[Original post here via reddit! I just wanted to format it bit better and share it here in
IH! It's also because I do a very similar workout at home in my
garage — I use my own bodyweight as the "gym" and I've been doing it for years! It's all you need, really.]
This coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented. I have heard from so many of my fans that you are anxious and scared.
Almost everything happening around the world right now is out of our control. Almost everything. Instead of worrying about the things we can’t change, let’s focus on the things we do control.
First, and most importantly, we can control how responsible we are right now. We can slow down the spread of the virus by staying at home as much as possible. I know that isn’t easy, but right now it’s our responsibility. Most of us will be fine if we get the virus. This is a time not to think about yourself, but to think about the people you could be infecting. Be a part of the solution, and stay home every chance you can. That means no bars, no restaurants, no gatherings, and you’ll all be shocked to hear this from me, but no gyms.
Even without a gym, we can also control our physical fitness during this pandemic. Body weight, or freehand, training is the oldest method in the world. Gladiators and Vikings didn’t have gymnasiums. I started my own fitness journey with chin-ups on a tree branch by a lake in Austria. My father would encourage my brother and I to train by following the footsteps of a boxing hero of ours, László Papp, who chopped wood when he was preparing for a fight (this was a great trick to get us to do our chores). And once, when I found myself in New York to promote fitness, but ironically I couldn’t find a gym, I still found a way to train. I ran up the steps of the Park Lane Hotel where I was staying, all 46 stories, and by the end I was completely schvitzy and my legs got an incredible pump.
You don’t need a gym to be fit. I’ve written a program for all of you. You can do it every other day and it will cover all of your muscle groups.
The system is simple. If an exercise says 50 reps, you are doing 50 reps however you can. You can do 10 sets of 5 reps, 5 sets of 10 reps, 2 sets of 25 reps. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you finish 50 reps with perfect form. Once you complete the reps of one exercise, move on to the next exercise.
A note on form: if you cheat at an exercise, you are only cheating yourself. Don’t let your ego do the movements for you. You might want to show off to me or your friends and do 50 push-ups in one set, but if you can’t do them with perfect form, I’ll be more impressed by 5 sets of 10 perfect push-ups.
I have given repetition guidelines for beginners who don’t train very often and for more advanced trainers. But if you have actually never worked out, spend your first few workouts just getting used to the movements. I don’t want you to force yourself through 25 rows or knee-bends and then be unable to do the workout again in two days because you are too sore. And adjust the exercises for yourself - if a push-up is too much, instead of putting your hands on the floor, put them on a counter to make the movement a little easier. If a dip between chairs is too much, use your feet on the floor to take some of the weight off of your upper body. Don’t feel bad about working your way up to the full workout - we all start somewhere.
You aren’t adding weight like you would be in the gym, but you can still track your progress. If you could do 5 perfect push-ups today, do 6 in your next workout. Track the number of sets it takes you each time to hit your total reps, and watch as the number of sets goes down over time.
We’ll get through this together, and hopefully, we’ll all emerge in a few weeks fitter than ever. Let’s do this.