By Ron Harris
I write this in the midst of the government mandated quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak that began here in the USA in mid-March. It’s been a life-changing experience for all of us, as so many things we took for granted every day of our lives were snatched away from us while we try to contain the spread of this insidious virus. Those of you who are serious weight trainers and bodybuilders have been hit hard by the closing of your gym. If you’re like me, you love the atmosphere and variety of equipment it offers. At home, it’s just you and whatever you have for equipment, perhaps a few dumbbells and maybe a bench, a barbell, and some plates. This may seem like a disaster, but I assure you it’s not. In fact, there are several positive effects that will result from your time away from your gym, doing what you can at home.
RECOVERY AND HEALING
Many of you love training so much that you overdo it. You do more sets than you need to, and you rarely take days off from the weights. Not only are you not giving your muscles and CNS (Central Nervous System) adequate time to recover from your workouts, you are also never allowing nagging minor injuries and inflammations a chance to heal. Now that you’re training at home, odds are you aren’t doing nearly as much in terms of different exercises and overall volume. Your body is finally getting a much-needed break. Rather than lose muscle, I’m sure many of you gained some over the course of the time you spent at home!
CREATIVITY AND FUN
While a wide variety of equipment is ideal, there’s something to be said about figuring out how to get great workouts with extremely limited equipment. You may also lack the heavy weights you’re accustomed to, which will force you to focus on your mind-muscle connection and make more moderate weights feel heavier by really squeezing the target muscle and feeling a full stretch on every negative. I bet you even had fun trying out new angles and twists on standard exercises you’ve been doing for years.
I guarantee you this, you will never take going to the gym for granted again. You will appreciate having a nice, well-equipped gym available to train at every day, and you will be so thankful you have access to all those free weights, machines, and cables. You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone is one of the most truthful adages in life, and now you know what it’s like to not be able to go to the gym and get your pump on.
Finally, emergency situations have a way of bringing people together. When you do get back to your gym, you will smile and say hello to people you never even deigned to make eye contact with before. You will realize every person at that gym is a fellow brother or sister in iron, for whom being fit, strong, and muscular is a huge part of life. From now on, you will treat them as family, not as strangers.