Category: learning and living

 

Stuck training at home? These tips could help.

So this pandemic has thrown everyone through a loop. I’ve been forced to close the studio for the time being and write up training plans for my personal training clients to do at home which presents new challenges.

I believe now more than ever it is necessary to keep on keeping on. And Covid-19 is deadliest for people with comorbidity factors (obesity, smoker’s lung etc). It pointed out that we NEED to be healthy.

One of the best personal training certifications I was part of was the Strongfirst Bodyweight certification. The premise behind the cert wasn’t to maintain the purity of bodyweight training. It was quite simply to be able to get an effective training session in whether or not you have any equipment available to you or not. The slogan of the cert is “We train with bodyweight in case civilization is temporary.”

From the way people are acting, civilization might have already passed us by.

Now in the absence of equipment, is it optimal? It could be depending on what your definition of optimal is. For the sake of moving forward, it’ll be “doing the best with whatever the current situation is”. Optimal is a moving target and a mindset for creativity.

So if you are at home, first thing to do is take inventory of everything you have available to train with. Do you have any kettlebells? What weights do you have? How about a suspension training system (like a trx)? A bowflex? Maybe all you have is a wall and a step stool. Once you know what you have to work with, you can start to put something together.

Then you have to put a balanced training program together. As an example, for every pushing movement, you should have a pulling movement.

Then you need to find some way of applying the principle of progressive overload. Essentially, you need to find some way of making progress towards your goals. When you don’t have access to multiple or adjustable weights you’ll need to get a bit more creative with progressing other aspects.

When putting together a program there are a couple of factors that can be adjusted. Load, sets, reps, volume, density, and tempo. There are actually more but that is going to be what we will be talking about for now.

Load= the weight you would be using. It’s a variation of “intensity”. This is the easiest to adjust in the gym (add a plate to the bar or use a heavier kettlebell). For home workouts, this is unlikely to be able to be changed all that much unless you have access to multiple weights or adjustable weights. In my experience, the amount that most people have in their homes isn’t enough anyway.

Sets= a group of reps. If you do 5 pushups in a row, you are doing 1 set of 5 pushups.

Reps= is every time you do a movement. If you do 1 pushup, you are doing 1 repetition.

Volume= the total sum of your sets and reps.

Density= the total sum of your sets and reps over time.

Tempo= one that fewer people tend to talk about. Essentially it is the time and pace of each repetition. As in during a pushup, if it takes you 2 seconds to lower yourself down, pause at the bottom for 1 second, take 1 second to push yourself back up, and hold the top for 1 second before going into the next rep. This would be a tempo of 2111. This is 5 seconds of time under tension for each rep. 1 set of 5 would be approximately 25 seconds under tension per set.

So for progressing these.

With load in the absence of adjustable weights, you would change the leverage or load distribution. Using the pushup example the easiest version of this would be doing pushups against a wall. After that would be pushups with your hands on an elevated surface or doing pushups from the knees. Use creative variations of the same exercise. It should be the same, but different in some fashion. Get creative.

For total volume you look at the sets and reps, you could do more sets, or more reps to increase the volume.

For density, this would simply be volume measured across time, you can shorten the rest periods to progress density. As in doing the same amount of work in less time.

For progressing using tempo, you would either lengthen the time it takes to do 1 rep, or you would make some aspect of it faster (like doing an explosive clapping pushup compared to a regular pushup). You could also isometrically pause during certain sticking points. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Building more power, building more control, being able to do the same thing in a shorter time frame, being able to do the same thing easier and being able to do things you weren’t able to do before. These can all be measures of progress.

So to put together your program is to determine where you currently are and compare it to what you would like to achieve. Find a level that challenges you but isn’t so difficult that you can’t do it effectively.

Then find ways of progressing so that you can get closer to your goal, whether you have access to a gym or not.

Do what you can, with what you have and start where you are. If you need additional help with this hit me up.


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.

Updates with Covid-19 and my personal training studio

This past Saturday, Governor Murphy mandated many more places to be closed. I believe it’s still a grey area and the patrons of my personal training studio are at minimal risk (it’s the same few people, not very many of them and we wash and disinfect before and after etc.). Physical therapy places are allowed to stay open and that’s pretty close to what I do. While they do rehab, I do prehab.

However, after speaking with my attorney he advised me to go virtual for the time being. So until I hear that it’s ok to be open my personal training studio on Main Street will be closed. Many businesses have been saying that it wasn’t an easy decision.

This actually was an easy decision for me to make simply because it wasn’t my decision in the first place. And though I’m bummed that I can’t train my clients in person, I get it.

Every failure plants seeds for success. With this, it has forced my hand into structuring a way of training people remotely and hopefully not compromising the effectiveness of my training programs.

This can actually be better for me and the war against weakness long term.

If you aren’t familiar with me, in addition to being a personal trainer, I’m also a modern-day performing strongman (I perform feats of strength like bending steel and breaking chains as part of a live show). Many times following my shows, I’ve had people ask to train with me, some even saying they would drive 4 and a half hours to make it to my studio to train with me in person.

And although I think I’m pretty good at training people obviously this wouldn’t be a good strategy for anything past 1 session. But now with training remotely this opens up new opportunities to be able to work with people that normally wouldn’t have that opportunity.

If you are interested in this, drop me a line at StrongmanEricMoss@gmail.com.

There will be some google forms for you to fill out that will ask about your health history, your goals, what equipment you have access to etc. From there I’ll do a video assessment, and write out a detailed customized program for you to do on your own.

And until we can work together in person, stay healthy, stay strong and stay safe.


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.

How I am dealing with the Covid-19 scare in my personal training studio

With the coronavirus affecting schools and a lot of businesses, a lot of them are closing down temporarily. Big box gyms are considered to be a hot ground for this sort of thing because you might have 50 or so people from who the heck knows where breathing heavy and sweating. Group exercise classes can be the same.

However, my personal training studio is considered semi-private/small group personal training. Sometimes it’s one on one, sometimes it’s one on a few (5 at the most). I don’t have a ton of people, it’s the same people (no walk ins) and I also know where they’ve been, so the risk is considered low.

And until I’m forced to, I’ll stay open and am doing what I can to stay on top of it so as to minimize any kind of spreading. Here is a list of what I am doing.

-Any personal training client that doesn’t feel well or simply just wants to make sure are instructed to just stay home for a bit.

-Prior to training, wash your hands. Do this at the end also.

-Equipment that will be used will be disinfected both before and after use.

-Hand towels will be replaced with disposable paper towels.

-Evening hours will end by 8pm because the mandated curfew. Though I don’t know what difference that makes.

– A general cleaning (mopping with disinfectant) will be done twice a week at the minimum. This depends on how many people train during the week. The disinfectant is also at a higher concentration than normal.

-The free trial membership will be temporarily suspended unless by referral from a current personal training client. The reasoning for this is that I don’t know who they are and whether or not they may have been in contact with someone infected. At least with regular clients, I can determine the likely risk. And with referrals from current clients, we can discuss whether or not whoever they are referring will pose an unnecessary risk.

I’m also open to suggestions about how to keep everyone healthy and safe.

I believe with all of these in place we can minimize risk, continue getting people healthy (which goes a long way to fighting the disease) and do our part in containing it without compromising the former.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Nick Fury in the Avengers

Stay healthy, strong and safe everyone.


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.