It is a bit of a strange time for everyone. As we adjust and evolve to various levels of quarantine, lockdown or self-isolation, maintaining or improving personal fitness has become a focus for many. If you are fortunate, you may have some equipment at home and thus have been able to maintain your regular fitness regimen (or something close to it). For those without gear, there is no reason your fitness should suffer. Given the extra free time we all have, there should be no excuse not to improve your fitness.
Two underutilized tools in many gym-based fitness regimens or training programs are bodyweight movements (push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises where your own body weight provides the resistance) and running/walking. I’ve put together five simple workout sessions that require only a small amount of space and zero gear.
For the motivated or exceptionally fit, you could do one each day with two days off and then repeat. Or, you could do one every other day. For people interested in endurance or aerobic capacity, I would add these workouts to the end of your run, hike or walk a few days each week.
For each workout, I recommend a good, general warm-up to get the blood flowing and your mind and body right for the workout to come. This could include a combination of yoga, stretching, breathing and mobility work. If you are stumped, this 15-minute session is a great place to start. I’ve personally been following this up with an 800-meter run at a moderate pace (a loop around two blocks in my neighborhood), to really get my system primed and ready for the workout.
Warm-up (see above)
3 Rounds – move from one movement to the next with minimum or no rest
12-Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible):
Set your watch for 12 minutes. Go through each exercise in order, start to finish is one round. The idea is to only rest as needed and to complete as many rounds as you can in the 12 minutes. As your fitness improves, you should be able to complete more rounds each time.
Finisher: 5 minutes – 30 seconds of work/30 seconds of rest (30:30 intervals)
Two to three rounds of 5-10 Shoulder Dislocates reps (use a pvc pipe, broom handle etc)
Followed by five rounds of Tabata style:
Each round is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Eight times, four minutes total, then rest 2 minutes between rounds. The goal should be to use your maximum effort, to reach your maximum reps each round.
Finisher: Run 1.5 to 2 miles at a hard pace (adjust the distance according to your health, this shouldn’t exceed 18 minutes total).
Run 1 mile
Five rounds of Mini Leg Blaster (this is a great circuit from the folks at Mountain Tactical)
Run 800 meters
10 Minute EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute):
Set the clock for 10 minutes, do each of the prescribed movements and reps in order, once completed, rest the remaining time. Then, repeat the next minute and so on for 10 mins.
6 Minutes of 30 seconds of work:30 seconds of rest, max reps
1 mile run at hard pace
Warm-up with a ten to twenty minute easy run
If you have access to a pull-up bar, substitute pull-ups for push-ups to add variety and keep your back strong throughout the workouts. I use a 4:1 ratio roughly, so if it calls for 8 push-ups, I would substitute 2-3 pull-ups. Use this time at home as an opportunity to get stronger and fitter, not an excuse to stop moving.
There are endless varieties and combinations of these workouts and almost every trainer in the world is offering some type of remote or online coaching right now. Just be aware that for every quality trainer out there, there are dozens of questionable ones.
Article by Jake Hutchinson
Jake has spent more than 25 years working as an avalanche professional. He is currently a lead instructor for the American Avalanche Institute, an avalanche dog handler and trainer and an avalanche safety consultant to the resort and rescue communities. Off the snow, Hutchinson is a Certified Instructor and former Head of Instructor and Seminar Development for Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. He is currently involved in private personal training with an emphasis on high level functional fitness for mountain and military athletes.