May 31, 2021

How to Get Your Fitness Back After Lockdown

How to Get Your Fitness Back After Lockdown

Some parts of the world are finally starting to reemerge from the Coronavirus lockdown.  Depending on where you live your gym might be reopening soon.  (For instance, the gym I grew up in, in Columbus opens this week.  Go #metrofitness).

But for some… this is going to be a day of reckoning.  With gyms being closed and everything being weird a lot of folks have used this time to take a vacation from their fitness routine.  Now it’s time to get back at it, but where to start?

Here are my 1, 2, 3’s for reclaiming your fitness and quickly getting back on track to your goals.

1. Start With Your Cardiovascular Fitness

If you’ve completely fallen off the fitness wagon during lockdown, and now a couple flights of stairs makes you winded and a little sticky with sweat (no judgement), the first thing you want to do is get your cardiovascular fitness back.

To get back in shape quickly, you want to start with intense, short bursts of cardio. I’d recommend 4-5x per week to do a hard HIIT 20-minute HIIT workout.

After a few weeks of this, you’ll have the stamina you need to make it through an intense full body workout.

Here’s a good example of one of my favorites:

  • Set a stationary bike for 33% of max resistance
    Bike for 5 minutes at 80-90 RPMs (warmup)
    Then, alternating every 45 seconds:
  • Sprint as fast as you can (get at least 120 RPMs) for 45 seconds
  • Catch your breath while pedaling at least 60 RPMs for 45 seconds
  • At the 25-minute mark ride at least 100 RPMs for the final 5 minutes.
  • Cool down with a leisurely treadmill walk.

This is HARD.  But this intense form of interval training will help you get your cardiovascular fitness back quickly.

If you can handle it, add a second session in of 15 minutes of fast jump rope every day.

2. Weight Training

If you’ve picked up some pounds during the coronavirus lockdown you want to get back to a vigorous weight training regimen quickly.  I know for most people the “go to” is long steady-state cardio sessions, but in general you’ll get a better body faster with weight training.

The basic reason is simple, muscle burns more calories than fat, so by increasing your muscle mass you’ll burn more calories and shed the weight faster.

Plus, for those of you looking to make some gains (say, in your booty) training in this fed state helps you gain muscle more quickly.

And… for those of you who’re worried you’ll get bulky… don’t.  It takes serious work to add on muscle “bulk”.  That should not be a concern.  Plus, this way when you shed those few extra pounds, you’ll reveal a toned, lean sexy look.

Seriously, don’t skip the weights.

3. Turn Up the Intensity

There’s an old fitness joke which says ‘I don’t do cardio, I just lift weights faster.”  One of the best ways to drop pounds fast, get lean, and get in great shape is to use a mixed form of weight training called metabolic resistance training.  Essentially this is an intense session of weight training that combines traditional weight training and cardio work.

Most workouts are structured to be around 45-minutes long, and during that entire period you’re (for the most part) constantly in motion.

Typically there are a lot of super sets (one exercise back-to-back with another), with the first being something heavy and intense (such as weighted jump squats) followed by a less intense exercise (i.e. stiff leg dead lift) that can be used as a “recovery period” from the heavier/harder set.

This alternated form of training gives you the best of both worlds, an intense cardio workout, while getting in your weight training for the day.

It requires you to be in relatively decent shape cardiovascularly, but the results are spectacular.

Give this a try and see if your fitness doesn’t snap back in a hurry.