Lent 2021 Sport

Keeping fit during lockdown

With gyms closed and team sports a distant memory, coronavirus has proven a significant hurdle in achieving that washboard stomach, toned physique or any general level of fitness.

As such, the need to find unorthodox and ingenious methods in order to meet these desires from inside the safety of your own home is all the more necessary, which may present itself as a daunting task.    

Fear not. I’ve enlisted the help of the three sportiest members of Churchill College to shed light on how they’re staying fit and healthy during lockdown.

Sagar is known for his heroics on the football pitch, yet Covid-19 has reallocated his time from between the sticks to between the books. However, when Sagar’s not been sifting through his favourite textbooks over lockdown, he’s been trying to find new ways to stay fit:

‘For the first week or so of the Christmas break, I decided to knuckle down and aimed to go to the gym four or five times a week to keep fit, although that mission ground to a halt with the national lockdown.

I decided to create a home workout routine with my dad, using innovative home techniques to perform some key movements typically carried out at the gym, such as squats and bench. Instead of using a barbell, I used my dad as a weight as well as dumbbells.

To keep up my cardio, I also made a New Year’s resolution to start running. I have been going on 5km runs, aiming for 22 minutes 30 seconds with a couple months’ training (hopefully).’

An integral member of the college mixed lacrosse team and the Churchill College Boat Club, their cancellation has left Alice concerned at the prospect of running out of conversation starters. Thankfully, she’s not run out of activities to get up to during lockdown:

‘I kicked off the holidays on the right foot with some school friends and an epic sixty-five mile cycle to London to watch my friend do her marathon the day before Tier 4 kicked in (she did it alone, because it had already been cancelled twice).

I also managed to drag my brother climbing, and then retreated back to Tier 2 Hertfordshire. Within 24 hours, Tier 2 turned to Tier 4, meaning I could no longer row or climb. 

Alice and (socially distant) friends

From then on, I alternated between the worst pull up workout ever seen on a thin and bumpy tree branch and muddy cycle rides through the ‘spontaneous lakes’ of the Hertfordshire countryside. ‘Yoga with Adriene’ on YouTube was probably the only thing that actually kept me sane.

I also did a couple of ergs on a machine I rescued and repaired in the first lockdown, and even managed to turn up to zoom circuits with my rowing crew once, before hurting my knee a bit and wimping out of the rest.’

Whilst not affected by the cancellation of team sports, as a javelin-thrower Jude is used to access to the gym for focused training and occasional human contact. The return of lockdown has therefore forced him to adjust his schedule:

‘Given that gyms and tracks have been closed, I’ve tried to focus on different aspects of sport like flexibility and injury prevention. As a result, I’ve ended up doing a lot more circuits with specific conditioning exercises in, mixed with yoga and stretching at the end.

I’ve also found a particularly flat tree on the top field at college that I’m able to throw a medicine ball against so I’ve managed to keep up a good part of my normal training. Lastly, to mix things up, I’ve been running a bit more.’

Although Covid-19 has deprived us of more traditional means of staying fit, this presents the opportunity to explore more unconventional methods.

Whether it’s finding a suitable tree to do pull-ups or using human weights in the home gym, the Churchill community are a testament to the fact that there are still plenty of new and quirky ways to continue exercising and stay fit during lockdown.