Competition Prep and Coronavirus Part 2

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We recently published an interview with two Quest employees working hard toward their fitness competition. It’s been almost two months since that sitdown and now that they’ve spent the last month staying home, we wanted to catch up with them and see how things are going.


Are you still training in isolation?

Lexie: Absolutely, I’m sticking to my plan to a “T.” The only difference I’d say is that I’ll occasionally throw in a cheat meal or snack just for mental purposes. One of the things I realized is that working and working out from home is so boring. So I have to mix it up to keep it interesting.

I’ve actually moved into the reverse diet of my plan. Which means I’m gradually increasing calories – mostly from carbs. It’s the best way to increase food intake without throwing off your metabolism. Once I get back to a maintenance framework I can dial that back a bit, but for now that’s where I’m at since there’s no competition coming up anytime soon.

Francisco: I’m in the same boat, sticking to my plan and basically in maintenance mode currently. So I’ve got four or five weeks of that, but the plan is to stick with it, competition or not. I don’t want to see months of hard work go away. Show or not, I’m sticking with it.

How do you creatively take advantage of working out from home?

Lexie: Well, like I said, it’s very boring and kind of difficult to get a full workout in around home. I don’t have hundred pound weights or anything like that, so what I’ve been doing is wrapping resistance bands around furniture and doing a lot of circuit training. I actually made progress during my first week which really impressed my coach.

I started off branching out into calisthenics and cardio, exploring new workout opportunities. I’ve been doing a lot of isometric holds to prolong the period my muscles are under the most tension, but you definitely have to get creative.

Francisco: For the first week, parks and beaches were open so I was hitting cardio pretty hard. Running along the beach or hitting trails, then things started to taper off, so it got hard to reach a certain intensity. But the same, using resistance bands in creative ways. I literally grabbed a big tree branch from outside and used it for my resistance bands.

Lexie: You can also use gallon jugs filled with water if you don’t have weights. It’s not much, but anything can help if you get creative enough.

What drastic changes have you made to accommodate your plan?

Lexie: Since we’re working remotely, I actually moved to Arizona with my brother, and he’s kind of got a home gym, so that helps a lot. There’s a lot you can do with a bench and some weights. He’s also got a squat rack so that’s huge, especially when it comes to heavy lifting. That’s like a dozen workouts right there.

Francisco: My thing is boredom. Working out alone, it can be very easy to become distracted, especially at home with all your stuff, so I’ve Facetimed buddies to do workouts together. Just that little bit of knowing there’s someone there helping you be accountable goes a long way. At this point for me it’s mostly mental.

How are you handing meal prep given the current situation?

Francisco: It’s definitely harder. I remember last time we spoke I was talking about meal prep taking up a ton of time, but now it’s harder and harder to get the foods you need. So I find myself getting up early to make it to the grocery store in time just to buy chicken. If I wait until after work, everything is picked over and gone.

Lexie: Yeah it’s not easy, but you can also substitute foods. If chicken isn’t an option, a fish or lean beef option isn’t the worst. Produce can be as difficult to come by as meat, but it takes dedication and knowing what you can substitute to make sure you’re meeting your macro needs.

Do you have any tips/advice for our readers on how to effectively train while in isolation?

Lexie: I’ve found that this is a good opportunity to explore new workouts, otherwise you’ll get bored and tired of the same old thing. I’ve been training for aesthetics for a really long time, but I’m finding that strength training and even some cardio has been a welcome development. Like with everything, you can easily burn out if you do too much of the same thing. So in a weird way it’s kind of exciting to be able to explore new opportunities.

Francisco: Like I said, facetiming or video chatting with someone else to workout with is big for me. But there are a ton of YouTube workouts and videos you can find that will help you get creative. If there’s a workout out there you haven’t heard of, it’s probably online. I would tell people to seek those out and see what they can find. You can leverage those ideas and modify them to work with you and your situation.