I don’t think there is a single person out there who hasn’t dealt with changes to almost every aspect of their life this year. Fitness has been one of the hardest hit areas. We’re almost at the end of the year and there’s still Covid restrictions everywhere, so unless you’ve always had a home gym, you’re probably still in a different routine than when you started this year, if you’re in a routine at all. We have gone through several changes in our weightlifting routines this year. We feel like we have our fitness routines pretty put together, but stuff happens and no matter how organized your life is, it’ll change. That’s ok. We’ll share some tips below on how to make it through and stick with a weightlifting routine.
Pre-Covid Weightlifting Routine
Primary Tip: Start a routine and if it works, stick to it and make it a habit
We actually wrote about when we started working out together in this post, Our Fitness Journey Together. Since we started working out together and through about March of this year, we did the same thing. We had 2-3 weightlifting routines for each muscle group, which we would alternate every 6 weeks-2 months. We did the same exercises together. I do think that this style added to our plateau a bit because even when we changed routines, some of the exercises stayed the same. Changing it up a little bit probably would’ve helped somewhat. We kind of assumed we’d keep doing that same type of routine for the foreseeable future. We even discussed doing the same weightlifting routines in this post on how to workout as a couple. Definitely were not anticipating all the changes this year. I don’t think anyone was.
Initial Covid Weightlifting Routine
Primary Tip: Adapt. Be flexible. Try new things.
Our first weightlifting routine right after the Covid restrictions were put in place, wasn’t realllly a weightlifting routine. The apartment gym closed as well and we’re in an upstairs apartment, so we had limited options. We ended up filling our gym bag with dirt and using it as a weight. It was awkward and not the right weight for a lot of exercises. Resistance bands were another addition to our routine we tried. We also just didn’t feel as motivated at home as we usually do in the gym. This lasted about a week. Then we learned one of our gym acquaintances got a squat rack.
Second Covid Weightlifting Routine
Primary Tip: Make the most of what you have and appreciate it.
I think we will forever be grateful to our gym friend for letting us use his garage gym during the few months of the stricter Covid restrictions. He was also able to borrow some equipment from the gym, so we were doing pretty well in staying in a routine while the gym was closed. We still did the same exercises together, but changed the orders of exercises and muscle groups each day. We often worked in with our friend, so it made sense to do the same stuff as him. Deadlifts were out just because the logistics didn’t really make sense for them. Still did RDLs though. New Mexico was at the earlier-mid time frame of states reopening gyms, so this was only for a few months.
Post-Covid Weightlifting Routine
Primary Tip: If it doesn’t work for you and your goals, it’s time for a change. Don’t be afraid of it.
We started trying to do an actual bulk about three or four months ago. You can read more about that process here. If you asked us in January what our weightlifting routine would be like at the end of the year, we probably would have said “the same as it is now”. It is completely different in multiple ways. We’re both stubborn and determined. We want to reach goals keep doing our same routine, but with all the changes since Covid started, we figured it would be a good time to change up our weightlifting routines to fit our goals better, since we had to change them anyway.
Evan has started focusing more on powerlifting than bodybuilding. He found a powerlifting routine online that he’s been following for a few weeks. He works a lot more on the main lifts and does accessory lifts after if he still has time. He’s been doing well with it and it’s going well so far. He’s still bulking, which makes more sense with powerlifting than cutting. When he does cut, it’ll probably be in between powerlifting routines.
I’m using our weightlifting routines we had figured out previously as bases. Obviously still doing the main lifts, but trying to find new accessory lifts or adaptations of the ones we usually do. Also trying to work glutes and legs more often to improve my lower body more. My goals are more bodybuilding than powerlifting. I would like to be strong, but would like to compete in bodybuilding competitions rather than powerlifting eventually. Evan wants to do both.
A lot has changed in our weightlifting routines this year. I’m sure a lot in your life has changed as well. Even now, there’s still changes going on. Here’s a few more tips for doing well in your weightlifting routines through this year and the future.
- Stick to a routine if you’re working out at home. Do it at the same time each day. It’s harder to stay motivated and focused in your living room than at the gym.
- Accept that it isn’t going to go the way you want it. Your gym may have a time limit and you can’t get a last set in. You may get more winded from wearing a mask at the gym. The weights you ordered for your home gym might be delayed. It’s ok. You don’t have control over everything. You have control over yourself. Keep going even if it’s rough.
- Focus on mental health to improve your physical health. If you’re dealing with a lot of stressors in your life, you might be more distracted during your workouts or not feel happy and motivated. Work on your mental health if you need it.
- Try new stuff. Evan does way more sets of deadlifts now, so I’ve switched to hex bar deadlifts and RDLs to save time rather than switching weights on the bar with him. I can definitely feel it in my hammies more.
- Don’t forget about your goals, but accept the way to get there might change.