This time last year, who would have thought ‘national lockdowns’ would exist?
If in 2019, you were to ask me what a lockdown was…
I would probably have had to look it up on Google.
Now, we all know what the word ‘lockdown’ means and how it can impact our lives:
- Working from home
- Life limitations
- Unable to see close friends and relatives
- The impact on the economy
And of course the impact on our health, fitness, and mental well-being.
When the gyms closed during the first of the lockdowns, people resorted to buying dumbells and home fitness equipment. In many cities, fitness items either went out of stock, went up in price, or delayed delivery (in some cases for months).
And then for the rest, health declined, eating more junk food than usual and moving less – leading to extra tummy roles and an upward weight trajectory. Many days spent indoors, hunched over the computer, answering emails and working on Zoom/Microsoft Teams.
Thankfully, while life in many areas is getting back to a ‘new normal’ – there is always the potential for further lockdowns.
So we all need to be prepared just in case.
The good news is that there are many ways to get in head-turning shape even if future lockdowns happen, and that’s the aim of this post, to provide 8 solutions.
#1 Invest In Some Dumbbells
The most effective way to change your body shape and get ripped is to do resistance training i.e., lifting weights. Choosing the right exercises and applying the correct technique is a guaranteed way to transform your body shape and build a ripped physique.
If you can invest in some dumbbells, you will have the ability to work all of your major muscles such as the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, thighs, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles.
Combine the dumbbells with a bench, and you’ve got everything you need to build muscle and burn body fat. The best dumbbell/bench exercises for building lean muscle include:
- Chest – presses and flys (incline, flat, and decline)
- Back – incline rows, DB rows, shrugs
- Shoulders – side raises, front raises, shoulder presses, the Cuban press
- Biceps – DB curls, spider curls, concentration curls
- Triceps – overhead DB extensions, kickbacks, French press
- Core – weighted planks, Russian twists
- Legs – Squats, lunges, split squats, Romanian deadlifts, calf raises
Alongside the above, you may also be interested in picking up some more gym equipment such as:
- Resistance bands
- Squat rack
- Pull up station
- Jump rope
- Medicine ball
- TRX trainer
- Fitness mat
- Cardio equipment (rower, bike, treadmill, etc.)
The more equipment you can pick up, the more options you will have available to you.
#2 Muscle Building BodyWeight Exercises
If you don’t want to invest in home gym equipment or struggle to get hold of what you want (due to high demand), the best way to get ripped is to do bodyweight exercises.
Nick Screeton, head personal trainer at LEP Fitness says, “there are hundreds of bodyweight exercises you can do. If you apply the right style of resistance training, you can build a beach body in your living room”. The best bodyweight exercises include:
- Squats (wide, narrow, jumps)
- Lunges (forward, backward, side lunges)
- Split Squats
- Planks (side, front variations)
#3 Slow Down Your Reps
The most effective way to build muscle is called ‘hypertrophy training’ – this is what bodybuilders do. In Layman’s terms, hypertrophy training is about creating tension on the working muscle and going slow on the rep’s lowering portion (2-3 seconds). For example, let’s say you do a push-up, you would lower yourself to the floor taking 3s, before pushing back up. You then repeat the same tempo for the rest of your set.
Slowing down your reps is essential, especially if you do bodyweight exercises. The more resistance and tension you can place on your muscle, the quicker they will respond.
Ernst Peibst from Inside Bodybuilding says slow reps were one of the methodologies he used to overcome his genetics and build 17 inch arms naturally.
BONUS TIP – the ideal muscle-building rep range is between 8-15 reps per set.
#4 Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day
Despite what many people believe, slow intensity exercise is more beneficial for burning fat than HIIT training (High-Intensity Interval Training). So activities such as walking are fant