In Canada it was announced for Ontarians that our State of Emergency has been extended to June 2nd. That means a continued list of places from restaurants, bars, schools, gyms and fitness centers will remain closed. Staying at home is saving lives but for every action, there’s a reaction. Staying at home for prolonged periods can pose challenges for remaining physically active. Sedentary practices and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on your health, well-being and quality of life.
In these strange times of self-isolation and uncertainty, we all have to collectively fight this common enemy, an enemy that we cannot see; Coronavirus. From personal hygiene to social distancing we have to modify our lives for this new normal. We need to keep moving. I provided tips of what can be in the interim during COVID-19 since summer is slowly approaching and gyms are still closed for (hopefully) a few more weeks let’s make the most of our time and go over fitness tips we can work on for our workouts.
Do 6-minute abs 4 days a week (2 days on, 1-day rest, 2 days on, 2 days rest)
This workout came from research at Stanford to find the most effective way to get shredded abs.
25 leg lifts + Kick heels to ceiling (1 rep per second)
15 seconds rest
25 leg lifts + Kick heels to ceiling (1 rep per second)
25 slow crunches (3 seconds up, exhale and flex, 3 seconds down)
15 crunches towards the ceiling as fast as possible.
1 Minute Plank
Abs are non-negotiable in any no-gym fitness routine. Work on them consistently and they will pay off. Visible abs and a developed upper chest/shoulders are the two things people notice when they see you shirtless.
Chest + Triceps
Pushups, baby. Get used to them. Do 100 every other day. Get there in sets of 20, or 10 if you cannot yet do 20. Once 20 is easy, work up to 30, 40, etc.
You can do variations of push-ups: Close grip to get more Tricep involvement, wide grip for more chest. Put your feet up on a couch or a chair to get an inclined push-up angle that will work your shoulders and upper chest more.
Back + Biceps
Without weights to curl or row, our back and biceps are going to need to do pull-ups on something Ideally you have at least a door-frame chin-up bar. If not, ask a friend or family member if you can borrow theirs. Find a safe tree branch to use until they get back to you.
Do 3 sets of x 5 Pullups but go slow (10-second count) on the way down for every rep and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
If you want to focus on more biceps and less back, move your hands inside and palms facing you. Squeeze your biceps at the top of every rep.
You can do bodyweight squats and lunges but without weights, our best efforts are going to come from something more explosive.
Great for burning fat and building muscle. Increases metabolism and human growth hormone production. Find a big steep hill and sprint up it many times. Simple as that. Add a set of 25 box jumps and lunges until failure after your sprints for a full workout.
They say 80% of bodybuilding happens in the kitchen.
Use the Macro calculator on BodyBuilding.com to find the perfect amount of carbs, protein, and fat you should eat every day according to your specific goals and lifestyle.
If you’re not that serious don’t worry about it. Just focus on having at least 1 lb of protein for every pound you weigh, and stay away from sugar.
This should go without saying, but don’t drink soda and eat candy.
Practice your cooking if you don’t already cook every day. Cooking is easy. A wise man once said, “If you can read, you can cook.” Just look up recipes and follow the directions.
Here’s a list of foods you should combine into various combinations and eat:
Eggs, Chicken, Steak
- I always eat 4 eggs for breakfast with almond milk. I cook them in bacon oil (bacon oil has salt for extra fat), but you can use olive oil or even butter.
- Eggs have healthy cholesterol that converts into testosterone, and 4 eggs every day hit a cholesterol threshold you need to produce max amount of testosterone naturally.
- For meat, you can google recipes but generally follow two steps:
- 1.) Marinate it 2.) Cook it in either a pan or the oven.
- I get a pack of chicken breast from No Frills or Walmart for $2.49 a pound. Marinate a few breasts in olive oil, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning, pepper and oregano and throw them in the fridge. Cook in a pan on medium heat for 5 mins each side. Same with Steak too.
- For our meal preppers who want to cook a lot of meat at once, bake meat on a sheet in the oven for 35 mins at 400 degrees.
Oatmeal (Old Fashioned Oats/Steel Cut)
- Notice I don’t list bread here. I eat bread with my meals if I am intermittent fasting which I’ve been recently doing.
- Cook Rice with every meal to hit your carbs goal. I’m not a fan of rice cookers (I personally will never use them) but for those who want to hit their carb goal – get a rice cooker. They’re about $20-$40 on Amazon and will consistently cook perfect rice for you in 15 minutes every time.
- Steel-cut oats mixed with a scoop of whey protein and fruit is a quick power food. They are very cheap, you can get a tub from Walmart for under $3. Just microwave a bowl full of oats + water for 2 minutes and then mix in the fruit and whey. About 30 grams of healthy carbs and 30 grams of protein.
Fruit + Vegetables:
Vegetables: Broccoli + cauliflower (cruciferous veggies lead to higher testosterone), Spinach/Salad, Onions + Peppers. Any vegetable you like is probably good for you. Sweet potatoes also count as carbs but are acceptable.
Fruit: Bananas, blueberries, pomegranate. Avocado for healthy fat. A lot of fruit is high sugar but if you’re exercising a good amount and staying away from other sources of sugar eat as much as you want.
Sauces and Salad Dressings:
Find flavorful sauces to accompany all of the chicken and rice you will be eating. Hot Sauce is good for burning fat. Mustard is lower on sugar compared to Ketchup and BBQ Sauce.
You can use Plain Greek Yogurt and mix in Garlic and Cucumbers to make Tazaki sauce. (You can google Tazaki recipes for the proper ratio) This is a tasty and high protein low sugar sauce you can use to top your chicken or salads. Jerk sauce is another great alternative, too.
Pick a sauce and throw one food from every category into 3 meals a day. So for example:
Breakfast of Eggs, Rice, Avocado with Hot Sauce.
Lunch of Jerk Chicken + a side of Oatmeal mixed with Blueberries.
Dinner of Teriyaki ground beef with rice and broccoli.
Snack on high protein things like Greek yogurt (ideally low sugar) or cottage cheese before you sleep, as they are high in slow-digesting casein protein. Celery + peanut butter (but if you’re allergic like me, then use Nutella) is a great snack post-workout with fruit and a whey shake.
Drink a lot of water too, 3 to 4 litres a day if possible. Crucial for muscle building.
This isn’t a bible; there are literally thousands of workout routine guides out there, so if this doesn’t work well for you, cater your google search specifically to your goals, needs and wants. No ground breaking science in this other than exercise and eat properly.
Do harder workouts every week to achieve progressive overload. Sleep 8 hours a night, drink water, and don’t drink too much alcohol. Practice cooking every day as it’s an essential skill for survival.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!