The world of fitness is a completely different animal due to COVID. I still see many people trying to fight it and holding out for things to just go back to “normal”, but the truth is I don’t ever see it going back to how it was. I have had deep discussions with many in the fitness industry and we are all in agreeance that those in the industry that survive this will pivot and re-invent themselves. With the likes of Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness filing for bankruptcy during this pandemic, I think it goes to show that this could be the end of an era of the big box gym.
However, this does not mean that we can not be even more healthier and fit as ever. I have seen so many of you out there walking, joining my classes, and giving COVID the big middle finger by not allowing this to disrupt your fitness goals. Those that are stuck at home with kids are making the time just to maintain their sanity. It is quite apparent through all of this that we don’t need a bunch of fitness equipment or an expensive gym membership to stay in shape.
So how do you get motivated? Like really motivated to stay consistent with your workouts. First, I always ask my clients why. Maybe you want to lose weight because you put on the COVID 15, but why do you want to lose weight? Do you have children and a spouse you want to be healthy for so you can participate in their lives and support them? Maybe you have aspirations to travel across the US or even the world? Potentially you want to be proactive to avoid preventable diseases that run in your family like diabetes or heart disease? Having a real emotional attachment will be the driving force to keep you motivated when you’re too tired to work out or feel you don’t have the time. You will find the energy. You will make the time. You will make your health a priority.
Maybe you don’t feel ripped, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have muscles. If you didn’t you would be like a wobbley bowl of Jello. However, as we age (about our late 20s) we began to lose muscle mass if we don’t work on maintaining it. This isn’t to say that you can’t develop lean muscle mass into your 30s and beyond to increase your metabolism and drop fat. It does mean that it’s not going to come as easy.
Maybe you were a teenager like me that could eat anything and stayed lean. Well, that’s definitely not the case for me now. I have to watch what I eat. More healthy choices and less cheat foods. I also make sure I strength train 2-3x per week along with cardio and yoga. It’s not easy, but if you go back to your why this is not an impossible feat. It’s likely that your goal isn’t to get ripped, but just be lean and healthy. The latter is a lot less work. It just requires consistency of a healthy lifestyle.
Keep things simple if you are new to strength training. You may hire a personal trainer for some intro sessions to get the basics down. You can also attend beginner bootcamp or weight lifting classes. The main goal is to get moving. If you can’t find weights due to limited supply during the pandemic, you may consider using canned goods, water bottles, wine bottles, or other household items. Again, you don’t need a gym membership to be healthy. I don’t need one and neither do you.
There’s no doubt that Americans spend billions of dollars every year on fitness. The thing of it is you don’t need to. In my opinion, you could spend less than $100 on basic equipment to get started. Of course Amazon can be the place to shop for the best prices, but don’t forget about discount stores like Ross or TJ Maxx. I have found a ton of fitness items here on the cheap. For a start-up home gym I would invest in the following: workout mat ($10-$20), workout bands ($20), Swiss ball ($15-$20), and dumbells ($30–$40).
As far as training goes, everyone’s budget is different. Like many trainers, I offer intro rates. This is a great way to try out a trainer to see if it is a good fit as well as get in a few sessions if you’re a beginner. Having a personal trainer is the best service you will get to vary up the type of workouts, keep you motivated and accountable, and make sure you stay injury free by performing the exercises properly. However, for some this is just not something attainable due to budget restrictions.
More affordable fitness options include online classes. With the surgence of online classes due to COVID and sadly the closure of many studios, you will easily be able to find a teacher online that you enjoy at a price within your budget. My classes vary from bootcamp, to vinyasa yoga, to gentle yoga with a cost of $10/class or $75/mo for unlimited classes. Since everyone’s schedules still seem to be a bit unpredictable, I offer a recording of the class if you register but are unable to attend. For the live classes, I really enjoy chatting with participants before and after to hear what everyone is up to and build a supportive online community. There are so many options. If the first place you land on doesn’t resonate with you don’t give up. Keep giving it a chance until you find the right fit for YOU!
Please don’t let money be a barrier to getting fit. There are free apps and free You Tube videos that will get you going if you just don’t have the budget for it right now. Be proud that you are finding a way to take better care of yourself. We all have different journeys on achieving our healthiest selves. In the end, we are all in this together!
Listen to the Reshape Your Life Podcast from 6/8/20 Working Out With No Money, Muscles, or Motivation for more indepth conversation and insight.