Lockdown 2.0 is here and the gyms are shut again. Now that we have all had our little cry about that, let's move on. Grab the bull by the horns and get the best possible outcome over the next month. Which by the way can be a bloody good outcome if you plan it right.
...So how do we do it..
Well luckily for you I have had a moment of rare generosity and I am going to help you all put together a killer program. Enjoy!
Step 1 - Harsh Reflection
- Take the first day off the gym, even if your not due a 'rest day' you will need to take some time to plan. The first thing we should all do is address our weaknesses. Whether it's identifying an imbalance in our training schedule (For all you guys out there with chicken legs skipping leg day) or a mobility issue. Stripper squats come to mind (Google it). This needs to be priority number 1. If you lack mobility or strength in a certain area, you are not going to need the weights you normally would in order to address that area. Because it's weaker it won't require as much stimulus as the stronger muscle groups. So maybe pick 3 areas that you need to improve on and start each session addressing them with some basic activation and mobilisation.
Step 2 - Training for your 'WHY'
- If you are training just to lose weight then get in the bin, this blog isn't for you. Go and have a look at one of my previous blogs on implementing and understanding calorie deficits and energy balance, decide what metric you want to then train towards. Then fall in love with the process and look awesome without even having an aesthetic goal! Magic! (Sorry I went off on a tangent). So let's look at the two main metrics that people are
Hypertrophy - Slow your movements right down, Get more range and use movements you normally wouldn't. For example the typical lower body movements might include squats, leg press, lunges, Hip thrusts and RDL's. By changing the movement used to stress the same muscle groups we can get growth that we might otherwise not get in the gym. So try Cossack squats, Pistol squats, Single leg raised glute bridges and Hamstring planks. You won't need as much load as your body won't be used to the movement.
Strength/Power - Strength and power almost always progress in a linear fashion. The week you hit a 1 rep max on your back squat will probably be the week you hit a 1 rep max on a box jump. So in order to develop your strength in the absence of a lot of weight, look to focus on developing power as well as maintaining strength. Using plyometric movements and max effort low reps. Will help maintain strength through power development.
Step 3 - Weekly plan
- How many sessions do you want to do? how long do you want to train for? Where are you going to train? These are all individual questions that you will need to address. Once that is done you need to decide what time of day you are going to train. My advice would be that if you don't have access to heavy weight then train in the morning. This will have a knock on effect on the rest of your day. Boosting your endorphins and keeping a big smile on your face. Our strength potential is however higher in the afternoon so if you have lots of time and weights then I would advise training then.
Step 4 - Session Plan
- This is the easiest bit.
Raise the heart rate and get a bit out of breath to get the heart and lungs going (2/3 minutes is plenty)
Activation and Mobilisation (Warming up the muscle groups and getting some movement through the joints). This has to be dynamic
Plan the toughest movements first and the easiest last. This will enable you to maintain a longer working capacity and not be fatigued for already difficult movements.
Finish with a bit of cardio to end with a nice kick of dopamine and serotonin to set you up for the day
Stretch to avoid injuries and develop general improved flexibility.
Step 5 - Accountability
- Although we want to be accountable to ourselves. Having the added incentive of a partner training with you or the pressure of someone knowing you quit might just be enough motivation to get that session under the belt that you otherwise may not have.
Good luck in the big old lockdown 2.0 and as usual if you have any questions please do get in touch.