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Bodybuilding & COVID
With Australia closing gyms during the COVID-19 pandemic, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts have had a lot of questions about how you can maintain muscle gains while working out at home.
In this post, we’ll cover the mental challenge of how to cope with changing to your routine. You’ll learn how to bodybuild at home without equipment (spoiler alert – you can!). You’ll find out how to adapt your workouts, Which are the best proteins and supplements to use, and whether adjusting your nutrition is a good idea during the Coronavirus lockdown.
We all know that when you start skipping gym sessions, we lose muscle fast. One study found that you can lose up to a kilo of lean body mass within just one week of bed rest, so the question is; How can you avoid this happening when you are stuck inside?
International Protein has put together some ideas to keep you maintaining muscle and help you make new gains with new techniques.
The Mental Challenges of Change
First, let’s address the mental challenges of changing your workout routine because now is a time that it’s easy to derail from your gains. If you’ve previously been training 60 minutes per day, then it’s essential to maintain as much regularity as possible, and continue training for the same duration from home. However, the way you adapt your workout is going to look different when you don’t have equipment that you’re used to.
The main thing to realise is that this is going to require mental discipline more than anything else. There are hundreds of exercises that you can easily do from home. Whether you’re motivated to do them or not is all about your attitude towards maintaining your muscle mass.
The reality is that you may lose muscle mass by not having the heavy weights that you’re used to. Still, there’s an opportunity to make significant gains in other areas, and come out the other side of the Coronavirus Lockdown with better technique drastically improving your bodybuilding physique.
How to Body build at Home Without Equipment?
You now understand that the important thing is to continue your momentum in training to maintain as much muscle mass as possible, but can you do that without the gym equipment you are used to?
No longer being able to do the variety of exercises you were doing before, you need to get creative, so you can still target the same muscle groups.
Your body recognises the stress that weights put on your body; not how heavy they are. You can create positive stress in other ways. For example, if you need to lift a lighter weight because that’s all that’s accessible, then switching up the number of reps or adding a range of movement such as half squats, as well as full squats, could be the answer.
Varying speed can help too because it’s all to do with time under tension. Slowing down can give you more gains, not less. Try doing five push-ups fast and then five super slowly, and repeating this.
Many people find that they are much more tired than they expect from simply switching up speed, ROM, and reps with bodyweight exercises. If you are finding this, perhaps you’d like to try out International Proteins Brutal Pump pre-workout. It can give you that extra burst of energy you need to keep pumping for longer.
How Do We Adapt Our Workouts?
It is completely possible for bodybuilders to maintain muscle at home without equipment provided you’re willing to be a little creative. Here are some make-shift solutions with items that you can find around your home to use for weight training.
Some examples of what you can use for home weights are:
•Stash all your cans in shopping bags and lift these
•Backpack with bottles of water in it
•2L bottles for your arm exercises
•Lifting furniture (but be mindful of your back)
Here are some easy exercise switches you could make:
•Switch weighted lunges for lunges with isometric contractions. That means you should be contracting all the relevant muscles for the entire time, not just when you are at the bottom or top of the movement.
•Swap the leg press for deadlifts with weighted reusable grocery bags.
•Swap squats with weight, for squats with isometric movements. For example, do just the lower half of the squat for 10 reps, then just the upper half for 10, then a full squat for 10.
Should We Change Our Nutrition?
There is plenty of temptation to turn to comfort foods while in lockdown, but If you change your habits to eating less healthy foods, you’re making it far harder to motivate yourself. to Hitting the gym at 5-am once the Coronavirus is over will be a challenge and without the right nutrition, you won’t be getting the recovery your body needs after a high impact F45 home workout for example.
It’s essential to keep eating as you would because, with the wrong nutrition, you’ll make the wrong choices. You will, however, need to monitor your calories burned and adjust your quantities accordingly.
Ensure your meals continue to include a healthy balance of carbohydrates, good fats and high-performance, fast-absorbing proteins, ensuring your energy levels, recovery and decisions are in good shape, providing energy for your home workouts.
We can all relate to occasionally derailing but what’s important is that you jump back on track as fast as possible. Set yourself a meal plan, cook in advance and measure everything you eat.
If you use a fast-absorbing protein powder from International Proteins range, there is no need to switch it up, continue with your usual, unless you’re now burning far fewer calories. Instead, you may wish to investigate our Iso-Cuts thermogenic protein.
What Home Workouts Would You Recommend?
The fitness industry is reinventing itself online as many gyms, and personal trainers are taking their businesses to Youtube sharing their knowledge. We have more home workouts available to us than ever before!
HIIT workouts (High-Intensity Interval Training) is ideal for cardio and dropping body fat. After 10 minutes, you should have a decent burn in those Glutes, and your afterburn will trigger the speeding up of your metabolism. HIIT is a cardiovascular and strength training session that is proven as the most effective workout method for fat burning and building lean muscle. As bodybuilders, it’s great to mix this into our routines at least once or twice per week.
Although HIIT workouts usually involve plenty of lunges, jump squats and high-impact exercises, you’ll also find low-impact Hiit workouts for those nursing knee injury or on the days that you’re just not feeling motivated. The key is to hit the go button regardless.
F45 is a gruelling 45-minute version of high-intensity (Hiit) workouts, designed to target all muscle groups. Exercises include twisting, pulling, pushing jumping, squats, punching and more. It’s perfect for your cardio training day.
For balancing the body out after a tough session, we recommend yin yoga. Yin is a series of deep holds and stretches of the connective tissues of the body. You’ll rediscover movement that you’ve lost, so consider this period of Coronavirus lockdown an opportunity for maintenance.
Across the past months throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of trainers and gyms in Australia that have been uploading great video content to Youtube has skyrocketed. Some offer free trials, while others have subscription services. Get involved; there are plenty of ways to retain your muscle on Youtube.
Thanks for reading,
Please leave any questions you have in our comments section below and have a listen to tips about maintaining mass in our lockdown podcast .