Mitigating Progress Loss during COVID-19
I’d like to start off by saying that I hope you all are staying safe and healthy. If you are a Prime member, I hope that you have enjoyed the home training programs that we have sent your way. We hope they serve you well; not only by getting you active but, also by providing an outlet to relieve a little stress in these weird times. Lastly, I would love to address the truth about progress loss and how to combat that with a few quick and easy tips!
If you are like me, working out is one of the best parts of your day. You look forward to it, you crave it, and it’s what keeps you sane! Everyone’s workout routines have been thrown off and it can be really easy for anyone, myself included, to feel like all the hard work you’re putting in might be for nothing. Well, I am here to tell you that science says otherwise. Yes, if you are used to lifting massive amounts of weight and now all of a sudden you can only do bodyweight exercises, you will probably lose some muscle mass along the way. I assure you that this does not happen over night. Two weeks of complete inactivity is when the general person will start to experience muscle atrophy. Simply put, this means you will start to lose muscle. The rate at which it happens does differ depending on the individual. So you guys are probably thinking, “when is this supposed to become helpful or encouraging?” Well, right about now!
The truth is that lifting weights and getting stronger is super important for many reasons. This is not new information. At Prime, it is our goal to provide exceptional coaching and training programs that will provide a well rounded training regimen – one that has a strength component, but also one that has extreme focus on movement quality, mobility, and stability. So if you noticed before, I said after two weeks of no activity you will experience some muscle loss. We are working very hard to provide at home programs that are not only fun and enjoyable but also practical and extremely functional for not only your daily life but also for your movement quality as well. I can promise you that the programs will drastically help mitigate any loss of muscle, movement quality and patterns that are key to our daily programming. So without further ado, here are three simple and extremely effective ways to hold on to all the progress you have made!
Tip #1: Consistency
You do not put on muscle or move better over night; therefore, you will not lose it over night. To slow down muscle loss, it is extremely important to stay consistent with your workouts during this time or you may notice a decline in your performance and/or body composition. Something that has really helped me to stay consistent is to set a time to workout. Before I go to bed, I simply pencil it in to my planner when I am going to get it done. It is an appointment I set with myself that I do not want to miss! One way to go from thought to action with this is to sit down on Sunday, look at the week ahead of you, and set a goal. Maybe that’s the number of workouts the you would like to complete that week, a MEP goal if you have a Myzone belt, or even a calorie goal if you have a calorie tracker. One goal that I have made for myself is to do a dynamic warm up every day to help me stay on top of my mobility work because at the end of the day, what’s strength if we can’t move well and use it?
Tip #2: Nutrition
Ah, we all love to talk about nutrition so much, don’t we? Nutrition alone can be a game changer when we talk about maintaining our current fitness status. Many of us are not being quite as active as normal, therefore we probably do not need to eat quite as much food as we normally do. With that being said, please do not starve yourself! You need to continue to fuel yourself with healthy carbs either prior or post workout, or even both depending on the intensity of your session. Another thing to consider is that while stuck at home it can be really easy to catch yourself snacking out of boredom. Try your best to avoid this trap! We really want to fill up on vegetables and lean protein, which will really help curb your cravings and rev up your metabolism while helping you to maintain muscle. Just like our exercise routine, consistency with our nutrition is major! This may be easier for some than others. If you find yourself having a tough time with this, take time to create a meal schedule. When are you going to eat? What are you going to eat? You could even schedule your snacks to avoid that tempting pantry or snack cabinet. Try it out! This is a strategy that has really helped me.
Tip # 3: Intensity
There has been some pretty cool research in the last few years that suggests that “stress is stress”. Here is an example to better explain what I mean: An athlete has two big tests that also happen to be on the same day as the biggest football game of the year. Assuming that the athlete cares about their grades and the score they make on the tests, it would be extremely normal for the athlete to get a little ancy right before they take these tests. This could be chalked up to anxiousness, nervousness, or maybe even just a case of butterflies. Regardless, the student athlete is now having to focus intensely for the duration of the test. And then they get to go through the same process in their next class. The school day wraps up, tests are over, and now it is game time. The athlete is unexpectedly tired and underperforms. While they are disappointed, we can all understand that this is completely normal and probably even expected.
The physiological response to performance whether that be on a test, conference call, or even a workout are actually way more similar than we used to think. Most of us are undergoing larger amounts of stress than we are used to right now, therefore our workouts should be reflective of that. Should they be a cake walk? No. But, you should not be discouraged if your workouts do not feel as intense as they do when you are at Prime. We want the programs we have provided to you to serve as an outlet that provides a sense of routine for you guys, as well as gets you sweating and moving in a smart way. Essentially, our stress level should typically match our workout intensity.
With that being said, it is really important to take advantage of our “good” days. This doesn’t mean to over exert yourself with four workouts in one day. What it could look like is a few extra reps of an exercise or an extra couple of rounds. It might even mean adding weight to exercises that you haven’t added weight to before. Only you can know how much stress you are under, but I am here to tell you that it is okay to pull back some days and press in a little more on others. It is extremely important for the longevity of our fitness journey to get really good at knowing our bodies.
I hope this information is helpful, encouraging, and informative. It is super important to look at what research tells us and go from there. If you are a Prime Member I promise you are in excellent hands as far as programming goes! We care and love each and every one of you. If you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to reach out. Hope to see and coach you all very soon!