COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the fitness industry. Many gyms have closed during the lockdowns, and some may have shut down for good. A Canadian study found that previously active people in the U.S. are exercising 33% less than they were before the pandemic. The virus is killing our gains.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
When my gym closed, I expected it would open back up in a month or two at most. I did bodyweight exercises at home like many other Americans did. But as the months went by with no sign of reopening, my motivation and physique waned.
Recently, I discovered a new company called Divert Fitness. I picked up their PR-3S power rack and immediately set up a home gym in my garage. It has completely changed the game. Now, I am working out at a higher frequency and intensity than I was even before the pandemic.
If you are curious about why you should do the same, read on.
We don’t know when gyms will reopen to full capacity
If you’re in a state like mine (California), there is currently no definite timeline for reopening. Some officials predict the lockdowns might go on through 2021. Even if gyms open sooner than that, there will surely be restrictions in place for a good length of time.
How will gyms handle restricted capacities until things are back to normal? Will we have to book training sessions weeks in advance, or will we be stuck in line for hours just to get a lift in?
Leaving it up to the powers that be and staying in the dark will hurt us in the long run. We have to take the situation into our own hands, because:
The more time you take off training, the longer it takes to regain your progress
A general rule of thumb is that it takes roughly half the total length of your time off to train back up to your former level of performance. That’s great if you take a month-long vacation and can get back to your usual routine within two weeks. Months and months of atrophy, however, will take months of hard work to overcome.
If we are finally able to return to the gym regularly by March of 2021, for example, it could take up to 6 months to start making real progress again. That would be an entire year and a half of lost time. Life is too short to throw that much time away.
Reduced risk of infection
While there are numerous conditions that increase the risk of Coronavirus complications, there are a few that most people can actually do something about. These are obesity, cardiovascular health, immune system strength, and vitamin D deficiency.
In addition to going out for runs and hikes with sun exposure, a home gym can help reduce your chances of getting sick and beating the virus if you do come in contact. A proper diet with a caloric deficit and exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight. Strength training and cardio will keep your heart strong. They have been proven to boost your immune system as well. Besides social distancing and wearing a mask, nothing is more important right now than optimizing your health and physical condition.
Gyms might become a thing of the past
That’s what three out of five Americans believe, according to a recent survey. Even in states where gyms are currently open, many don’t feel comfortable going back yet. In fact, a separate study found that 25% of people plan never to go back at all. Losing business might result in even more closures or higher membership rates in the future to compensate. If you stick with commercial gyms, you may end up having to decide if you’d rather join a gym 30 minutes further away or pay much higher fees.
Ultimately, working out from home is likely here to stay. Most of the time it’s a better experience than going to the gym anyway, especially with a proper set up.
Getting to the gym is half the battle for many. If you work up the motivation to get there, the workout tends to just happen. But with a gym inside your own home, you don’t have to travel anywhere to train. You’re already there. It eliminates almost every excuse that people make. Even if you’re tired and sore, walking around your house and seeing your equipment sitting around might motivate you to at least do a couple sets.
There are definitely benefits to using commercial gyms. There are more machines available, group sessions, etc. But there are many drawbacks that a home gym solves. You won’t have to deal with the crowded space at peak hours and waiting for equipment to become available. Nobody is going to come up to you mid set and ask how many you have left. Nobody is going to leave a pool of sweat on a bench for you to wipe down. And if you want to hit a lift with your friends, all you need to do is invite them over.
There really is no better time than right now to build your gym at home. Check out our collection of equipment and get started today.