Training At Home
Struggling to find motivation and stick to a routine? We get it because you’re not alone!
When this all started we noticed an incredible collective effort all over the world to stay moving and active during the quarantine. The initial energy has probably worn off by now. Combine that with the monotony of repetitive movements such as push-ups, air squats, burpees, and jump rope and you have a formula for boredom or burn out. Instagram is chock full of push-up challenges and even more self-proclaimed “fitness experts” throwing out a billion different versions of workouts such as 7 minutes of burpees, 100 push-ups, 45 min of air squats and jump rope, or some other combination of the same movements.
As someone who has spent the last 13 years studying exercise science and human movement, and working to refine a craft, it is incredibly disheartening to see so many people doing the same repetitive movements and then falling off because of it.
It is essentially rinse and repeat until you stall out. I think the fitness industry can do better than that. As someone who has spent the last 13 years studying exercise science and human movement, and working to refine a craft, it is incredibly disheartening to see so many people doing the same repetitive movements and then falling off because of it. However, I do love the effort to keep moving and stay healthy. I just think there can be more thought put into this!
Where am I going with this? We are already offering multiple workout options (better than 7 min of burpees) for you guys every day, and various forms of classes, but I want to arm you guys with some knowledge to combat common pitfalls of training at home.
3 Main Barriers to Success
1. Lack of Routine and Consistency
Most of you likely had a regular time you came into the gym, along with the time you woke up, ate, worked, etc. You may have relied on the community and workouts at the gym to hold you accountable and celebrate your successes. Some of that can still be there! I highly recommend setting up your day with the same sort of routine and consistency you had before. Wake up at the same time every day, workout at the same time every day, and interact virtually with all the other Armor members fighting the same fight as you. You can still cheer each other on and celebrate victories. Speaking of victories, you should be aiming to stack small wins daily. Little wins over time = big wins. Wake up early, make your bed right away, prepare healthy food, set your workout time. All of these little things will add up to big success through consistency. Don’t believe me that making your bed can motivate you to workout later in the day? Ever try just lying around all morning and not doing anything? How did that turn out for you, did you have great energy and motivation come midday? Probably not. Win the day! You don’t have to PR your quarantine every day. You just have to keep moving forward and win each day with small victories.
You should be aiming to stack up small wins daily. Little wins over time = big wins.
2. Expecting to Create the Same Stimulus You Were Getting at the Gym
Right now you are likely trying to hold onto any form of normalcy you can. When it comes to working out, the intense stimulus workouts at Armor provide can feel like part of your “normal” life. If you can’t reproduce that stimulus at home, IF you are expecting to, it can be discouraging. You have to embrace the changes happening right now and realize there will be things you cannot recreate for the time being. That doesn’t mean exercise, in general, is now useless. You can change, evolve, and improve. You are a continual work in progress. The struggle with repetitive bodyweight workouts is that in order to reach the level of intensity our regular classes provide you will have to perform so many reps of the same movement that it will likely lead to over-use and form breakdown. It will also get boring. Moreover, it will be hard to build muscle and hit PRs if you don’t have access to weights. Think about what you can do at this time to move toward improved fitness and develop skills. Use this time to improve motor control and movement mastery. Without weights, this can be a great opportunity to train through a greater range of motion with more control. This will have incredible carry over to your training when you return to the gym. The Armor at Home strength portions are typically a great way to do this! Think perfect reps, controlled, versus 100 reps as fast as possible. Work on gymnastics skills if that is what you have lacked (handstand push up progressions, pistols, etc). You are not left alone in guessing how to do this. It is already built into your Armor at Home programming!
This is also a great time to improve your endurance. If you can perform max effort or max load movements, you will have more time to spend on building your aerobic system. This can be done by consistently training the Armor at Home metabolic conditioning workouts. They contain intentional prescription of work to rest time, varied lengths of workouts, and varied intensity (amount of effort). Again, you are not left to figure this out on your own!
Use this time to improve motor control and movement mastery. Without weights this can be a great opportunity to train through a greater range of motion with more control. This will have incredible carryover to your training when you return to the gym.
Using myself as an example, I tend to perform more strength movements when we are at the gym. I like to compete in Olympic weightlifting and use CrossFit classes to supplement that training and maintain my aerobic capacity, and just for fun. What do I tend to avoid? Running and gymnastics movements like handstand push-ups. I have been using this time to run with my dog, jump into virtual workouts (more conditioning than my usual training), and I’ve even found myself working on handstand skills. I may or may not have bet my wife I can perform a gymnastics ariel by the end of the month, having never even attempted to perform a basic cartwheel my entire life.
3. Lack of Variety
So you can’t perform the typical Olympic lifts, can’t deadlift, squat, press, or perform pull-ups. You can still perform similar movement patterns! When we analyze exercises and programs, we break movements down into groups of major movement patterns. Take pull-ups for example. They fall into the “pull” category, which also includes movements like bent-over row, body row, band rows, and pull-aparts. You can still perform pulling. So how do you improve variety? Don’t rely on coming up with this on your own. If you see the posted Armor at Home workouts and are having difficulty coming up with ideas on how to modify movements, watch the live stream workouts or daily workout briefings we are posting. We include ideas on how to modify based on what you have available. At the end of the day, you have to fall in love with the process. Embrace the change and the challenge. Rely on your coaches and community for guidance and motivation, and aim for small wins daily. We WILL be back in the gym, sooner than later. Don’t just wait for that time to come. You can be doing something now!
So you can’t perform the typical Olympic lifts, can’t deadlift, squat, press, or perform pull-ups. You can still perform similar movement patterns!