• Dominique

5 Ways to Adapt Your Training

Hi Friends!

I know these past 18 months have been a bit of a wild ride. This season has required a lot of adaptability and pivoting in every area of life.

We are in a lockdown here in Sydney, and I can say that perhaps naively I didn’t think we would be back here over a year later. I want to share some things that I have learned about adapting my training routine. I think that these tips can be applied to several scenarios including traveling (when we can again), unexpected lockdowns and injuries. As always, I hope that this information is helpful. Know that you are not alone as you continue to push your athletic limits, I am here cheering you on all the way!

Here are 5 tips on how to adapt your training routine.

Tip #1 - Make a plan

So much of this season can feel out of our control. One thing that I have found really grounding is to make a plan that fits within the parameters that I can control and achieve. I love making lists and planning ahead so this comes pretty naturally to me. If you are more of an overview person rather than interested in the details, making an overview plan can still be really beneficial.

Some questions I like to ask myself is:

  1. How many workouts do I want to achieve each week?

  2. What are my top 3 fitness goals?

  3. How can my workouts help me achieve my goals?

Whether you like detailed planning or more overview planning, these 3 questions can help you identify your fitness goals and how to achieve them.

Recently, I have found my motivation being low with no desire to workout. One thing that has helped me overcome low motivation is to create more structure around my workouts. I recently just re-completed one of our 6 week home based workout programs called Level Up. It was so helpful to just pull up the program on my phone and complete the workout rather than taking extra time and energy to plan my own workout. Don’t get me wrong, in other seasons I love programming my own training. In a season that you may find gyms are closed or you are traveling a lot, utilize the tools that you have around you to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Tip #2 - Be creative with what you have

Before lockdown the only creativity I needed was the ability to swap the order of exercises, if someone was using the piece of equipment I wanted.

Your creativity has to be at another level when you are in lockdown. As I am writing this we have been in lockdown going on 10 weeks. Here are a few things that I have found helpful when you are working out from home only.

1. Utilize Body Weighted Workouts

Body weighted workouts mean that you do a full workout with no additional equipment. Body weighted exercises can include push ups, lunges, squats, dips, pull ups, and core work. These workouts can be really effective for building strength and overall fitness. One way to maximise the benefits of body weighted workouts is with strategic reps and sets.

2. Reps, Sets & Tracking

Planning your workout is one of the keys to making progress. Reps, sets & rest are the metrics you can use to map it out. Reps are how many times you repeat an exercise, for example 5 push ups. Reps can also be time based. For example, do push ups for 30 seconds. Sets are how many times you repeat the reps, for example 3 sets of 5 push ups. Decide beforehand how many reps and sets that you will do for each exercise. Reps and sets are a great indicator of your overall progress, as you get stronger you can add extra sets. If you are getting bored with your workouts change up the amount of reps, sets & rest. At the start of your home-based workouts, check how many push ups, burpees, sit-ups, and lunges you can do. Then recheck this after 4 weeks of workouts to see your progress.

3. Incorporate Circuits

Circuits are great way to structure a workout. Traditionally a workout was doing an exercise, taking a short break then repeating. A circuit, as you likely know, throws a bunch of exercises together. You can do full body circuits or specific circuits that hone in on one specific muscle group. One of my favourite workouts is “death by sevens”. Click here to give it a go!

Tip #3 - Think outside the box

“But out of limitations comes creativity.” - Debbie Allen

Sometimes when we are limited it creates a need for us to think differently. Even your training can apply to this concept. Explore new exercises! Take the time to learn a new exercise that you might have skipped in a busier season. Try exercises that you have mastered with some weights. This could look like a pair of dumbbells or even some cans.

Don’t hate the basics. I don’t know about you, but I often want my workouts to be super creative and inspiring. The basics are foundational for a reason. It’s ok to stick to the basics, look for some areas of weakness and take this time to create an even stronger foundation for your overall fitness. When working on the basics, really focus on your alignment as the alignment from a simple exercise like squats carries into a more complex exercise like deadlifts. Working on the basics isn’t going backwards, it can actually be what you need to set you up for moving forward into more difficult workouts.

Mobility work is also super beneficial and something that can be overlooked when working out. Often fitness goals don’t include things such as strengthening knees, improving flexibility or agility. Use this quieter time to work on mobility work that will enable you to function as a better athlete not just build muscle.

Tip #4 - Review your goals

Take some time to review your goals and adjust where needed. If one of your goals was doing a new deadlift weight and gyms are closed then this goal is no longer realistic. I don’t know about you, but I love the strengths finder test. Based on the test, I discovered that one of my top strengths is “achiever”. Basically, I like to get things done. In a season where you are limited to what you can achieve this can be really challenging. Take some time to recalibrate. Adjusting does not mean failing. Instead it means you have the wisdom to recognize that this season is different, therefore needs different goals.

Tip #5 - Create success markers

Celebrate the wins! If you find yourself in a drastically different season than you thought you would be, make sure to take time to acknowledge the victories. One way I love to track my success and progress is through habit trackers. A habit tracker is a way to keep track of small habits that will lead to big results. If you find that staying committed to a simple habit can be challenging, having a visual of a habit tracker can be a great tool for you. Click here to see our mini guide all about habits, which includes a habit tracker.

Tell others your goals! “People with written goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than people without written goals. Telling a friend increases this rate to 78%.” When you share your goals with others it also creates a space for them to check in with you and celebrate your achievements. I love accountability partners. Find one person that you can share a fitness goal with who will cheer you on to achieve it.

I hope that you have found this helpful. Look forward to chatting with you soon!

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