The struggle of working out from home

For the next few weeks, I’m a gym refugee as our CrossFit community relocates and refreshes. Apparently you can’t just press “hold” on your muscles and cruise until you can get under a barbell again. Those suckers need constant abuse, which I am terrible at providing without supervision.

For one, I’m an Obliger. I need external motivation to get any sort of ANYTHING accomplished. So even when someone gives me programming, it takes a heap load of willpower and energy to get going – and to finish.

For another, kids and pets can put a kink in your workout flow.

Uh-oh. Lookout rowing world. @concept2inc #concept2 #erg #startemyoung

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So what’s a stranded swolemate to do? Get creative.

Finding time

Mirror flex selfies: an integral part of the at-home workout.

I get it. By the time you’re done with the day, you just want to sit down without anything/one on top of you but a choice drink.

But you still have time for that – you really only need 15-20 minutes to get in some good movement. It’s all about consistency.

When you get home, eliminate excuses: immediately change into workout clothes, fill a water bottle and clear your space so that when you do get that window of time – after the kids are in bed, after work is finished up, after dinner is done – you’re ready.

OR – get up before any excuses can happen. Set your clothes out and make it the first thing you do. Yeah, I get it: I too am a human who hates alarms and crawling out from under the sheet sanctuary. But I am also a human who is nicer to other humans if I’m exercised (I’m really just a dog in a sports bra – wait, what?)

It’s about consistency and habit. If you force it for a few days, eventually it will get easier and that time will clear itself.

If you do have a little bit of money to spend, I’d put it toward a kettlebell and a doorway pull-up bar. These are both versatile pieces of equipment that don’t take up much space. You can do everything you can do with a dumbbell using a kettlebell, plus full-body movements like swings. If you’re feeling risky, try a tater. Yes, it looks as ridiculous as it sounds.

There are also apps and websites that can generate workouts for you based on the equipment you have, so you don’t have to keep making substitutes. Although milk jugs and cat litter tubs make great farmers’ carry weights!

You are also always in possession of a pretty heavy piece of equipment – yourself (no offense). If you don’t think a bodyweight workout will leave you sore or gassed, I’d like to remind you that CrossFit Headquarters programmed one movement for its first Open workout in 2012: burpees. Seven minutes of target burpees. One fifth of the score to determine competitors for the title of Fittest on Earth came from the maximum number of burpees people could do in the time it takes to microwave a baked potato.

Burpees, push-ups, air squats, pull-ups, handstand push-ups, mountain climbers. Use your levers and throw your own weight around!

The benefits
While I certainly prefer walking in somewhere where I give someone money to tell me what to do, there are perks to working out from home. Get too hot? Throw off the shirt. Hell, throw off the pants, too – no one is around to care! Turn on your Shakira and give no f***s if your hips do or do not lie. Of course, the lying may come in your form and workout integrity. Want to be a no-rep panda? You’re only cheating yourself. But hey, who cares? (Answer: probably you in a couple weeks when you aren’t seeing results.)

At-home warriors: How do you do it? Share with me your solo workout wisdom.

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