When gyms were forced to close back in March, it was a development that left millions of fitness-conscious men unwittingly staring down the barrel of an uncertain and potentially flabby future.
But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we as a species are good at adapting. From remote working to the rise of the virtual pub quiz, the pandemic has forced us to get creative. And staying in shape is no exception.
We spoke to four men who either adapted their workouts or upped their exercise as a direct result of lockdown, to find out what they’ve learnt from their new routines – featuring their favourite workout gear and sportswear essentials from Very.
‘You won’t lose muscle mass by adopting a more functional workout style’ – George, 27
“I went from having a rigid ‘bro-split’ gym routine to a functional circuit-style one. When the gyms closed, I took to the park with a sandbag, skipping rope and yoga mat (pro tip: use the skipping rope like a carrying strap for your yoga mat). I’ve seen a definite increase in my mobility and overall fitness levels. Also, I got a quality back tan.
“I learnt that you won’t necessarily lose your hard-earned muscle mass by transitioning to a more functional and cardio-centric workout style. The change in seasons has driven my workouts inside occasionally, but I don’t see myself slipping back into the old routine.”
‘I’ve learnt I’m more competitive than I thought’ – Paddy, 30
“I’ve always liked riding a bike, but a lack of work during lockdown meant I had time to really get stuck in. I’ve put in over 4,000 miles since March. I’m in the best shape of my life, both mentally and physically. I’ve found something I love to do that keeps me fit, helps me to focus and allows me to meet like-minded people (at a distance, of course).
“I’ve also learnt about a side of me that I had no idea existed. I’ve never really been competitive, but now I’m always testing my limits. If I complete a big challenge on my bike, I’m immediately looking at how the next one can be bigger. I plan on doing this until the nursing home staff finally manage to prise my arthritic fingers off the handlebars of my bike 50 or 60 years from now.”
‘I can be really efficient with my workouts‘ – Ali, 29
“In order to keep fit, sane and spend time outside, I resorted to running in lockdown. I achieved some big PBs, lost the paunch I’ve had my entire life, and had my eyes opened to a sport I felt I could maybe even enjoy competitively. Most importantly, I felt good!
“The biggest thing is I’ve learnt is that time efficiency is really valuable to me. I can get ready, do a hard run and be back at my desk in the time it would take me to arrive at the gym. This pandemic has actually turned me into a runner.”
‘You can always make small changes to improve your lifestyle’ – Tom, 26
“Before lockdown, I hadn’t done any exercise in six months. I was eating badly and drinking quite heavily on top of that. Now, I’m riding roughly 100 miles a week on my bike, as well as taking daily lunch break walks while working from home. Lockdown gave me the motivation to make the most of a bad situation. I rediscovered a love for cycling, got the blood flowing and lost some weight in the process.
“I’ve learnt that you can always make small changes to improve your lifestyle, and exercise is so incredibly powerful for both your physical and mental wellbeing. I’d be disappointed in myself if I slipped back into my old ways, but I can’t imagine that happening now that I’ve seen the benefits of regular exercise.”
Whatever sport makes you feel good right now, shop your fitness essentials at Very
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io