If you are anything like me the news of COVID 19 seemed all a bit over the top and well dramatic, how was a simple cold crippling the globe?

So, what’s all the noise about? Well actually the noise was turning quickly into the largest medical pandemic the globe had experienced in many years and probably the only pandemic in my lifetime.

The worldwide death total of Covid-19 has passed 316,000 and countless millions are suffering financially and with mental health issues. It’s not just people with COVID-19 who are battling the virus, the impact is colossal as it continues to choke society, imprisoning us in our homes, self-isolation, social distancing and many struggling with poverty. Life was being poisoned and no one could stop it.

After all I’ve experienced, not much really phases me. I always try to handle things with a positive focused approach, in life we will all face many challenges and it’s a measure of a person on how they handle every eventuality, being able to learn and grow from every situation. I pride myself on my level of commitment, dedication, and personal resilience, combined with my agility to adapt to change and successfully navigate through this pandemic… However!!!

How COVID-19 was going to test me on another level

I wasn’t giving up and never will, but everything around me started to crumble, the well needed restrictions and measures put in place by the government quickly took away my control leaving me pretty lost and worried about how I would be able to pay my bills, feed me and me fella Si and of course where the f*%k would I train.

Very quickly a level of anxiety swept across my world, I won’t be able to eat to sustain the muscle mass, I wouldn’t be able to train properly I’d lose my size and of course huge amount of cortisol stress hormone pumping through my body sacred of the unknown would quickly pickle my mind leaving me stressed and trapped, everything I’d worked hard for quickly gone left with some physique I felt ashamed to own.

The immediate impact would very quickly become evident, a natural anxiety from the COVID-19 risk would sweep across the globe

How-ever much we wanted to ignore it we couldn’t, and people began to suffer and sadly die from this tiny little protein virus which had no cure. People were told very clearly to self-isolate, ensure we maintain a 2-metre social distancing rule and wear protective masks and gloves to reduce the risk of infection. What people didn’t anticipate was the impact of not exercising and a lack of training would have, but very soon we were all about to find out.

The primary reason we all train and exercise are to feel healthy both physically and mentally. Our personal wellbeing should always be first and foremost the most import element to our lives. The issue we faced was the lack of physical exercise to strengthen and maintain a healthy body, whether its resistance training, cardio, aerobic or anaerobic. All training types have the same benefits, increased self-esteem, improved confidence, an escape from reality which results in a positive mindfulness.

Even the strongest of us, both physically and mentally, have our insecurities.

These can manifest in many forms including body dysmorphia, self-worth issues, inadequacies and low confidence. We use our training as our therapy to help us manage the emotions. Any training session is a good session as it releases endorphins, we feel a sense of achievement and we’ve invested time and sometimes money into ourselves to help us step closer to reaching our objectives and become a happier more content individual.

It’s no real surprise we all began to think the same “I’ll lose my gains” “I’ll get fat and become overweight” “I’ll get skinny” “How many calories to eat?” “What if I can’t eat properly” “How can I take my next selfie to get a validation from everyone else but myself” All very normal questions for most of us – me included.

I’ve certainly lived a colourful life, many ups and downs due to a whole heap of different reasons. The one focus I always maintain is to learn and grow from every experience, every little one contributes to building the person we are today. So why would you let COVID-19 change that?

If you’ve ever wondered what the phrase “going the extra mile” means, then here is my perspective

To me, it’s that bit of a workout that starts to get tough but instead of giving up you push harder to break through the mental barrier and deliver more at every session, its pushing or being pushed out your comfort zone and beyond your safe level. It’s the extra few reps or a brutal drop set that obliterates the muscle making you feel both battered but made-up.

We all have a comfort zone, some people hate coming out of it, others like smashing it to pieces, some people like to take risks, others will never take a risk. Your ability to handle this mental limitation and overcome the weakness or insecurity will either make you or break you. The whole COVID-19 pandemic is pushing us all out the norm and out our comfort zone.

Every day I see the same people in the gym doing the same things they always do, maybe its lack of knowledge, maybe its laziness but its most likely to be staying within their comfort zone, scared to try something new, mix it up a little or make the body suffer a bit of extra fatigue than they feel comfortable with. Bad news peeps it DOES NOT WORK !!!! the only way people progress is push yourself to another level… going the extra mile!!!!

So, the gyms are closed, and you have a couple of dumbbells and a few resistance bands and a shit load of time on your hands

No more comfortable machines where I select the weight and just push, one movement, easy pain free, no functionality. WTF!!! How do I train, what is this resistance band for, it’s been sat there 2 years now I need it to train and have to think outside the box, or I’ll be unhappy and get fat, shock horror!!

Sat at home moaning about the gyms being closed won’t help you keep the gains, it’s time to stop moaning and get your finger out your arse (or someone else’s) and do something new. Let’s face it, the majority of us want to increase lean muscle, reduce the fat % and improve our overall fitness. Just because you don’t have a truck loads of weights it doesn’t mean you can’t still achieve great things. In fact, resistance band and body weight training can be as effective for muscle growth but proved to be better to strengthen your core and stabilising muscles.

Using some imagination and guidance

Band Programs and Bands for sale, just throwing that one in there, see our website www.swfitnesslondon.com for more info, you can hit every muscle the same way you do in a gym, from upper body to lower body, understanding tensions, angles and resistance will do the same job. I will say you need to be realistic about expectations. You don’t have a weight stack so understanding the body and how to effectively get the most from the muscle is key.

Remember social media can be both a blessing and a curse (especially Instagram) it can give great info if you follow the trainers who focus on their clients but also make us feel totally inadequate and pretty shit about ourselves if they are muscle gods who can’t see past the end of their own nose. Use these platforms wisely as your mindset will either make or break you.

As we all know our diet is an integral part to achieving the results

Due to our current change in lifestyle and reduced physical activity controlling calories has never been so important, its vital to ensure you are eating the correct levels of Proteins, Carbs and Fats (your macros). Make sure you eat the correct proportions for your BMR (basal metabolic rate) plus your home training regime. Anything over that will be a calorie surplus which will increase your fat %, if its less than the calculated amount and you’re in a deficit which will make you lose fat but also muscle if you don’t train hard enough. So, make sure you cut out the cake and chocolate, keep the alcohol to a minimum and maintain a healthy well-balanced diet consuming 5 to 7 small meals, this way it helps your metabolism stay at an effective rate.

It’s time to be pro-active and focus on coming out of this both physically and mentally stronger.

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