It has been 10 months since I last stepped foot in my gym due to the COVID lockdowns. Although my gym did reopen for a period during the late summer and early fall, I didn’t return. I had concerns about being inside a smaller gym that I already knew had issues with their HVAC system. The weather outside was great, so I figured I could wait a bit longer. Now that wait has been extended by months. I’d be surprised if my gym opens before April.
I don’t have any interest in debating COVID or lockdown strategies. The reality is what it is. I can’t return to my gym and that likely won’t change for 3 or more months here in Seattle.
I gave bodyweight exercises a try. But they never clicked with me. If you thrive on bodyweight exercises and don’t need a gym, good for you. I still do pushups and bodyweight squats, but there is something good for my mental health to do exercise in a dedicated space with lots of lights, mirrors, high ceilings, and music. You know, a gym. Doing pushups, next to my bed, next to my desk, is not inspiring at all.
No Need to Worry
Even though my fitness has suffered* during the lockdown, I am not concerned that this loss will set me back as long as the lockdown itself. I am fully confident that every ounce of strength and size lost in 2020 will return rapidly in 2021.
*my nutrition has been excellent 😎
Why am I confident? Muscle memory. The same reason that after you remove a cast from a broken bone the muscle grows back to its original size quickly. It doesn’t need to be a recovery from an injury. It could be as simple as a deconditioned athlete that gets back into shape quickly. I did two posts on this very topic.
- How Mickey Rourke Gained 27 Pounds of Muscle For The Wrestler
- How Tim Ferriss REALLY Gained 34 Pounds of Muscle in 28 Days
Those posts make the case that a deconditioned athlete can recover years of lost muscle in a month. New muscle takes time, regaining old muscle doesn’t.
If you are like me, then you have years (or decades) of training experience. And if you took a step back in your strength and size in 2020 (like me), then relax in knowing that the gains will be coming soon.
We got this.
Photo by Anastase Maragos.
Part 2 (Feb 2022)
Dec 26, 2020 — 1:40 pm
Agreed: “Doing pushups, next to my bed, next to my desk, is not inspiring at all”.
Also, just leaving my flat (for me) was part of the ritual
Dec 27, 2020 — 1:32 pm
Hello again. Seems that we’re both on the same boat regarding bodyweight exercises. I’ve done pushups since high school yet no gains happened whatsoever. I had to lift heavy objects often and ritualistically in order to bulk up to around 140. I’m still wondering if the gains were mostly muscle or mostly fat, but I can at least take comfort in that I don’t feel any better or worse at the moment. Better to practice actual martial arts moves instead of just doing pushups on dirty floors or carpets, right?
Dec 29, 2020 — 1:20 pm
Fortunately fitness has many avenues. Cardiovascular fitness is highly desirable and worthy of pursuit.
On the other hand, the goal of putting on extra mass through resistance training, albeit muscle, is not without issues. Strength is a superior goal I believe.
Cardiovascular fitness can be had easily, cheaply, all the while keeping safe from Covid-19.