Gym Closures Got You Down? Here’s How to Regroup
If pandemic gym closures threw a major wrench in your usual workout routine, you’re not alone.
And while things are finally starting to open back up again, you might find that your relationship with the gym is… well, stuck in 2020.
Maybe your favorite local studio is among the many shuttered during the shutdown.
Or you’re just not comfortable heading back into a high-touch public space yet.
(Most gyms have COVID safety measures in place, but everyone’s comfort level is different.)
Whatever the reason, if you’re not rushing to re-up your gym membership, no sweat — you can still reach your goals through home workouts.
Still, you may find yourself missing some aspects of the gym experience, like the structured schedule, the sense of community, or the accountability you get from your trainer or fellow gym-goers.
Here are a few ways the gym closures may have affected your workouts — and simple solutions to help you adjust, so you can get back to crushing your goals.
1. You Miss the Community Vibes
Being surrounded by supportive people who share similar fitness goals can be super motivating.
And for many people, the gym is a “third place” — in other words, a space that isn’t their home and workplace where they feel comfortable and connected.
But during the gym closures, many people lost that vital sense of community.
SOLUTION: Join an online fit tribe.
Luckily, you can find similar camaraderie in an online fitness community.
In BODgroups, for example, you can connect with a Beachbody Coach and virtual workout buddies who will cheer you on, hold you accountable, and help you reach your goals.
“Beachbody Coaches and Super Trainers can put you in virtual groups to connect you to other people with like-minded fitness goals,” says Melissa Prestipino, P.T., D.P.T., clinical director of Therapeutics Unlimited in Sparta, NJ, and a certified personal trainer.
“Having a support system of others trying to achieve similar goals can help you feel focused, motivated, and less isolated,” she adds.
2. Your Routine Went Out the Window
Whatever your pre-pandy gym routine entailed — whether it was a 6 a.m. yoga class, weekly personal training sessions, or hitting the gym after work each day — the gym closures likely brought that sense of structure to a screeching halt.
And now that you’re working out at home, you might tell yourself you’ll just squeeze in a workout whenever you “find the time,” but that never seems to happen.
SOLUTION: Schedule your workouts in advance.
Reclaim your routine by scheduling on-demand workouts on your calendar or signing up for live online classes.
“It’s easy to push off your workouts when at home,” says Josh Schlottman, C.S.C.S., a certified strength and conditioning specialist in Napa, California.
“If you have it in your calendar, you’ll be more likely to treat it like an appointment — and way less likely to blow it off to watch Netflix,” he explains.
3. You Lost Your “Me Time”
Going to the gym can be a getaway from the usual distractions at home, like that pile of dishes in the sink, the notifications dinging on your laptop, or your kids asking for yet another snack.
But when you’re working out at home, you may find it harder to focus.
SOLUTION: Make your home gym a mini-oasis.
Creating a dedicated workout space — even if it’s just a patch of floor big enough for your mat — can help signal your brain that it’s time to focus on fitness.
“You can decorate and arrange your home gym to make it a relaxing escape,” Schlottman says.
(Sounds like a perfect excuse to buy more houseplants.)
Or try an outdoor workout like 30-Day Breakaway that lets you get outdoors and get in the zone.
4. You Miss the Group Class Experience
Group classes can provide social support and accountability, which can “push and encourage you to keep going with the workouts,” Schlottman says.
But when you’re home alone and no one’s keeping tabs, you may be tempted to stretch out your rest periods or skip the last few burpees in a set.
SOLUTION: Sign up for live online classes.
This one’s an easy fix.
Starting this fall, you can sign up for BODi (Beachbody On Demand Interactive) and get all the energy and encouragement of group fitness classes without having to drive to the gym and jockey for floor space in a crowded class.
From HIIT classes to cycling workouts, BODi gives you access to hundreds of live and on-demand studio classes designed for every fitness level — all taught in an interactive live class format.
You can share your video feed and get live shout-outs from the trainers, and you can even see if other members of your BODgroup have signed up for classes so you can work out together.
5. You Need More Guidance
Having clear fitness goals — and a plan for reaching them — can help you stay motivated.
But without the guidance of a trainer or workout buddy, you may find yourself feeling a bit directionless.
SOLUTION: Enlist a Beachbody Coach or follow a workout program.
“When working out at home, a Beachbody Coach or Super Trainer can hold you accountable,” Prestipino says. “Knowing you have a support system and someone to motivate you helps to keep you on track.”
Following a structured fitness program with a clear goal — like building muscle, finishing a 5K, or improving flexibility — is another solid strategy for staying focused on your goals.
Beachbody On Demand has hundreds of workouts to choose from, so you can find the right program for your specific goals or mix it up when you need some variety.
You’ll get a set schedule of workouts to eliminate any what-should-I-do-today guesswork, a trainer to guide you the whole way, and a nutrition program to help you hit your goals faster.