It brings me a lot of pride and gratification to publish this blog series, reviewing the results and achievements that my clients made during one of the most turbulent times of our lives. It goes to show that you do not need fancy equipment or lots of space to create results, but instead need determination, a hard working attitude, and an open mind. Well done to everyone that has not let this pandemic affect their attitude towards training, and managed to better themselves through this.
Since the gym’s closed lots of people had to resort to body-weight training or using little equipment. This felt alien to a lot of people, including my clients that were used to heavy strength and resistance training. We no longer had a squat rack to perform heavy squats, or no platform to dead lift on. I have some equipment at home but that made no difference when lock down forced us to train from our individual living rooms, and the most that some people had was a single resistance band. This meant that I had to design programmes and workouts that provided enough stimulus for muscle gain and fat loss, but using very little equipment. Even I knew that this would be a challenge to achieve the same results training at home by themselves, using light equipment compared to being in the gym, but honestly the results speak for themselves!
I thought about including all of my clients in this one post, but I do not think that would do them justice for each of their individual achievements and results. So I will write one post for each client that totally smashed this lock-down and did not let that stop them from reaching their goals.
Annabelle started personal training with me in October 2018, so almost 2 years ago! She will admit herself that she did not join the gym because she loved training, or even enjoyed it, she joined because she wanted to achieve her aesthetic goals. Fast forward these years and I am still sometimes undecided if she enjoys it ;), but she has not quit which says a lot. Her growth both physically and mentally since joining the gym is phenomenal! She has never had time off from the gym; even when her training partner quit without notice, she continued, and during difficult family times, she continued. Achievements like that are not linked to lock-down, but Annabelle’s own determination and persistent attitude.
When the gyms closed Annabelle never questioned any decision I made moving the sessions online, and even admitted that she pushed herself even harder in the sessions. As I said in part 1, as the trainer I felt the pressure to make the sessions hard enough for everyone whilst using little or no equipment, but by the 3rd week of hearing Belle moan about how much every muscle in her body was aching, I knew it has working haha! Even after 2 years of training and adapting to weightlifting, body-weight training provided a new and invigorating way of training, and provided enough stimulus for some amazing progress!
Here are my top 3 things Annabelle has achieved during Lock-down:
She proved that you don’t need a lot of space or equipment to exercise.
Annabelle was limited at home by space and managed to complete every single exercise in a little space in her flat. Even on the hottest of days, she cracked her window open as wide as it would go and still put her all into the workout. At the beginning of lock-down the only piece of gym equipment she owned was an exercise mat. Which meant everything had to be body-weight or for some exercises she used wine bottles for resistance… handy! Then she managed to get hold of some bands and a 5kg weight bag, which was the only equipment she used for over 2 months of training. This goes to prove to everyone that says they do not have enough space at home to exercise, that’s not true. Belle has shown that if you have the right attitude and determination you can train just as well as in a full kitted out gym.
She has continued her progress to her best physique yet!
The left photo was taken a few weeks before lock-down and the right photo is Annabelle’s current physique post lock-down. There is no doubt that she already looks great in the left photo because she has a lovely toned physique, however if you compare the 2 side to side you can see changes like more definition in her arms, her glutes are perkier and her posture is improved. These changes were all made using very little equipment, and after 2 years of intense training which means Annabelles body would not respond as easily as a beginner would. She does not weigh herself as the scales are irrelevant to her goals, however its clear to see from these photos that she has lost a considerable amount of fat.
She has carried on training throughout difficult times during lock-down
This is not something I am going to go into detail with, but I wanted to add it to one of Belles biggest achievements during lock-down. From the outside looking in, she has had one of the hardest times of it during this pandemic, she has a very cute and super close family, and they have had a lot to deal with. And it is wrong to say that it didn’t affect her, as it would anybody, but she never let it stop her from living her life and even though she will of felt like not switching on the laptop to train, she still did. This is something she should be super proud of and shows least how far she has come in her training but more of how strong of a person she is!
Huge well done to Annabelle and thank you for you continuing to work with me for all this time :D. Here are some words from the lady herself.
When the gyms closed, I was so anxious. The gym was my safe place, it had helped me both mentally and physically so not being able to go there was a real struggle for me. But, with the help of Alicia, I have still continued my training. We are still able to do strength sessions which i absolutely love but we’ve been able to try new things and work more on technique and fitness.