When gyms began closing in March, I couldn’t help but think, “Hey! I was just getting into a routine!” Anxious to get in one last session before an indefinite quarantine, I hurried to my gym. But as I stood waiting for a machine, shouldered between two guys taking selfies, I became disenchanted. The pandemic highlighted sanitation concerns, of course; it also made me question my efficiency at the gym. That was my last day at the gym. Ever.
Fast forward to five months later, and I’ve exceeded all my fitness goals. My favourite pants fit. I feel sexy. I have more energy. I’m in the best shape of my life. But more importantly, I am stronger physically and mentally. All of this without stepping foot in a gym. Actually, I don’t believe I would have ever reached my goals had I not said goodbye to the gym and its inherent distractions.
I’m going to share with you the three principles that changed my life and put me in control of my own fitness journey. Remember, the “best shape of your life” is just that — the highlight of your personal growth. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, priorities, and motivations. Progress takes time, and each body is unique. Let’s celebrate all that our bodies do for us while working to be our best selves.
How you exercise, based on your star sign. Post continues below.
Realise you have everything you need in your home (and in yourself).
Before the pandemic, I never considered working out at home. I always thought the gym to be an escape from our small apartment; it was a section of the day cordoned off as “Gym Time.” At home, there were the usual distractions: TV, e-mails, work, more wine, the bed beckoning. Floor mat workouts turned into floor naps. Like many, my intentions were good, but the temptations that came with working out at home made it seem a faraway option.
But after being forced to train at home, I realised I have everything I need to get in shape. If I can do this in a studio apartment with no budget, you can too.
I use a yoga mat, dumbbells, a medicine ball, resistance bands, and a homemade kettlebell, but you’ll find that bodyweight alone is enough. There are plenty of ways to improve your strength and endurance using no equipment. And when you’re ready to add on the weights, use a wine bottle or a planter. Laundry detergent containers with handles are ideal candidates to up-cycle into homemade kettlebells — fill jugs with water for an intense full-body workout.
Okay, I have to admit that working out at home isn’t easy at first. There are distractions, sure, but no one’s gesturing for me to take out my AirPods just so he can ask where I’m from. At the gym, it was easy to sit on my phone while waiting for a machine or spend more time resting between reps than actually working out. Whether at the gym or home, you have to want growth. You have to crave it. The power of working out at home is that you have full control. When I find myself lacking motivation or energy, I’ll do an easy core workout while mindlessly watching Seinfeld or Jersey Shore… not ideal, but it helps me develop the habit.