By Thomas King, MSc, CK, CSCS

Given the situation in the world right now, there is a good chance that gyms in your area are either shut down completely or operating with limited capacity meaning you can’t always get a workout in.

This doesn’t have to be the end of your fitness goals though! Working out at home can be an excellent alternative. While this may not be ideal it is the reality and so presented below are my top 5 tips for staying motivated while training at home!

1. Keep the Same Workout Schedule

Never underestimate the power of keeping yourself on schedule. Did you previously get up early to exercise before work? Then keep doing that! It’s likely that you train at this time because it works best for your schedule. As a bonus, it may mean that you end up having your workout completed before your partner or kids are even awake. The same goes for you night owls out there. If you previously trained in the evening/night, keep doing that! Don’t feel like your training regime needs to change just because your other routines have.

2. Choose Your Favourite Music

This is an important one. Choosing your favourite music can be the difference between feeling motivated and feeling like nothing is working quite right. Several studies have found that when participants listened to music they enjoyed, their rate of perceived exertion (read: how hard they experienced an exercise) was lower than when they listened to music they didn’t like. The bottom line: pick music you like when training at home.

3. Check in With Your Trainer/Coach (us!)

This is a great way to stay accountable and any coach worth their salt should be happy to help with this. Just feel like you need that extra accountability? Email your trainer to tell them what you done for your workout, how it felt, exercise/technique tips, anything! While we can’t train in person right now, our world is more electronically connected than ever and your coach is just a couple of clicks away (*hint hint* let us know you’re still getting your workouts in!!)

4. Make it a Family Affair

Kids won’t leave you alone long enough to workout? Make them part of your training! Workouts can be great family time. Kids are an endless source of energy so having them burn off a little taking part in your workout can serve a double purpose of helping you complete your workout and making them a bit tired. Try doing some lunges, jumps, push-ups, whatever! As long as their technique is appropriate kids are more than capable of doing these exercises.

5. Accept Progress May Stall

Unless you have a home gym set-up exactly like your gym, you may experience a plateauing or slight decline of your progress. This is normally and totally okay! Unless you plan to train for the World Powerlifting Championships, no one is going to care that you lost 20lbs on your max deadlift. Besides, a little break will likely do your muscles, joints, and nervous system some good. When you get back in the gym again, you will be refreshed and ready to train hard and that 20lbs won’t be very long coming back.

The Wrap-Up

Hopefully some of these tips will help you remain motivated to train even when you can’t get in the gym. In an ideal world, we would all be back in the gym doing what we love and improving our lifts. For now though, that is difficult for most and training at home is the next best thing. So take these tips and use them to keep yourself motivated to keep going, gyms will be open again soon!

~Thomas 🏋️‍♀️

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I joined JKC because I wanted to better care for my physical health, but didn’t really know how, or where, to begin.  Seeking help from a trainer seemed like a wise choice, and I had heard great things about the staff at JKC. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate exercising.  So, I’ve only ever tried sticking with a gym routine twice in my life.  Each experience consisted of me wandering around, not knowing what to do, and settling for an elliptical machine or something else that seemed comfortable and non-threatening.  Each session was the same, and I felt like I was wasting my time.

Each session at JKC, however, is specifically crafted for me.  I don’t have to think about what to do, because I’m told what to do.  I don’t have to worry about how to do things properly, because I’m shown (sometimes multiple times!) how to accomplish each task.  I don’t have to be concerned about slipping into a comfortable routine, because Jon and Thomas won’t let that happen.

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

I was referred to JKC by my sister-in-law and had heard good things about it from many people in the running community. I also saw Jon’s picture on the wall at lululemon years ago! I really like the personalized training and the variety the guys provide. I started for strength training for running. I love cardio and do tons of it but wasn’t motivated to do much strength work on my own. Jon mixes up my strength work week to week so I don’t get bored but also lets me work in a hard circuit for the last 20 minutes of most sessions to get my cardio fix 

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

I originally joined JKC because I was anxious about passing out and embarrassing myself since I hadn’t weight trained in a while and I’d hoped to find somewhere sympathetic. My husband @terry_hussey had been training at JKC and his success there made me miss the achievement you feel from a good workout. I went to meet Jon and immediately knew it was going to be a safe space for me. I was never judged for the fears I had and where I was starting from. Jon and Thomas made sure to check on me often, and found a way to challenge me but make me feel secure at the same time, and Terry and I were able to book sessions together, so working out became a shared win for us!

JKC is different from other gyms because of the personal growth you have outside JKC (the sessions inside JKC creates a great positive feedback loop!). You gain self confidence, learn how to show up for yourself, meet a community of newfound friends, and get the support of your trainers who are behind you 100%. I’ve left a scattered workout so proud of myself I’ve honestly shed a tear in the car on the drive home. JKC is the mental health relief valve I need to stay positive, and keep my anxiety and health related fears at bay.

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