Quarantine Fitness by Tobey Kwe


As you’re reading this, we’ve been under some version of quarantine for the last 2 months and I’m sure it’s not been easy. Outside of the obvious health risks and lifestyle changes COVID has created, maintaining our fitness while being stuck at home is not as easy as it seems.

In the same way that office workers are adjusting to working from home, athletes of all types – runners, CrossFitters, weightlifters, body builders, triathletes, cyclists, etc. – are finding out that being motivated to exercise every single day is HARD. Their favorite equipment isn’t there anymore, there’s no community or teammates to train with, plus there’s a ton of distractions at home (the fridge, the couch and Netflix are at the top of my list). Even when it seems like there’s suddenly more time, sometimes it looks like it’s not enough.

I’m a CrossFit athlete and I’ve been competing for the last 3 years. When I started hearing about a potential lockdown in early March, I knew that step one was getting some basic equipment at home. Buying everything I wanted was obviously out of the picture, so I was thankful that I got a few things the day before the lockdown – and the rest in the weeks afterwards (thank you Playhard Fitness, Decathlon, StrongFit and Lazada!).

Now, all the fancy equipment doesn’t mean anything if you don’t use it. Building this daily training habit needed a lot of motivation. Here’s three things that worked for me.

  1. Baking it into my schedule. I’ve been working nights for the last 15 years so my open gym time at my box (Ang Tibay Fit) was always around 12PM-330PM. I’ve adjusted that a bit. I wake up at 12 noon, spend time with my family until around 2PM and then workout until 4PM or so. The timing’s perfect – my son’s taking his afternoon nap while I put in the work (no barbell dropping) – and I’m done when he wakes up. I know I’d probably skip working out most days if I didn’t stick to this routine. Now, it’s part of my regular day – just like it was before COVID happened.
  1. Keeping connected. Since we’re all socially distant by default – I’ve relied on Instagram and Facebook to check in with friends, see what everyone is doing and share/get workouts. There’s also one day a week (Tuesdays) that I reserve for Zoom workouts with my Ang Tibay box mates to get my community fix in. I especially love it when my son joins in and tries to do what I do (safely) – this helps create memories that I hope he’ll remember for years to come.
  1. Setting goals. Since there’s limitations at home, I needed to set the right goals. I can’t drop barbells so loads needed to be something I can put down gently. The focus turned to technique vs. weight, especially for Olympic lifts. I also have a few shoulder issues – so another goal was to get more mobility work before and after each workout. Finally, I programmed workouts I didn’t like or was uncomfortable in doing (hello grunt work, tempo work) so training days don’t become boring and I overcome that discomfort.

At the end of the day, I was very conscious that I was lucky to work out in the frequency and manner that I did. This quarantine period has impacted a lot of people in larger ways (having access to basic necessities, livelihood/jobs, health/safety) and it’s important to keep things in perspective. Whether you work out like a maniac every day or just take a few mins to get in a good sweat, we’re all in it to keep ourselves healthy and get a fighting chance against COVID or any other health issue. I hope these tips helped!

You can check out this video on how you can make the most out of limited space at home and keep being fit: https://youtu.be/q3VbPDJ1GHA

Nobody knows how long this situation will last, so let’s make the most of the time we’re spending with our families/friends at home. I hope we’re better in all aspects of life (fitness and otherwise) when we get back out there.