The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adjust our lifestyles in one way or another, and these changes will likely remain for some time under the new normal. Take gyms, for example.
As Metro Manila and other parts of the country transition to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), sports and fitness facilities will remain closed. But even in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), they are still not allowed to operate due to concerns over hygiene and social distancing. Whether you agree with the measure or not, the fact remains that you’ll have to get used to working out at home for the foreseeable future. Gone for now are the days when you could use your car as a mobile locker room between the gym and the office.
But all hope isn’t lost for your fitness goals. Even with little to no equipment at home, you can still get into shape and boost your immune system. All you need are the ingenuity and discipline to make it happen. And no, we’re not talking about haphazardly tying together random stuff around your house and turning them into gym equipment.
How to work out at home
For more insight on getting fit at home, we turned to a guy who knows the ins and outs of getting—and staying—in shape. Jan Rebong is a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science graduate from the Universal College of Learning in New Zealand, has a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification, and is an amateur boxing champion to boot. You can check out his resume and work here. As he explains, humans have been getting fit long before commercial gyms even existed.
“All you need for the most part is resistance, grit, and creativity. Besides, how empowering would it be to know that you can get stronger despite having so little resources?” he says.
When it comes to structuring a home workout, Rebong often sees some common errors:
- Forgetting to train for strength. “Strength is where all your fitness goals and physical skills are built upon,” he explains. To increase your strength at home if you don’t have weights, you can progress to more difficult bodyweight movements like one-arm push-ups, pull-up variations, and single-leg squats.
- Doing the same routine over and over. Once your body adapts to a particular workout, you need to change things up: “To make things practical, plan three workouts a week and do that for three weeks. Once that’s done, focus on different movement or skills in the next phase.”
- Trying to be too creative. If you’re looking to make an exercise more difficult, you don’t need to combine several movements into one. Instead, Rebong suggests that you can change an exercise’s leverage or tempo instead, or choose a different variation altogether.
Here, Rebong recommends a home workout you can do using nothing more than your body and, because we love our cars, a tire. Any regular-sized car tire will suffice, as long as you move through the exercises as fast as possible.
Before you proceed with this workout, or any workout for that matter, Rebong offers some simple advice:
- Never sacrifice form for speed or higher resistance. Doing things properly is crucial for getting stronger and preventing injury.
- You don’t have to train to failure all the time, just sometimes. Challenge yourself every time you train but you don’t have to make every session a fight to the death. Remember, you cannot got stronger or do something properly if you’re always fatigued.
- Keep it simple. Forget all the fancy Instagram-worthy ‘exercises.’ Stick to the basic movements and do them brutally well.
Home tire workout
A1) Pull-ups x submax*
A2) Pushups x submax*
Four sets, 60sec rest between sets
*Submax = 1-2 reps shy of your maximum capacity
B1) Burpees x 30sec
B2) Tire flips x 30sec
Six to eight rounds, 30-60sec rest between rounds
C1) Tire farmers walk x 20 meters
C2) Hollow hold x 30sec
Five rounds, no rest