training,” AKA “FIT.” Voila!
Okay, jokes aside, we’re ready to roll!
One stair is a small box jump.
Two stairs is a large box jump.
Three stairs is for professional high jumpers.
Don’t be afraid to try things that solve a problem, even if they may seem weird.
I put the rubber bands from asparagus bundles around my feet for added traction.
I don’t like wearing my dirty shoes in my clean house.
Move the coffee table back and you’re reading to enjoy relaxing in your living room again.
And remember why you’re dedicated to training in the first place.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.