Gym closed? Can’t follow your program? Here’s how to maintain your fitness capacity while we all #staythefuckhome



Last week Gym Jones HQ closed the physical gym in order to practice social distancing and help stem the spread of COVID-19. We know along with our HQ members, many of you might also be experiencing gym closures and wondering how you should alter your programming in the coming weeks. Which is why we asked Michael Hulcher, Gym Jones Director of Programming, how you can keep training at home by using our High and Low Volume No Gear Programs and General Conditioning for the Home Gym programming if you have access to some equipment. What makes our Bodyweight and Home Gym programs different than most of the free at-home workouts that are flooding your Instagram feed? Like all of our programming, our No Gear training plans will elicit an actual physiological outcome. In this case, the outcome might be mitigating strength losses or maintaining hard earned aerobic capacity. As Hulcher reminds us, we should all be, “taking this time and energy and focusing it on diet and nutrition, getting some rest, taking care of nagging injuries, and helping someone who needs it.” Below, how to keep training—and a healthy perspective—until we’re all back in the gym rowing repeats together.

How many burpees and push ups will we be doing in the next two weeks? … All of them

Many HQ athletes were in the middle of a foundation phase aimed at helping us reset physiologically and psychologically after a strenuous strength training cycle. What should we do instead now?

Most likely when we return, we will be moving into an aerobic capacity building phase, so running or biking or both will be beneficial. Don’t worry about pushing the pace. Focus on volume and just get in the time. Start with 20-30 minutes and work toward 40-50 minutes. Use either modality or both.

Gym Jones HQ athletes Cate Williams and Jake Bailey running during an outdoor FYF shortly after the pandemic hit.

What should I do if my gym is closed, I’m in the middle of a Gym Jones program, and I don’t have access to equipment like barbells or a rower? 

Do simple things like pushups, situps, running. If you have a pull up bar, use it. You might also want to consider hitting pause on whatever program you’re following and opt for one of our no gear programs, a couple of which I’ve recently written with our athletes who are training at home in mind. These are all progressive programs that will mitigate strength and or aerobic capacity losses. 

Gym Jones HQ athlete Doug Renner is lucky enough to have a great home gym setup.

Is there any solid substitute to a rower or an assault bike?

If you have a bike at home and the weather is decent out, ride it. Some things you can do to kind of simulate an assault bike workout would be to find a big hill and ride up it at a fairly hard pace. Or switch to running for the time being and do something like this: 5×30/90 where the 30 is sprinting up a hill and the 90 is jogging back down to do it all over again. 

How can I look at this break from my normal training routine as a positive thing?  

Losing a couple weeks or a month of gym training is doable. In other words, this is not tragic. We’ll get back to it when we get back to it. Also think about working on your mobility right now. YouTube “ROMWOD” or some other mobility specific work—maybe supple leopard—and follow along. 20 to 30 minutes of mobility work would be really great, especially if that time is typically spent doing strength and conditioning. For example, maybe you’ve been aware for a while that you have tight ankles or hips or hip flexors. Well, now would be a great time to fix that if you know you’re not going to be squatting for a while.  I think we should all think of this as a period to reduce overall systemic fatigue. If you have little things that bother you—maybe muscular aches and pains or a shoulder issue or a knee thing—this is a time to clear some of that stuff up. And it can set you up for quality training when we’re back in the gym. 

Get creative with your at home workouts!