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Do you need the gym to get fit? No.

I do sports daily. Be it weights training, swimming or cycling, or all together. However, when the lockdowns began earlier this year, like many of us, I was left without training facilities – unless you live in warm climate areas (like California), outside gyms are not an option. I live in London…so…I had to adapt to working out from home (from a room actually).

Initially, I panicked: “how am I supposed to stay fit and healthy without these facilities?”. Thankfully, the answer came quickly to my mind. I remembered this video from one of the people I look up the most in the fitness world – Greg Plitt.

He once said that “one person with belief overrides a hundred people with just intent”. So, the first thing I had to do was to believe that I can overcome the situation and find a way to train in my room. And I did.

Here is what I did and how I did it.

Nutrition

First of all, my goal changed from building muscles to staying strong and lean. As such, I focused primarily on nutrition. I eliminated carbohydrates, apart from the first meal of the day – oats with fruits and sometimes with a few scoops of protein powder.

For the rest of the day, I ate high in protein and moderate in fats, while taking a few vitamins like C and D. Chicken or turkey breast, lean beef (of maximum 5% fat), natural kefir, salmon, cottage cheese, eggs, and low-in-sugar vegetables (spinach and salad) have been making up the three-to-four main meals a day.

This diet worked well for my body: when combined with the following exercise routine, I stayed strong and got leaner.

Training

Instead of doing the classic body split of training each muscle group per day (for example, Monday exercising back or shoulders), I ensured that I get a full body workout each day, six or seven days a week.

I train each morning, before work. It helps me wake up and gives me energy for the rest of the day. I perform a combination of the following exercises:

Chest:

Back:

Shoulders:

Biceps:

Triceps:

Abdominals:

Cardio

You don’t have to do all the above exercised. But make sure you pick one for each body part and mix as you wish. Here are some of my favourites:

Workout I

  • 10 sets of military push ups to failure.
  • 3 sets of dumbbell rows of 10 repetitions each.
  • 3 sets of bicep curls of 10-12 repetitions per bicep for each set.
  • 3 sets of standing shoulder presses of 4-6 repetitions each.
  • 3 sets of dips of 8-10 repetitions each.
  • 3 sets of 20 windshield wipers.
  • 3 set of supermans of 10 repetitions each.
  • 45 minutes of cardio.

Workout II

  • 5 sets of decline push ups, each set to failure.
  • 3 sets of dips of 10 repetitions each.
  • 3 sets of shoulder lateral raises of 10 repetitions each.
  • 3 sets of crunches to failure.
  • 3 sets of windshield wipers for 10-12 repetitions on each side.
  • 3 sets of bicep curls of 10-12 repetitions per bicep for each set.
  • 3 sets of resistance band bent over rows of 6-8 repetitions each set.
  • 3 set of supermans of 10 repetitions each.
  • 45 minutes of cardio.

Workout III

  • Double set: 3 sets of dips of 10-12 repetitions each, combined with 3 sets of hanging leg raises of 10 repetitions each.
  • Double set: 5 sets of diamond push ups until failure, combined with 5 sets of bicep curls of 10-12 repetitions per bicep.
  • 4 sets of dumbbell rows of 6-8 repetitions each.
  • 3 sets of supermans of 10 repetitions each.
  • 4 sets of crunches, each set until failure.
  • 60 minutes of cardio.

How many exercises you combine, it is up to you. Just make sure you cover your entire body. Also, if you don’t have any issues with your hip or spine and you can squat and deadlift, you can add legs and lower back in the mix. I do the supermans for my lower back and use the cycling to train my legs.

A workout typically lasts for about 90 minutes, including cardio. I prefer to keep it high intensity. However, if you are just starting, focus on form and getting the basics right first, then increase the intensity and / or the weights.

My Equipment

  • Three resistance bands (make sure they go up in tension).
  • Kettlebells or dumbbells of four, six, eight and twenty kgs.
  • Dips rack / station.
  • Foam roller.
  • Yoga matt.
  • Indoor bike.

This is all you need to stay fit while gyms are closed. That said, I can’t wait for the gyms and swimming pools to re-open. They are the best thing in modern society.

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