Solo training will be the common scenario in most parts of the world today, as the world is combating the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of us are stuck at home, our gym sessions with buddies and co-workers will have to be postponed indefinitely until it’s declared safe to go outside and do the usual group or social activities. Of course, we don’t want our fitness goals and targets to go down the drain just because we are cooped at home. With a few exercise equipment at home, you can still sweat it out and work your muscle groups, solo that is. Nevertheless, to find your solo workout satisfying and enjoyable, we’ll share a guide here to help you with your solo training.
Work Out at Your Own Pace
A good thing about solo training is that you can comfortably come to terms with your current fitness level. There’s no need to be conscious of other guys around and get to push yourself way too fast just to keep up with them. At home, you can design your workout sessions according to your strength level, your current flexibility, and your current endurance. If you have your home exercise equipment, you can adjust the settings to a notch higher than what you can handle. If your current weight stack lifting capacity is 80 kg, you can set a workout plan on gradual increments of 5 or 10 kilograms after 2 to 3 weeks.
While safety is a major concern of unsupervised training, most types of home gym equipment are relatively safe to use and have reliable safety features. A useful tip from a fitness website based in Great Britain about lifting weights alone using home gym equipment is to use the lock-out points and safety catches efficiently. While this may be a standard design in many types of home gym equipment, it is still up to the user to properly use these safety features. Adjustable handles and angles are also useful in lifting equipment, as they can give various muscle groups the needed strength training.
Plan Your Interval Training Effectively
Rest is something that is important in your training, whether you do it solo or with supervision or assistance. It is a necessary step, especially when transitioning from one workout or exercise to another. There should be a proper interval between exercises, as changing too soon can tire you out easily and can strain your muscles too much. A long interval also isn’t good because you lose focus, and the muscles are abruptly activated. A preferred interval for a 30-second muscle endurance workout is 20 to 30 seconds of rest before proceeding to the next workout. The more you have become used to the workout intervals, the easier you can perform all your set workouts, and it becomes easier for you to make adjustments on the intensity of these workouts.
Have a Visible Benchmark or Target
Motivation is a key factor in solo training. Doing your workout alone without someone pushing you to do more or reminding you of your fitness goal can be very challenging. The temptation of laying back and relaxing or doing a half-assed workout can lead you to lose focus and interest in keeping yourself in shape. This is why in the world of sports and competitions, your greatest enemy is yourself. Complacency is a dangerous foe, but it can be countered with a focused mind and motivated spirit.
Print out a visible goal or target in front of your exercise or training room. Set your deadlift, front squat, back squat, and press targets clearly on a piece of paper and strive to reach them on or before a set target date, like every last day of the month. You may start out with target-setting for a few exercise moves, then you can gradually incorporate many targets to level up your motivation. Having something you can see in front of you can give your mind a cue of what it should relay to your body. Mind over matter will work wonders for you in this setup.
Incorporate a Penalty Program
Your solo training session will not always go without a hitch. Oftentimes, you may fall short of your daily target reps, whether intentionally or not. You may often be tempted to proceed without compensating for the unmet targets, and it can have adverse consequences over time. Your quality of workout and desired output may not be met sufficiently because of the uneven workout that your muscles groups are receiving. Thus, a penalty program should be set, and it should take mental toughness to do it.
For every missed rep, you need to compensate it with double its number at the end of your workout session. If your target lift is 30, but you only made 28, set a penalty of 4 additional lifts near the end of your workout. Do this for all other workouts in your training and have the willpower to follow through. This is a good way of pushing both your mind and body to their limits.
In going for solo training, your greatest competitor is yourself. Every day, you need to push yourself harder and fight the urge to be complacent and slack off. Fitness goals are not always easy to achieve. There can be challenges along the way, but overcoming them makes your fitness victory a lot sweeter.