[quarantine: day 33] pivoting from a gym routine to home workouts

April 13, 2020

gif of dog working out

Around November of last year (2019), I started hitting the gym on an almost daily-basis. Up until quarantine, it’s been a core part of my day - after work, if I don’t have any plans, head to the gym.

As with every other aspect in society - this has been upended and the logical solution would be to adapt and pivot to something safer and embraces social distancing.

As a disclaimer - even when I had gone to the gym, I did and have not done research. My idea of research was to wing it by reading the machine description and what muscles were exercised. This pivot is a one-to-one of myself attempting to replace or be close to what I did at the gym, which would also inherit the unresearched routine.


Issues

These are the core items I had trepidations about when going into this pivot. But if Ruth Bader Ginsburg can do it, why can’t I (I am not worthy).

Space

Downsizing from a full-sized facility to a cramped New York City apartment without a doubt affects what types of workouts are done.

Despite that I’ve managed okay on this front. I believe I’m a bit more privileged than 65% of New Yorkers where I have a back patio which does allow for exercise that require movement.

Equipment

This is the biggest issue in the pivot. Pre-quarantine, I think as well with this point, I was already in better shape than most people. Even then, I have doubts that I can fully replace the gym, though its only been a month and there a communities online where people have with just bodyweight workouts.

Distractions

Regardless of global situation, my apartment is a lot more distracting than the gym. Power to change the TV channel, get to chores in between workouts, get lost in an Internet wormhole, too many things can either ruin your workout or make then not happen at all.


Equipment

I already had the following equipment:

The following equipment I procured during the initial start of quarantine:


The Digital Journal(s)

I had already been using Strava and Smash Run to log my runs. Strava is an application that has evolved into a multi-sport logger and is something that I started using to keep myself accountable.

I recommend using some sort of tracking/journal/logging to keep yourself accountable. Given the situation with us being confined to home, it is easy to shrug off workouts with other activities and distractions.

In addition to the home workouts, I have been keeping up with my running. This isn’t a supplement to my gym workouts but separate exercise regiments. I’ve been running a few times per week for general health purposes; like boosting the immune system and mental health management. Most people think its safe to go running, as long as recommended social distancing guidelines are being followed.


The Workouts

buns of steel workout show graphic

What I Did At The Gym

I do not have a day-to-day schedule in terms of what muscle groups I target. I try to do everything each gym visit.

Workout Repetitions Sets
Bicep Curls 10 3
Tricep Pull Down 10 3
Tricep Dips 10 3
Shoulder Press 10 3
Hip Abduction 10 3
Hip Induction 10 3
Pectoral Fly 10 3
Reverse Pectoral Fly 10 3
Sit Ups 10 3
Lateral Pull Down 10 3
Leg Press 10 3
Leg Extensions 10 3
Hamstring Curls 10 3

What I Am Doing At Home

Here is a list of exercises I have incorporated so far. I do not do all of these everyday - I mix and match based on the day. Duration of workouts can vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Note that have not yet incorporated resistance band workouts as of writing this out:

Workout Repetitions Sets
Incline Push Ups 10 3
Decline Push Ups 10 3
Push Ups 10 3
Hammer Grip (w/ pull up bar) 10 3
Wide Grip (w/ pull up bar) 10 3
Pull Ups (w/ pull up bar) 10 3
Chin Ups (w/ pull up bar) 10 3
Sit Ups 10 3
Russian Twists (w/ weights) 10 3
Shoulder Press (w/ weights) 10 3
Toe Raises (w/ weights) 10 3
Squats (w/ weights) 10 3
Standing Lunges (w/ weights) 10 3
Walking Lunges (w/ weights) 10 3
Toe Raises (w/ weights) 10 3
Tricep Kickback (w/ weights) 10 3
Two-Arms Triceps Extension (w/ weights) 10 3
Lateral Raises (w/ weights) 10 3
Palms-Up Wrist Curl (w/ weights) 10 3
Palms-Down Wrist Curl (w/ weights) 10 3

Thoughts

About a month into this routine, I only see this as a stop-gap rather than total replacement of my gym routine. Unsure if my intensity is lacking or I am not doing enough sets, it doesn’t feel as much progress is being made versus using the gym. Though I have been consistent with this workout, I have not worked in the resistance bands equipment yet, as I’m waiting for consistent warmer and dryer weather to leverage the back patio.

One of the biggest issues is the amount of distractions that occur during my workouts. My apartment is just one giant distraction wormhole. However, I think they’ll drop when I move my workouts outdoors.

Though I believe that I’ll start increasing the intensity as the warmer weather comes and I’ll probably be experimenting with much more difficult bodyweight workouts.