This whole quarantine/stay-at-home is getting to all of us, right? We’re tired of our body-weight workouts after a month or more now, we miss our training, and we really want to focus on things that are going to help us reach our long-term strength goals. We’ve heard from many people that these home workouts are nice, but they’re not doing the trick when it comes to meeting needs for muscle mass, strength, and body composition.
It’s rough. We totally get it.
Let’s talk about what we can do, in addition to the body-weight workouts for now, that can really help further you as a strength athlete in terms of your mindset. Here are some simple tips or reminders (and a little tough love) to help you through the negative thoughts you might be.
What you give your attention to will grow.
A lot of it is shifting our mindset here. Your workouts ARE doing something, and the more you focus on the idea that they AREN’T, the less motivated you’re going to be to do them at all. Sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere. And this is an example of self-sabotage, which we’ve talked about recently in our Strength in Chaos Seminars.
Think “I get to do this” rather than “I have to settle for this”
We’re not happy, this isn’t what we signed up for at all. Those feelings are completely valid. But think of it as putting change in your piggy bank – every workout is a small investment into yourself health and fitness. Let that get you excited and have the perspective of, “I’m excited to move my body and keep myself healthy.” Even if it’s not ideal, these are our options right now and we have to make the best of what you have to work with.
Focus on the areas you were ignoring before
With all the equipment stripped away or limited, what can you work on that you weren’t before? Frankly, this is the perfect time for a lot of strength athletes to backtrack to the fundamentals, because let’s be honest…we could all stand to work on our movement patterns without heavy weight in our hands. A lot of us skipped over that important step of understanding proper mechanics and jumped under a barbell first-thing.
With that in mind, your form could be your new area of focus. If you have a barbell but not a ton of weight, work on your technique for weightlifting or with your squat. Lay down and bench press or squat with a broom and film yourself. Watch your technique with no weight and critique your movement. There’s always room for improvement with technique/mechanics, mobility, tempo, flexibility, you name it.
Think of it the same as if you were working through an injury
Any time we’ve ever experienced an injury, it requires a reset. Let’s go back to the fundamentals and what I can work on. Sometimes it is literally saying, all I can do is air squat and stretch, so I’m going to give my all to those areas.
That way, when you get back into the gym, you’re going to be one step ahead from where you were the last time you were there. Maybe your maximum strength isn’t there, but those movement patterns are much better. Once you start loading them, your capacity to be even stronger is higher – and it’ll help you avoid injury down the road due to bad mechanics that haven’t quite expressed themselves as a problem yet.
Consistency is going to beat intensity in the long run
You can bite off small chunks and build up to bigger things. But going full-send right from the get-go can set you up to fail. Continually pushing the intensity will eventually lead you to crumbling because it’s not sustainable over time. Taking things slow and steady or at a lower intensity with your workouts might now feel like much now and it’s not the most rewarding thing day in and day out. But think about taking it one day at a time and doing SOMETHING rather than nothing. You’ll be surprised by the results.
The majority of people we know who enjoy fitness and training have longevity in mind and variety too. They love the lifestyle that they’re adding onto every single day – and that’s a very helpful way of looking at it to make this a long-term part of your life.
You’re investing in your future as an athlete right now, even though you’re not seeing the dividends right now. And that’s okay. That’s a big part of sports though, or really any goal in life, is doing the work even when you’re not seeing it pay off just yet.
So, what has helped you through this time mentally? We want to know what’s working well for you so leave us a comment below!
Want to hear more deep-dives on topics just like this? Join the Strength in Chaos virtual seminars for just $21/month and get access to 3-4 live seminars each month!