Weight gain is a legitimate concern for many people as gyms close. But is there really anything to worry about?
Mid March 2020, things started getting serious in Australia in regards to Corona virus. Borders were closing, police were being called to fist fights over toilet paper and businesses were being ordered to shut down.
In a weird way, people were enjoying the drama and novelty of it. Enjoying some extra time at home, catching up on Netflix and just theorising whether the end of the world was near.
They were posting their daily isolation routines on their social media platforms and sharing memes with friends.
As coaches, you have no idea how many times we had the awkward only half joking conversations we had to have with people about..
“I’m gunna get so fat, Ha Ha” The nervous giggles barely concealing the true fear and desperation that lie beneath the jokes.
“Nah but seriously, they better not close gyms. Do you think they will?” asking with a glimmer of hope that we could reassure them that would never happen.
The gyms closed on March 23rd and that fear really sunk in, the fear of losing gain and getting out of shape.
Weight gain in lockdown
This will likely bother you if you have been approaching the gym the wrong way all along.
We believe that gyms should not be thought of as weight loss centres or weight management centres. Why? Because good coaches are working to spread the important message that you can’t out train a poor diet and shouldn’t try.
However in gyms every where it’s obviously that people are still trying. Slugging it out, desperately trying to..
“Earn weekend beer credits” or “Damage control tubs of ice cream”
It doesn’t work, it’s messed up and can be dangerous. It creates unhelpful beliefs that you must earn your food, you need to be punished for eating foods you like and that exercise is punishment. (it’s not)
For this reason, it is our goal to educate our clients about the role that the gym plays and the role that good nutrition plays, separately.
Linking the gym too strongly to weight management puts an unreasonable demand on the gym and trainer to “damage control” a poor diet.
The purpose of the gym
- Training with purpose beyond burning calories. For example: keeping fit to set the example of a healthy lifestyle to your family and play sports with kids or friends.
- Mental health- using the gym to promote good mental health, an outlet for stress as well as provide a place for “you time.”
- Building confidence in all the cool things you can do and integrity with yourself by doing what you say will do.
- Rehabilitation & pre habilitation- sort out any injuries and niggles you have.
- Building strength- learn to lift weights and your body weight. Increase your lean muscle mass and bone density.
- Building aerobic fitness- running, rowing, cycling and swimming.
- Getting bendy- improve your range of motion.
- Progression and skills– track your progress month to month and keep adjusting that goal post.
- Overcoming mental barriers- realising the “I could never do that” self limiting beliefs can be overcome with simple daily actions.
- Starting a relationship with a coach or mentor
- Making friends and being a part of a community
The purpose of nutrition
- Learning about food and your relationship with it
- Nutrients- learn how to get all the macro and micro nutrients you need for a strong immune system and well functioning body.
- Energy balance- understanding calorie maintenance, surplus or deficit depending on your goals.
- Body composition- understand what you are made of and how to manipulate it
- Fuel- properly fuelled for all the activities you want to do.
- Recovery- from hard training.
- Enjoyment- understand how to enjoy all the food and drinks you love in moderation
Now that gyms are closed, how many of those benefits do we have access to?
All of them. They will be delivered differently of course and we totally empathise with the fact that change can be hard. However, you can still access all the things from both of the lists above.
Choose how you respond
So if gyms closed and as a result you began panic buying, binge eating and sitting..
You must realise that this response was a choice. You can choose a new response any time you like.
It’s an opportunity to build a system of healthy habits that serve you better. We hope that when you come out of lockdown, you will have the skills and control over every aspect of your health. No matter the situation. You shouldn’t reserve fitness and health for when all the stars are aligned, because they rarely are.
As always, we are here to help. Reach out if you need a hand.