No gym, no problem?
It’s been roughly 5 months out of the gym.
I’ve had an active gym membership for almost 30 years and have not missed more than 2-3 weeks consecutively, even during serious injuries that I’ve had my share.
COVID has been very frustrating for a lot of people and it’s great to see gyms finally reopening now.
I discovered new things about myself and my training during this time that were reinforced by a body composition analysis that I randomly performed this past weekend. The last record I have recorded using this same device was April 18, 2019, 6 weeks before competing at an IFBB pro-qualifier.
During my contest prep in April of last year, I was in the gym training like a beast, often with a world-class trainer. My diet was spot on, supplementation was over the top and my life at that point was focused on bodybuilding.
Here is the crazy part, the body comp analysis results from that time and last week were almost identical?! How can that be? A little softer maybe, and not as aesthetically on point, but I would say I’m functionally better and healthier now. This is not an anti-gym post, I love the gym and the community, and I will be back, but with self-discipline, it seems I can survive without it. This is what I observed:
Consistently is king – (almost) no days off is real.
Basic equipment and bodyweight resistance are enough.
Shorter than usual workouts will get it done – but must be intense.
Fasted cardio daily keeps the body lean, first thing AM.
Superheavy lifting is not a must to maintain muscle mass.
Diet must be consistently clean, but not at all perfect.
Intermittent fasting every week does the body good.
Eating fewer meals and calories is healthy and increases energy.
Having basic equipment to pack on trips fosters consistency.
Training outdoors is rejuvenating for the mind and body.
Virtual challenges and accountability help you stay on track.
Every(body) is different, and I’m certainly not a fitness coach, but wanted to share my pandemic experience after 30 years in the gym. The bottom line is to keep your body moving every single day, not only for your physical health but just as important for your mental health and wellbeing.