how to workout during a coronavirus quarantine

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has dramatically changed the world over the last few months.

In America, we felt the full power of what this virus can do when the NBA suspended its season last Wednesday night due to two players testing positive for this coronavirus.

I think when we look back at this, the NBA’s decision made this situation real for many Americans who may have been skeptical prior to that.

The NBA’s decision sent off a cascade of similar decisions that spread through sports, entertainment, restaurants, and education.

For the majority of you all reading this coronavirus has even affected the location where most of us go to get stronger and healthier: the gym.

Closed

Our Governor, Tom Wolf, made the decision last Thursday to shut down schools in Montgomery County, Pa. (home of The Center) to try to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Later in the week, all schools in Pennsylvania were shut down for 2 weeks.

Large gathering places like churches, community centers, and gyms are also closed in Pennsylvania for at least 2 weeks.  But that could potentially last much longer.

On Sunday, the CDC put out new guidelines recommending that all events and gatherings that have 50 or more people be shut down for 8 weeks.

Some places like schools and specific businesses are exempt from this for now.

Today, The White House recommended not gathering in groups of more than 10 people for 15 days.

This would mean training in large groups would be completely off the table.

Even if you are working out in a small group of less than 10 people, you have to create the proper space between each other to limit contact.  Outdoor training, with significant space, accommodates this very well.

Most commercial gyms have decent space but it is still close quarters and it is still confined.  This is the reason why gyms have closed down.

There are also some filthy rats in the gym who do not give a good cot dang about being hygienic or preventing the spread.

If just one infected person is in there, and is careless, the end result could be multiple infections over the course of the workout.

That is an unacceptable plan of action.

What Should I Do?

Some of the gyms I came up in before I got my own gym were like cesspools.

Filthy bathrooms, unkempt gym floors, and even foul trainers/gym owners who did not wash their hands after taking a leak or dropping a bomb at the throne.

I keep my gym exceptionally clean, disinfected, and orderly and I don’t ever have near 50 people in The Center there at once.

I’m blessed and fortunate enough to own a garage gym where I can still train even during this crisis.

But I will not and could not run the risk of having a regularly recurring 8-15 people there at a time together in a smaller space (1000 square feet) spread out over multiple hours throughout the day.

So I had to make the difficult decision to shut The Center down.  That last sentence is hard to write because The Center is an extension of me.

Folks who will not be training at The Center until at least March 27th (and at this point much longer) have asked me “What workouts can I do during this period?”

Important To Know

coronavirus prevention

Before we get into the workouts let’s address a few provisions.

If you are currently infected (and contagious) or your movement is restricted due to a lockdown then the outdoor track workouts (sprinting) will not apply to you.

You have to self-quarantine for 14 days.  During this time you will workout strictly at home.

The available testing in America has been a total disaster so far, but hopefully this changes quickly.

If you are currently fine, not infected, and your movement is not restricted due to a lockdown or curfew then you can implement all of the options.

In the same breath there are a lot of folks, especially higher risk elders over 60, who are justifiably afraid to leave home at this point in time.

With the number of cases rising, these people should stay home.  There is nothing wrong with that as your health and your life is the most valuable thing you possess.

The important part is that whether you workout at home or outside while practicing proper social distancing, you will be able to work out.

Hard training, a proper diet, great sleep, and low stress levels are proven immunity boosters but nothing can make you immune to everything.

You could still get the virus even if you were in perfect condition.  At the end of the day, we are all still human.

But being healthy and strong will definitely lower your chances of getting sick.  In my entire lifetime I’ve had:

• Stomach Virus 1x at age 13
• Flu 1x at age 18
• Common Cold (very infrequently)
• Exhaustion at age 30 (Contest Prep and the Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition at the same time)
• Pharoah’s Revenge at age 32 (traveler’s diarrhea, thanks Egypt)
• Exhaustion at age 33 (during the 9 month search and build out of my gym)

I’m not a superhero from the Marvel Universe but my top priority in my life is my health.  This coronavirus should not stop us from working out.

How To Workout At Home During A Coronavirus Quarantine

There are two options when it comes to working out during a quarantine.

You can either train outside on a public track (if you or the facility is not locked down) or even do sprints outside on a healthy hill.  And of course you can workout at your home.

Before I ever got serious with lifting weights, I trained and worked out outside.

Even with the advent of the gym, which I love deeply, I still believe that sprinting is the best workout that anybody can do.  The benefits of sprinting were explained in my previous article below.

The Top 3 Benefits Of Sprinting

As of right now, most outdoor tracks are still open to the public in Pennsylvania so you should be able to sprint without any issue.  Don’t show up with a track team of 50 people as that would be irresponsible right now.

I do not know the status of every outdoor track/park across the nation.  You will have to research your state to see what is currently happening.

Notes: 

• These sprinting workouts are for fat loss and conditioning.  These are not speed development workouts.

• The bodyweight workouts can be done inside or outside.

• If your country/state/city etc has been hit with a shelter in-place order, you will more than likely not be able to do the sprinting workouts if the track is locked.

• You still may be able to do the hill workouts, but check with your local government to see what the rules are.

• For example here in PA they have locked down my favorite track, but the hill outside of the stadium is still available for use.  For now.

1) Sprinting Workouts 

A) Track Workout 1

• 3 x 30m
• 3 x 30m flys
• 3 x 100m
• the rest is the walk back to the start line after each rep
• m is for meters

B) Track Workout 2

• 2 x 200m
• 2 x 150m
• 2 x 100m
• the rest is the walk back to the start line after each rep
• m is for meters

C) Hill Workout 1

• 1 x 30y
• 1 x 50y
• 1 x 80y
• 1 x 100y
• 1 x 120y
• the rest is the walk back to the start line after each rep
• y is for yards

D) Hill Workout 2

• 1 x 200y
• 1 x 150y
• 1 x 120y
• 1 x 100y
• the rest is the walk back to the start line after each rep
• y is for yards

I recommend that you also invest in a measuring wheel.  It is not a requirement, but it will allow you to get exact distances for your sprints.  You can get the same one I have here.

For a detailed article that thoroughly explains the art of sprinting and more workouts check out my article below.

How To Add Sprinting To Your Workout

2) Bodyweight Conditioning Workouts

Bodyweight conditioning workouts can kick your arse with limited space and limited equipment.

A) Fantastic 4 Workout (no equipment)

Level 1 (Beginner/Intermediate)

5 Burpees
8 Push-Ups 
12 Dynamic Lunge Jumps
20 Climbers
• rest 45-90 seconds between exercises and then 3-3:30 minutes between sets
• exercises can also be modified to regressions (easier versions)
• do 3-5 rounds

Level 2 (Advanced/Athlete)

• 10 Burpees
• 15 Push-Ups
• 20 Dynamic Lunge Jumps
• 30 Climbers
• rest 30-90 seconds between exercises and then 2-3 minutes between sets
• do 4-6 rounds

B) Burpee/Push-Up Ladder

• Perform 1 burpee
• Perform 1 push-up
• I recommend a 5-60 second rest between exercises and then 30-120 second rest between sets
• As the sets and the fatigue begin to add up the rest periods will get longer
• Let your current conditioning level determine how much rest you need
• But don’t dog it and take more rest than you need as that is known as fake hustle
• Your ladder should end between 8-15 rounds

C) Home Gym Workout (dumbbells required)

Level 1 Beginner/Intermediate (The Full Body Blast)

10 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
10 Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
• 10 Push-Ups
• 10 Burpees
• rest 60-90 seconds between exercises and then 3-3:30 minutes between sets
• do 3-5 rounds

Level 2 Advanced (The Punisher Workout)

• 10 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
• 5 Weighted Burpees
• 10 Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
• 5 Weighted Burpees
• 10 Push-Ups
• 5 Weighted Burpees
• rest 0-60 seconds between exercises and then 3 minutes between sets
• do 2-5 rounds

Sample Workout Splits

No Equipment Workout

Sunday: OFF
Monday: Track Workout 1
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: Fantastic 4 Workout
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Hill Workout
Saturday: Burpee/Push-Up Ladder

Combination Workout

Sunday: OFF
Monday: Hill Workout
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: The Punisher Workout
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Track Workout 2
Saturday: Burpee/Push-Up Ladder

Conclusion

This coronavirus is taking a toll on everyone.  Our lives and the things we take for granted have been upended in a serious way.

But in the heart of adversity is where our character will be truly revealed.  Are we strong enough to overcome this monster or do we retreat in fear into the shadows and let this thing beat us?

I know that we are strong enough to overcome this!

This is not a hoax.  This is a substantial health issue and in this unprecedented time we all need each other in order to make it through.

The 7 things we must do together to overcome this are:

1) Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and often.

2) Be sure you avoid handshakes, hugs, and high fives at this time.

3) Definitely make sure you cough or sneeze into your inner elbow and not into the open air around people.

4) Respect social distancing and don’t be up on people.

5) Please don’t be a jerk when you are at the store.  Everybody needs food and supplies.

6) If you are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone who is infected then you should get tested (hopefully testing improves).  After that consult with your physician on what steps to take next.

7) Don’t lose hope.  In life we are either always walking into a storm, already in the storm, or coming out of the storm.

We will beat this with a combined effort and we will then get back to our way of life.

Success requires sacrifice and discipline.

Be safe and smart during this tough time.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,
Fitman

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