Tag Archives: Fitness

Gyms Don’t Drive COVID Transmission…So Where Is Everyone?

After I finished a workout last night, I found myself chatting with the gym’s owner for the first time. He told me that some classes would be cancelled this week, due to both a lack of instructors and students. He hoped that it would be just this week. He also said business was down over 80%. This despite having taken countless precautions, including temperature screening, distancing and masking.

The data we have indicates that COVID transmission in gyms is very rare. In New York state, just 0.06% of cases could be traced to a gym. To put that in perspective, private gatherings in homes led to 74% of traceable cases. Further data from the UK and the University of Oregon Consulting Group also indicates minimal transmission in gyms.

And it stands to reason to me that cases that did originate in gyms would be dramatically easier to trace than those that originated in most other settings. Gyms have a list of members and sign-in sheets. Restaurants, bars, or private gatherings generally don’t. So my intuition tells me that if anything, the case fraction attributable to gyms is probably an overestimate, although I cannot prove that.

We should also bear in mind that every time we work out, we get healthier. Even if you do contract COVID, from whatever source, you’ll be in a far better position if your baseline level of health is higher.

And yet people aren’t showing up at my gym like they used to. Why is that? I think the cause is a reasonable fear coupled with a lack of specific information. So, please share this info with whoever you can!

I hope to see a smile on the owner’s face and full sign-up sheets soon!

“Woman Exercising – Credit to https://bestpicko.com/” by Bestpicko is licensed under CC BY 2.0

My Best Resources for Home Workouts

When my gym closed last March, I wondered how I’d continue to train and stay healthy. Even with gyms reopened now, lines are often long and many people are still not comfortable going. So how can we stay in shape at home, preferably with little or no equipment? These are the best resources I’ve found:

  • Athlean-X. Terrific YouTube channel created by Jeff Cavaliere, a physical therapist and trainer to professional athletes. It’s one of the marvels of today that you can have the same trainer as NFL players and other elite athletes, all for nothing and without leaving your house.

    His Athlean Xero program in particular has countless exercises that use no equipment whatsoever. But just because they’re bodyweight exercises doesn’t make them easy! I particularly like the sidelying bicep curl and the Bulgarian split squat.
  • Body by Science. The author is a doctor with deep knowledge of how strength training works. I used his principles even while I was still going to the gym, but I find them just as applicable now that I’m doing mostly bodyweight training.

    This program has you move slowly to maximize time under load and lift to failure so that the muscles will be overloaded and grow. Moving slowly can also make a small weight feel like a big one if your equipment is limited. The program also emphasizes the importance of training each muscle group only once a week, since the muscles take significant time to repair and grow. A burn or cut doesn’t heal in a couple of days, and neither do the microscopic tears in the muscle caused by strength training.

These resources have helped me gain a significant amount of mass and strength in the last 10 months. In fact, I’m progressing at a faster rate than I did with a gym membership. I also find that moving slowly and using primarily bodyweight means I don’t injure myself, which was a problem in the past.

No more excuses! Let’s get to it!

How I Took An Awesome Yoga Class for $1.75

One of the new hobbies I’ve picked up in 2020 is doing yoga. I became a believer when it helped me recover from a painful tendon injury, and I’ve been turning myself into a pretzel (or trying to) ever since.

Yoga classes can be expensive, but I’ve found a way to take great classes in person for as little as $1.75, which is what I paid last night. Perhaps as a way to coax people back into gyms, ClassPass has yoga, spinning, and numerous other classes for incredibly low rates. And you can do it all a la carte with no monthly membership fee.

You can do a 0 credit a month plan for free and then buy credits any time to take a class. That’s what I do.

I’ve taken almost a dozen classes since November and I’ve never paid more than $6. I go to a local studio with great teachers, and I feel very energized and relaxed afterward. I work out, socialize a bit, come home and eat dinner, then sleep like the dead due to the evening’s exertion.

An a la carte model is perfect right now because the COVID situation can change rapidly and impact people’s willingness to go to a gym. With this plan, you only pay when you actually go.

I don’t know of any cheaper way to do yoga, and the app is easy to use, so I strongly recommend this to anyone who is interested in yoga or other fitness classes.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to be around this community of people who enjoy yoga and live nearby. It makes me feel normal and feel happy, and that’s valuable nowadays. See you at spinning tonight!

Try CkassPass for free for 14 days using this link. (If you do, I will also receive some free credits. )

“Yoga in King George Square Brisbane-06=” by Sheba Also 18 Million Views is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

How I Learned to Cook

For 11 years through college and most of my 20’s, I cooked little more than toast. Every meal I ate, I ate at the cafeteria and later, once I had a real job, an actual restaurant.

I had many a scrumptious dinner, but I also had an anemic bank account and expanding belly. I realized something had to change.

How do you learn something with zero background? Find the best teacher you can and do exactly what they say. My first was Budget Bytes, an excellent blog that posts simple recipes with very detailed instructions. Every step comes with a photo. If mine looked like hers, it gave me confidence.

Try her Split Pea, Bacon and Potato soup. I fed some to a friend recently and she couldn’t stop raving about it!

Eventually, I was ready for a bigger challenge. Around that time, I discovered Joshua Weissman, whose creative and technically sound recipes inspired me to make things like sourdough bread that I never thought I could do.

His latest video on breakfast burritos just made me glad I wasn’t fasting that day!

The startup costs in cooking for myself were substantial (pots and pans, spices, etc). At first I didn’t think I was saving a dime. But over time, my food spending plummeted.

There was another side effect I never expected. As soon as I quit eating out daily, I immediately lost 30 pounds with no effort at all.

You can make more money, but you can’t easily make more health. I hope these links will help you guys eat well, be healthy, save money, and have fun!

The Only Health Podcast That Makes Me Laugh Too

Lee Syatt may not be famous (yet), but he’s a hilarious comedian. Unfortunately, he’s also well over 300 pounds at 5’4″. Lately, I’ve been enjoying his new podcast What Was I Thinking?, where he is detailing his efforts to get in shape.

I find myself laughing hysterically walking down the street as people distance themselves from me for reasons far beyond COVID. If you’d like to do the same, check out his podcast and also his new Patreon, where Lee works with his brother (who happens to be a noted personal trainer) to get healthy.

As someone who once had many of the same problems as Lee, I wish I’d have had this show when I was losing weight!