[Sports bra: ICIW | Leggings: My Protein UK]
Now, lockdown has obviously played havoc on what our ‘’normal ‘’ was and for me, that was the gym! Yes, I am one of ‘those’ people who, whenever they have free time, instead of just relaxing I head to the gym for an extra upper or lower body day. Bad mood? Go smash the weights, hun! Anxiety head on? Take the tension out with an upper body sesh, let it all go. Just want space? Go create some space in the free weights area! The gym – and weight training – is my sanctuary, my safe place, my routine and for me- my NORMAL. So, when that was taken away with this pandemic, I panicked ngl. Anyone who uses the gym to weight train, for weight loss or for mental health will know that having something impact your ability to go to the gym - or your safe place - is your worst nightmare and you fear you will lose all the progress that has taken hours in the gym to create- both within your body AND your mind. These gym bodies may look good, but they take months and even years to build, as does overcoming anxiety, depression etc through exercise! For others, being confined within a lockdown and the lack of normality, or even being able to go a walk without worries. Not to mention the easier all-day, all-inclusive stay inside our homes has left people wanting to do something about it- amazing! However for others, they don’t really know where to begin and that is completely OK! You are not alone and you can do this! Let me convince you how.
Believe me when I say you can get/see/achieve progress from your living room or your bedroom! There are so many great @home workouts being offered on places such as YouTube, Instagram, local gyms members apps/websites and also paid virtual classes on Zoom which stretch to boot camps, yoga and even zumba! There is so much choice to suit your own style and options; such as for people having no gym equipment; just resistance bands. Or those who may have kettle-bells or dumbbells and wanting to make the most out of them and/or understand how to get a good workout from them if you are new to them.
I was quite lucky in that I already had a 20kg total weight barbell, 2x 8kg dumbbells, 8kg kettle-bell, all my resistance bands from training and a small (perhaps too small!) type of bench from when we were aware we were getting snowed in a few years ago, and I wanted to be fully prepared. Here we are a few years later and I have never been more thankful I had some resources, thanks winter weather! I expanded my collection pre- “full” lockdown to include gym-type cushion flooring, ankle weights and cables.
SO, how do in make the most of the equipment? And what can you do with no equipment or just resistance bands? Here are my top tips:
Now, you might think if you have no equipment then you have zero chance of improving your overall fitness or be able to see any positive changes from home- WRONG! You so can. Take apps like Les Mills for example. This has been my saviour during lockdown. They offer HIIT workouts as well as the gruelling Body Combat workouts for all fitness levels. Body Combat has definitely improved my cardio levels (which, ngl, were shocking before lockdown) and it also doubles up as an amazing mental health boost because, who isn’t going to feel less stressed punching and kicking the air with all our will?? There is also so many HIIT workouts available on YouTube (we all know about Joe Wicks by now) as well as local yoga teachers or Zumba teachers who will probably have Zoom classes up and running which also require no equipment!
You can even use household items as equipment, too. Fill up large bottles of water and use it as weights to squat with or to work your shoulders! Fill up a backpack with any random - but weighted - household objects you can find (that weird but heavy ornament that just sits on the fireplace can be justified to your partner now, huns!) with this, you can do so many lower body exercises or perhaps go out for a sprint with the weight creating resistance! Last but by no means least you of course have walking- doesn’t cost a thing nor does running. Download a fitness tracker on your phone. You do not need any fancy watches to progress and each time, set a goal of how many miles you want to walk/run or check as you go along!
Resistance bands have been a gift from the fitness gods during this pandemic for me! I must own about 5- all for different kinds of workouts/resistance. Resistance bands are known for being a staple in lower body workouts, but more thinner ones i've realised lately, can be used for upper body too.
Here’s a video of how!
For more thicker types of resistance bands (aimed at lower body) here are my favourite types of exercises to do with them and a quick demo of these:
Great gainz could be made, huns! Let’s get those booty’s looking peachy AF 🍑.
DUMBBELLS, KETTLEBELLS OR BARBELLS
This is the gucci right now for home workouts, the good stuff! If you didn’t already have it, or didn't buy soon enough, you will have found they have either sold out everywhere or online companies have upped their prices (rude, btw) so you my friends, have a golden ticket right now for working out and NO EXCUSES!
Barbells are an amazing all-round body workout and you really can’t go wrong. I have been experimenting more with my dumbbells and barbell to do stuff I was previously too “shy” to do in the gym in case I failed. Being at home has definitely made me take risks and they have paid off! The only downside for avid gym goers is the lack of progression you can get within these. You will find you might hit a brick wall as you get “used” to your weight and can not go up to a higher weight like you would in a gym which, is obviously gutting, but there are ways around this. Mix your exercises up with super-sets so that your body never gets comfortable in an exercise and your muscles are always being challenged- simple!
If you are new to kettle-bells there are lots of classes on YouTube to get the most out of your kettle-bell. For dumbbells and barbells, you can simply type in “upper body barbell workout” in to google for example, you will find so many suggestions and just take it from there! Use this opportunity to try out moves/exercises you have never before or perhaps like me, were too scared to try.
There really is something for everyone out there rn and we could for sure all be getting fitter at home. You may be thinking “b*tch you confessed in the last blog you gained weight??” and yes, yes I did. Remarkably since typing that though, I have lost around 2lbs and the only changes I can really think of is getting a proper night’s rest! I have still maintained my gym gainz pre-lockdown, my peach has really benefited from fitting in an extra work out a week, as well as more resistance band-based workouts for it. My waist and abs look better than ever! The only place that didn't get the fitter @ home memo is my hips. Like, Shakira guurl, you weren’t kidding when you say hips don’t lie, they're grassing me up for my chocolate addiction rn 😭
Well, that’s all from me today vanity quuuuuueens. Hopefully this blog inspires you to get fitter @ home and make the most out of lockdown! HOWEVER, remember to keep following the rules so your Aunty Lauren here can get back into the gym soon though, okay? Love u xo