How has your training been affected by the lockdown? A lot of our clients and members have had their regular training turned upside down by this, and left them wondering what they can get done in terms of training outcomes at the moment. Will they be able to achieve their goals, or is it all a total waste of time?
Caveat to all I am saying, if you have a great home gym, you are all good and we are jealous of you.
Let me start off by saying if you are feeling the same way. We get that. Our own training has been derailed as well and our plans of what we wanted to accomplish have been impacted by this as well.
However all hope is not lost. In the words of Gandalf the Grey, the greatest Wizard of our time.
Jokes aside there are positives to this time where our training is all thrown up in the air. What we need to do now is adapt, and overcome. So let's break it down. What do we need to adapt to, what will the new outcomes be, are we happy with them, and how will we go about achieving them.
For this I will split this down into three groups, general population (GP) who are people who are training to be fitter, healthier, stronger etc however don’t compete in a specific sport. Powerlifters, who are now unable to train with their usual training weights, and athletes involved within a sport.
First up the general population
This group of individuals, are the least likely to have their goals significantly impacted due to the lack of gym equipment. Goals like increased muscle mass, increased cardiovascular performance, general health, can all be improved with body weight exercises programmed together in a proper fashion. At the current point in time you are still able to go out for a run/cycle etc.
You may have to shift the expected time frame you will achieve your results however. It may take you a bit longer to get your 10k time down, or to get as lean as you want. Or to add that extra muscle mass. This is ok as you are not doing this for a competition or specific playing season but for your own personal benefit.
Your routine will be all messed up so try to re-establish some form of routine as best you can and maintain that. It helps to have some accountability on this whether that be a partner or friend, or a paid coach is also a good option as you will be more likely to adhere to the training they give you.
If you don’t currently have a coach but are thinking of getting one we have written an article on how to go about choosing one that fits you best. You can find that here.
Our advice for this group is just to allow for extra time for you to reach your old goals, and change your training to accommodate for the lack of availability to resistance training approaches and you will be grand.
There I said it, here is where most of you probably laugh at me and close the tab. For those that are left there is great benefit to this and let me describe how this will lead to you having a bigger total further down the line.
There are two aspects you can look at this from, one is weight class based, and one is training performance based.
First up weight class. You may be hovering above or just in your weight class. This is a great opportunity to get some body composition work done, and either get yourself comfortably in your weight class, or give yourself plenty breathing room so that you can even bulk into your next comp. Which is sadly unheard of in a lot of powerlifting as lifters are very tied to their weight classes. Imagine being able to eat to your heart's content during your peak and strength phases and fully recover between sessions. The impact to your performance on the platform would be significant, don’t you agree?
Next up training performance. We at ATS have spoken often about the importance of increasing muscle mass to get better at powerlifting so I won't dive into that right now. If you want to see our thoughts on it jump here. The best way to do this is by high volume sets, and one of the limiting factors in your performance during high rep sets is your ability to recover in between sets, and your ability to complete high rep sets. How many of you have felt that you could do more weight for sets of 10 but you have been so out of breath you couldn't add more weight? I know I have been there. This is where your general conditioning comes in. Improvements in the various energy systems within the body that produce energy for exercise and their ability to stave off fatigue will allow you to improve your ability to complete hard, high volume sets.
Long story short, improving your conditioning, means you can train harder, for longer, and recover better both during workouts and in between workouts.
One other factor to consider is to do as much as possible to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. Strength takes 2-3 weeks to start dropping, and muscle mass up to 8 weeks to start to drop. This is with no training and we can improve those by certain training methods.
So outcomes from changing up your training will be to improve your overall conditioning and maintain as much muscle mass as possible. Are we happy with these outcomes, probably not as it's exactly what powerlifters hate, but the long term benefits to your total make it worth the effort.
So how will we achieve this? Via a combination of HIIT circuits aimed at improving conditioning, and resistance training sessions utilising body weight movements and items we can find around the house to add additional resistance to exercises.
Finally Athletes involved in sport
Depending on when your season is or was means shifting the advice in different directions. However there are two large aspects that change how you will be affected by this. Your skill acquisition training (team practice), and your physical acquisition training (gym time). For all sports now training will be cancelled, so unless you can practice by yourself in your back garden your skill acquisition time has dropped to zero. You can do things like study techniques and your play books, however without the repetitions physically this isn’t totally helpful. There also isn’t much we can do about this, so it is best to not worry about it for now.
What we can do is work on our physical preparation, each and every sport has its different requirements and its different importance on various training outcomes. What you need to do is decide which are of the most importance to your sport, then how effectively you can train each one.
For example you are going to really struggle to train absolute strength, however you can work on your anaerobic and aerobic capacity, as well as your relative strength and rate of force development.
So your new training outcomes would be to build on your current work and improve in the areas that you deem important and achievable with the equipment you have. Are you happy with these? If yes crack on and do what you can.
So you can now go ahead and put together a training program to improve on your anaerobic and aerobic capacity with different running/cycling workouts. You can make improvements on your relative strength with workouts based around body weight exercises, and rate of force development can be done with sprint and jump variations.
Now I have just skimmed the surface on all of these, and each individual's circumstances, needs, and obstacles will be totally different. If you would like any additional info or to talk with us about how we can help you put together a training program to get the most of your lockdown training then don't hesitate to get in contact via our social media channels or email John. contact info is here.