Can't Lift? Can't Swim?
What To Do When the Pool and / or Gym is Closed
During this time when pools and gym / weight room are closed, there is something you can do - in fact MANY options are available to you. You just have to get creative and maybe open to new methods of training for a cycle. Here is a list of options for you to try now that your daily habit of training has been altered:
Jeff Nichols and I did a video on the topic recently - The Tactical Fitness Report - Quarantine Edition!
Home Gym? Back Yard Playground? This is a no brainer. Many people have their own training area in their home and yard. If this is you - great. If not and you need one. Build a Pullup / Dip Bar and get some dumbbells, a TRX, or ropes to simulate the TRX suspension training idea.
Outdoor Area / Park / Playground / Track - If you can get out to run, make your journey pass by areas where you can add pullups (monkey bars, parks, tracks). Many places may have them in some form. This really does widen the possibilities for training ideas - see more: Calisthenics Classics
If Your Swimming Pool is Closed:
Swim Open Water - If you have save bodies of water near you in temperate climates, take advantage of mountain lakes, quarries, bays, or oceans. I would avoid areas with currents, no lifeguards, and never swim alone.
Replace Swimming with other Non-Impact Cardio options - Bike, elliptical, row or any other non-impact cardio activity can work great. My advice is for every 500m of swim workout you owe in a workout, replace with 10 minutes of cardio. So, a 1500-2000m swim workout will require an additional 30-40 minutes of cardio. Many opt to do a non-impact day every OTHER day in between runs for the break of impact running especially if new to running or on the heavier body weight side as well.
More Running or Rucking (if you can handle it) - If you can handle added running consider placing another run workout into your day in place of the swim portion. You can change it up with a variety of running:
Do more goal pace running vs long slow distance – Focus on maintaining your goal pace in timed runs for as long as you can. When you fall off your pace, stop, breathe for a minute, and get back running again at your goal pace. What is goal pace? To be a good runner in a spec ops program, you need to be able to comfortably run a 6 minute mile for shorter mile runs (2-3 miles) and a 7 minute mile for longer runs (4-6 miles). Depending on the pace you are working on, that means your goal pace for 400m to 800m runs would be in between 1:30-1:45 and 3:00-3:30 respectively. See get faster run / swims PST scores.
Add a sprint day when you want to limit your distance that day. If you only have a few miles to run to meet your weekly amount on your running progression, consider doing a series of 50-100m sprints, building up to 200-300-400m sprints. You will see in about 10 sets of a variety of progression of distances you can accumulate a few very tough miles and work conditioning to another level and energy system.
Work Swim Muscles: Work pulling motion with the arms overhead and pushing motion with arms below the shoulders. Exercises like pullups, pulldowns, rows, and help with the pull and tricep extensions, dips, and tricep kickbacks can help with the push of the strokes. Mix in some leg work too with side steps with bands around your knees to work hips / glutes, floor exercises with leg lifts to work hips and inner thighs for breaststroke / frog kicks.
But you cannot neglect core work - Lots of hip work with flutterkicks on your back and on your stomach (swimmers) will help with freestyle kicks as well as scissor kicks. Spend large amounts of time in the plank, side planks and unbalanced plank positions (lift arm off floor / lift leg off floor). Add in the TRX or ab wheel for more full body extensions (TRX rollout / ab wheel rollouts), rotational movements, and more. Find some dry land swim team training videos to get more ideas from as well on youtube.
If you have the means - consider a Vasa-Trainer.
Getting creative with what you have does not have to be a chore. Every time I search youtube for TRX or dynamic stretches, or calisthenics workouts, I am amazed at how much creativity there is out there with these basics.
Consider getting into a seasonal training cycle. During the Spring / Summer our Tactical Fitness Periodization cycle focuses on calisthenics / cardio more than lifting anyway. We have been doing this for over 20 years now. So, this is no big inconvenience for us - other than the swimming pools being closed.
Other Options and Programming With Minimal Equipment
One of my latest creations is called the Calisthenics and Cardio - No Equipment Needed Guide For Body Weight Exercisers and maybe a good option for people of all fitness levels to stay home or get outside and train. These other programs also offer minimal equipment (calisthenics) though some will have swimming that needs to be replaced.
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