Training tips to see you through isolation

Former Tabletalk sports reporter Karl Bergemann goes through his paces during a home training session.

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, or that’s how the saying goes. Right now, every sport enthusiast and athletes from the amateur ranks to the professionals, world-wide, can attest to just that.

With throngs of us now in lockdown, not just here in South Africa but abroad as well, albeit more-so here due to our strict regulations, something we so often take for granted – popping off to the gym, a kickaround with our friends at the football fields, a run around the block or even just walking your dog – is no longer available to us.

Technology, however, for all its mis-intents, seems to be one of the keys to how we are all keeping it together. What was a novelty before – online workouts, video training sessions, runs in our gardens and so on – has now turned into necessity but it’s an opportunity that is being grabbed with both hands by everyone from gym owners, yogis, functional fitness enthusiasts, martial artists, your average joe couch potato and more.

As an avid sportsman and professional martial artist, exercise is as much an essential part of my lifestyle as any, and although I often made use of home workouts and have spent many hours training by myself, planning my own training schedules or working off YouTube videos, the step from choosing to do a workout at home instead of the gym to being forced to work from home has been a bit of an adjustment – most notably when it comes to having to run in and around my yard and around the coffee table.

Innovation has been key. Fortunately, my gym, Thaiholics Cape Town, took a pro-active approach to the Covid-19 indaba by shutting down even before the lockdown was announced in this country, scheduling daily workouts online for our members pretty much as soon as the impact of the virus began making its mark in Europe.

It can be just as inspiring having group discussions and feedback about workouts you did on your own when you realise you are actually not in this alone. It’s an interesting thought – I’m alone, but I am not alone alone. Well, you have so many options available to you. The first point of call should be looking at workout videos that don’t require equipment, so bodyweight workouts on YouTube are great, or ones where they incorporate household items like water bottles, chairs and so on. You can even try your hand at something new – yoga, dance, shadowboxing drills, movement techniques.

Or, if you need a more structured approach to your workouts I might recommend something like Limitless Athletics’ straight-to-your-email The Daily workout routines (check them out on Facebook) or you can opt to download their app. Apps – there’s another great way to find something instructional with optimisable structured routines. Whether you’re looking at plyometrics, bodyweight routines with videos or anything else, there’s almost always an app for it – jump on your playstore and see what’s out there.

Also, if you want to feel like you’re part of something bigger, without having to be part of a club or gym, there are great challenges out there like the Mzansi Lockdown Marathon Challenge.

Karl Bergemann is a former Tabletalk sports reporter and SA K1 kickboxing champion.