Maintaining Muscle Mass/Strength during Quarantine? Is it Possible?

promoteseeker's picture
Rank: Baboon | 149

I'm sure like many of you, i was making great progress at the gym before the Corona lockdown.

Gyms are now closed in my city and my apartment building just locked the fitness center. I now how to resort to bodyweight exercises.

Is it even remotely possible to stimulate muscles with bodyweight to the same levels as ussing 200+lb barbells? I looked online for dumbbell sets and everything is sold out.

How are you guys coping?

Comments (21)

Mar 25, 2020

You can actually get a lot done in terms of building muscle with little equipment.

I would look at videos of guys like Marc Lobliner (runs Tiger Fitness) or James Grage (guy only does resistance band training workouts).

Resistance bands are great ways to train. Otherwise, just find stuff around the house/apartment that can help you, then vary the sets/reps, ie 500 push ups throughout the day. Also be sure to get a lot of walks in, it helps.

Funniest
  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 25, 2020

Quarantine Workout Schedule:

  • Mon: forearms
  • Tue: forearms
  • Wed: forearms
  • Thurs: forearms
  • Fri: forearms
    • 12
  • Analyst 1 in Other
Mar 26, 2020

Unless you're ambidextrous, shouldn't it be forearm*..?

    • 1
    • 1
  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 27, 2020

Some of us on here need two hands.

    • 1
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Mar 25, 2020

Look around the house for things to lift if you get bored of calisthenics (or start weighted calisthenics). Sand bags, wheels, uneven objects should be good enough till the gyms open.

    • 2
Mar 26, 2020

build a home gym

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Mar 27, 2020

It is hard to maintain muscle when lacking these weights because BW exercise tends to not be challenging enough. Try doing Partner rows and assisted single arm pushups. These are easily >100 lbs and can be harder. You can try eccentrically lifting (very slow) this burns terribly and can be a good way to build excellent motor patterns as well as strength. You could also go with very high reps and build more of a vascular lean body. There are many ways to combat but also make sure your protein intake is up to par. Depending on how long this pandemic lasts, you won't lose a whole lot of strength in the next month or so.

Everyone is in the same boat so you are going to have to get creative with what you have to workout with. Maybe you have to put textbooks in a backpack and lunge with it. Just like in anything in life if you are willing to make lemons into lemonade and find a way to workout you will be fine.

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Mar 27, 2020

Thanks, been reading conflicting online reports. Some saying bodyweight exercises will absolutely be able to maintain mass+strength. I just don't see how that's possible if you are someone who has been lifting heavy the past 5+years.

Regardless, i am going to home depot tomorrow to see what i can find (maybe throw some sand bags in a duffle bag for squats and lunges, curl with a paint bucket, etc.)

Mar 27, 2020

You can still maintain the large majority of your muscle mass because the muscles are targeted in different ways. Switching from heavy weights to body weight in the short term is nearly equivalent to changing your workout routine. Your muscles are just being stressed differently

Mar 27, 2020

i fill bags / luggages with books, water bottles, etc, as substitutes for dumbbells and increase intensity, so more of a HIIT type thing

surprisingly works pretty well and get good sessions - probably not enough to maintain muscle mass, but at least my gains will depreciate at a slower rate

    • 1
Mar 27, 2020
Deebo:

but at least my gains will depreciate at a slower rate

That's the goal! Flatten the curve

Mar 27, 2020

I've found that canvas grocery bags are the best

Mar 27, 2020

Given that the gym is closed, I'm asking the owners if I can borrow some stuff for the meanwhile. I used to be there every day until the lockdown, so they know me by now.

  • Works at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Mar 27, 2020

Bodyweight exercises.

Mar 27, 2020

Bodyweight exercises will work until they become too easy. Look up calisthenic videos on youtube and I assure you that you'll be able to not only maintain but actually gain muscle if you do tough calisthenic workouts.

Most Helpful
Mar 27, 2020

You muscles fibers aren't going to magically shrink over a couple months as long as you are eating enough. Yes, less training will lead to less fluid retention in the muscles and you will lose some of your lifting skill/ neurological adaptation, but both of those things can be gained back quickly.

When people think the are "gaining muscle" they are usually just holding more water. Unless you are untrained or on steroids you aren't going to put on more than a 1/4 pound of actual muscle a month.

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Mar 27, 2020

Jeff Cavaliere at Athleanx.com is the go-to and probably the best one on youtube/online presence

JUST DON'T FORGET TO DO YOUR FACEPULLS

Mar 27, 2020

You won't be able to replicate heavy barbell training, but unless your bench/squat/dead are in the 3/4/5 range, it won't be a big loss. There's a ton of home workout videos that have come out recently with everyone stuck at home. Either go fullbody or revert to some sort of split and just get the sets/reps in.

1000 pushups won't be the same workout as 275lb bench 5x5, but it won't be bad either

...alternatively, take the time to incorporate actual abs, cardio, and stretching

Mar 27, 2020

Just want to add that muscle memory is a real thing. I've dealt with numerous injuries in my life and it's always shocked me how fast you get back into the swing of things after just a couple weeks.

Whenever this passes, those gains will return.

    • 1
Mar 27, 2020
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