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.
Catherine has been training with me for just under 2 years now, and she is almost like a new person compared to when she joined the gym. Her initial reasons for coming to me was to solely lose weight, as she had a history of losing and regaining weight through diets like slimming world etc. And after getting to know her it was clear how low her self confidence was, which made it all the more impressive that she had followed through with joining the gym.
She had no experience whatsoever with training, so I was able to design her programme like a blank canvas. With no pre-conceptions of weight lifting or strength training she didn’t know what to expect, but she actually enjoyed it! In the first 6 months of training Catherine was training exclusively with me, but after then she used the confidence and knowledge that she had gained, and started coming into the gym on her own! Since then she has continued to make great progress both in her physique and her confidence.
However when the gyms closed it took us all by surprise, and I had to come up with a plan with each client individually. I suggested that we did all of our sessions via Skype until we could meet again face to face, to which Catherine agreed to straight away. However there were many hurdles to this method that we had to overcome, which I will discuss below.
Catherine’s top achievements
She obliterated the people that say they don’t have enough space to train:
With Catherine she had literally no equipment and was very limited on space, but she never let this affect her. I put certain things in her programme such as squat jumps, that we had to change because her dad was working from home and she was jumping above his room. She managed to get her hands on some resistance bands which came in handy. But often the sessions were body-weight high intensity exercises, which were not what she was used to in the slightest. In the time we have worked together the main focus had been on strength training. So to go from lifting weights for the full hour and seeing me in person, to doing body-weight exercises for the full hour whilst I am demonstrating on a screen, it would be enough to make anyone quit, but not Catherine.
She is actually training more now!
In the gym she would aim to come in for her session with me, and then 1 or 2 additional sessions on her own each week. However in the few months leading up to lock-down she was finding it hard to come into the gym on her own. But when I changed the sessions to being able to do them all at home, she would do 1 session with me and then consistently each week complete the other 2 sessions on her own. This was because she felt more comfortable in her own home training, and didn’t feel the pressure of the gym environment or have to take time to travel anywhere. So this actually went to show me that some people like Catherine, have thrived from the gym being closed. In the past month or so she has also nabbed an exercise bike and started cycling to replace her daily walk to work!
No matter the stress, she has never given up.
Like a lot of people Catherine was asked to work from home, and since she worked in IT this meant that she would be sat in her bedroom all day staring at a screen. Which was not good for her poor back or wrists, and they started causing her a lot of strain. She was also doing extra hours to make up for those that were furloughed, and just generally felt very stressed from work. This, coupled with stress that was going on with the family, and health, would be enough to push someone into taking a break from training… but she didn’t let it stop her.
Well done for these and all the amazing achievements you have made these past few years Catherine. Keep working hard and achieving your goals!
Here are some words from the lady herself:
When the gyms closed I didn’t know how I felt as for a while I was only doing 1 or 2 sessions in the gym instead of 3. I had just got back into doing 2 or 3 a few weeks before the gym closed. Working out from home was a challenge between the connection not being the best over the Skype sessions, not having much space to work with and several of us in the household working from home. I also found that i missed the walk I did to work and back and that it had an impact on me whilst in lockdown so i chose to use the exercise bike my brother no longer used to replace the walk I used to do. I now incorporate this through the week and do 2 or 3 30 min sessions as well as one home workout on my own and one with Alicia. I have found that I enjoy doing the workouts at home much better than going to the gym.