In these “unprecedented time”, many of us are facing the reality of staying at home for several weeks. Unfortunately, the stressors of the day – work, kids, spouse, etc. – which were usually forgotten for a time during that precious hour you spent at the gym, now threaten to consistently interrupt and potentially ruin your day with no place to let off some steam. CrossFit gyms around the country have been shut down due to many states’ stay-at-home orders and the concept of ‘social distancing’, causing devoted gym members to worry about the state of their fitness.
Most gyms are programming “at home” wods, but it can often be difficult to channel that same sense of competitiveness and drive that you often feel inside the four walls of a CrossFit box. You may not be able to spend that precious hour of your day at an actual gym, but there is no reason for you to neglect your fitness (and your mental sanity) while you are stuck at home. Here are a few tips on how to keep up with your fitness while at home:
Keep the Same Workout Schedule
Oftentimes, the first casualty of being stuck at home is the disruption, or sometimes complete destruction, of your daily schedule. The kids don’t have to be dropped off at school, there is no longer a twenty minute commute to work, you don’t have to try to squeeze in your workout during lunch in order to make an evening soccer game, etc. This once carefully planned schedule has been tossed out the window and now you are scrambling to figure out when and if you have time to work out. Therefore, in order to keep a sense of normalcy about your day, try not to change when you work out. If you are an early riser and can hit that 5:30am class, then continue waking up early enough to work out at 5:30am. If you usually work out in the evening, set aside that hour – let your kids (and maybe even spouse) know that you can’t be disturbed – to get in your workout. This will go a long way not only for your physical health, but your mental as well.
One of the reasons why CrossFit is so popular is because of the community. However, being confined to your home for a time can make it difficult to feel like you are still a part of that community. Most CrossFit gyms are offering online classes through Zoom, Facebook live, YouTube, etc. Obviously seeing fellow gym members on your computer screen is not the same as seeing them in person at the gym, but just knowing that other athletes are doing the same workout as you and at the same time can be just the motivation you need to complete the day’s workout. If the online class times offered don’t fit with your schedule, try to arrange a time where you and a friend can complete a workout together through an online portal. It’s always better to suffer with others than to suffer by yourself.
Be Creative with Your Equipment
Don’t have a barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbells? No problem. There are plenty of items you can use that are just laying around your house. Here are just a few ideas:
- Fill a backpack with books, heavy food items (canned goods, bag of rice), bottle of laundry detergent, etc. You can use this almost like a sandbag for many different movements, such as thrusters, front squats, swings, odd object carries, and shoulder-to-overhead.
- Grab a broom or a mop to use as a make-shift pvc pipe. You may not be able to put weight on these, but you can use them for pass throughs, around-the-worlds, and to practice the movement mechanics of the Olympic lifts. Ever tried to do a perfect snatch with a pvc pipe? It’s nearly impossible. Practice the lifts from different positions (hang, hip crease, 2” below the knees, etc.) and work different complexes (power clean + hang squat clean + jerk). The more you get these movements into muscle memory, the better your lifts will become when you have access to a barbell again.
- Use a chair, bench, stack of books, step-stool, etc. as an alternative to a wooden box. You can use any one of these items to do dips, decline/pike push-ups, step-ups, or Bulgarian split squats.
When in doubt about what movements you can do with little-to-no equipment, simply think about the movement(s) you want to complete and then think about any items around your house that could help you imitate that movement to some degree. No, it’s not going to be perfect, but being stuck at home does not mean that your fitness has to suffer!