The inability to access gyms have given too many men a great excuse to slack off or derail their health and fitness goals when it should really be a chance to become more efficient and productive with their time! Eating a proper diet, hitting high-intensity workouts and consistent movement are a few key considerations we should adopt when it comes to maintaining our progress through trying times.
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Train for performance and functionality, not aesthetics!
Naturally, a lot of men have a physique goal in mind when it comes to the gym, but when the gyms are shut and equipment is limited, progress can become stagnant and potentially unattainable. If you don’t have the equipment available to train one muscle group in 50 different ways, quickly you will fall behind with your targets and where your progress should be.
It’s time to overcome and adapt to the new environment with minimal equipment in order to push toward a similar end goal. Working big compound movements that target the entire body, incorporating supersets, using High-intensity interval training or working to failure multiple times a week are great ways to do this. We can also still put on real strength and muscle while burning a large number of calories in the process.
Try this. Instead of your usual upper body day consisting of 4 sets of 8 reps for 5 different exercises to target the chest and upper body, incorporate a circuit-based workout such as an AMRAP workout.
AMRAP stands for ‘As Many Rounds As Possible’
You have complete freedom with this approach in regard to your exercise choice, duration or how many exercises, but you still want to consider your athletic goals and keep progressing toward them.
You can also stack multiple workouts together such as an upper-body AMRAP followed by a core/ab AMRAP. Some great examples and inspiration are below!
For a simple upper body AMRAP workout, we’ll choose pullups (assisted or not) and push-ups.
Perform 1 set of pullups to failure followed directly by 1 set of pushups to failure, repeat this for a nominated duration, such as 25min. With this style workout, you’re getting your back and chest working much more than you would with a standard upper body day routine while still punishing some quality compound movements, and with the minimal rest between each set, your muscles will be on fire!
For a simple lower body AMRAP, try sets of 20 squats (or jump squats if you can), followed by a set of 20 walking lunges. Repeating for 25min
For a simple upper & lower body AMRAP, try 25min with rounds of 5 burpees, 10 pushups, 5 pullups & 10 jumping lunges
For a simple core and ab AMRAP workout, try 15min of 10 situps, 30 bicycle crunches, 10 alternating single leg lowers and 30 flutter kicks!
Train your cardio!
Cardio, for most men, is one of those dreaded words which evokes fear and avoidance. Even with gyms open, a lot of men stick to the strength areas and don’t look twice at the treadmill or rower. Inconsistency with gym operating hours due to seemingly inevitable lockdowns allows a perfect opportunity to break up the monotony of cardio training by getting outdoors and trying something new.
Try a bushwalk, hike or run around the neighbourhood to get the blood pumping while still ticking off more cardio than previously achieved in the gym.
Even a slow walking or jogging session outdoors promotes increased blood flow around your whole body, which assists in the removal of post-exercise soreness from a good resistance or weightlifting session. Also, increased blood flow and oxygen absorption brought on by cardio can increase your muscular endurance, meaning you can recover better and more quickly in between your heavy weights sessions in the gym!
If walking is too boring, try a high-intensity interval-style workout for your cardio gains. Interval hill sprints, interval stair sprints or even just interval flat oval sprints and a fantastic way to rip through a cardio workout without hours and hours of walking while still burning a massive amount of calories!
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