Use this as your PLAN B if you’re stuck at home

Do you know the saying “everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth”? It’s probably the smartest thing ever uttered out of Mike Tyson’s lips. Well it’s April 2020 and everyone’s been punched in the mouth due to COVID-19.

Some people had grand fitness plans to get ripped, lose fat, get as strong as an ox or even to date Kate Upton. And then COVID-19 happens, and their best laid plans go down in flames.

Unfortunately, nothing ever goes according to plan, especially now. Rather than chucking in the towel, having a Plan B to keep you on the fitness straight and narrow works better for your health and sanity. 

And with this added stress and anxiety, now is not the time to go hog-wild with fitness goals or in the kitchen. Now is the time for maintenance and getting off your butt occasionally.

Use the following tips and tricks as your Plan B.

Don’t worry, it’s all legal.

Outdoor Training As a Replacement For Cardio

There’s research suggesting outdoor exercise provides greater benefits than sweating indoors on the dreadmill watching Oprah re-runs.

Researchers found exercising outdoors heighted feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. And that’s a win-win, particularly now. (1)

So, think outside the cardiovascular machine (while the gym is closed) by using your trash can and a bucket of water.


Carries are the bee’s knees and no other exercise has a greater transfer from gym to everyday life than carries and all its variations. And if you don’t have access to weights during this time of self-quarantine a bucket filled with water is a great substitute.

Try marking out 20 yards outside and do this tri set to increase your grip strength and cardio conditioning.

You can thank me later.

1A.  Suit bucket carry left hand 20 yards

1B.  Suit buck carry right hand 20 yards

1C. Bear bucket carry 40 yards

Set the timer for 10 minutes and do as many rounds as possible.

Bonus- If you’re hot. you’ll have water handy.


Turn your trash into cardio with these 3 exercises. The constant shifting around of trash inside the bin will challenge your core also. Bonus point for running into a headwind.

This training is best done before trash day when the bin is heaviest.  Hopefully it isn’t too stinky.

1A.    Bin push- 20 yards

1B.    Bin pull -20 yards

1C.    Alternating reverse lunge-3 reps each leg

Perform as a every minute on the minute set for 5-10 rounds. Do all the exercises and then rest the rest of the minute and repeat.   Please ignore the weird stares of your neighbors. They’re just jealous.

Indoor Training Using Household Items

If you don’t have access to bands, dumbbells or kettlebells, it’s time to get creative and see your household items in a different light. Here are two household items to keep your legs and core in shape enough to sit on the couch to binge watch Netflix.

Paper Plates

Paper plates are great for eating off and for easier clean up, but did you know they’re great for core, hips and hamstrings too? They’re basically an inexpensive Valslide, which is a toy that reduces the friction between yourself and the ground. 

Although there’s a ton of variations, I find these 4 exercises will keep your core and glutes in tip top shape.

1A. Plank slide 8-12 reps on both sides

1B. Hip extension hamstring curl – 6-8 reps

1C.  Single leg hip extension hamstring curl 5 reps each side

1D. Side lunges 8-12 reps each side

Rest 60-90 seconds after these 4 exercises and repeat for 2-4 total rounds.

Couch Training

Who doesn’t love to stretch out on the couch, relax and watch TV? It’s comfy, inviting and calling your butt to sit on it. However, the couch is a tool that can give you stronger legs and chest also. 

Think of it as a weight bench without the weights.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use your couch to its fullest potential.

1A. Couch jumps 3-6 reps

1B. Elevated split squats 8-12 reps each side

1C. Decline push-ups 8-12 reps

Rest 60-90 seconds after each tri-set and repeat for a total of 3-4 rounds before you sit down and binge watch your favorite shows.

Wrapping Up

When access to the gym is limited or you don’t have time for your full-on usual routine, thinking outside the box and getting creative will solve the problems of your fitness and sanity.

The gym equipment will miss you, but it will be there when you get back. Until then it’s plan b.  

  1. Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Mar 1;45(5):1761-72.Epub 2011 Feb 3. Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Thompson Coon J1, Boddy K, Stein K, Whear R, Barton J, Depledge MH

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