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Home gym

Posted March 20 by John Birmingham

I rebuilt my home gym yesterday, which is a fancy way of saying I cleaned up under the house. It was getting pretty dusty down there and my little friends the possums weren't helping much either. It did take about two hours to get everything swept up, dusted out, wiped down and ready to rock. But I was having trouble concentrating on my writing – no surprise there – and rather than give into frustration I decided I'd achieve something in the world of real things. With no idea when I'll get back to a real gym and trainer, this seemed a good investment of my time.

I'm luckier than most people, however, because I've got a pretty good set up at home, one that's worked for me well in the past. Like most old Queenslanders there's a lot of space under our house, more than enough room for me to have a weights bench, a running machine and a heavy bag hanging from the rafters. There's even room for kicking drills. My weight plates and bars are old and gnarly, but so am I, so that's no biggie.

It's been about a week or so since I last stepped onto the mat for jujitsu, and it could be months before I get back to training. I can start to feel the endorphin withdrawal in my muscles. I can also feel frustration turning to something uglier, exacerbated by the same fears that everyone has at the moment.

I know from defeating my last bout of depression that exercise is the best therapy for me. If you end up in lockdown at home I'd recommend it for you to; even if you live in a tiny apartment and it means downloading an app like the 100 Push-up Challenge, cos that's all you have room for. It all helps.

I've got some other things I'm thinking of doing, like hosting a weekly cocktail hour on Zoom, or maybe restarting the book club. I might do some live readings online somewhere.

But today I'm just going to lift some weights and hit the bag. Hard.

17 Responses to ‘Home gym’

Naut would have you know...

Posted March 20
Movement is life for many of us, so good to see you taking steps to keep your body moving.

I am hoping that if we go into a full lockdown they don't ban cycling outdoors. That is going to be critical to my mental health!

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted March 20
They'd have to go the full French route for that. I think we'll all be in lockdown within a fortnight, but probably not to that extent. Australian cities are much more open than European ones.

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Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted March 20
Well done that man!

Naut, my missus went and bought a Kickr indoor cycling trainer for the reason you describe...until then she continues to ride outdoors. Might have to use it myself! Waiting to see if pools are shutting...luckily the beach is just down the road.

Dave W mutters...

Posted March 20
I went the indoor cycling trainer route last winter, following a muscle tear. Physio recommended it. It's fantastic, to the point that I (a) barely ride outdoors anymore, dodging cars isn't fun and (b) bore everyone I know by talking about it incessantly.

I use zwift as the trainer software and I highly recommend.

Naut ducks in to say...

Posted March 23
I would love a kickr, but those things cost a fortune!
My local Sat group ride has migrated onto Zwift

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted March 23
They do cost a bit, plus the monthly subscription. The fact that the physio 'prescribed' it smoothed the financial path in the W household.

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Peter Bradley puts forth...

Posted March 20
It is obvious to all of us who have ever exercised regularly that your performance not only at the physical tasks but the mental tasks lifts with regular exercise. It is also obvious it is easier many days to sit in front of a screen with a glass of wine in our hand. Getting that balalnce right is a task of Sisyphos.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 20
Testify, wine brother.

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Leftarc mumbles...

Posted March 20
We are about to go into lockdown, and people are working from home next week. In my case, it's if my boss falls over, and I am ready and healthy to step into his boots.
Will be pumping up the bike tires this weekend (along with getting the vege patch back to production status). It would be nice to have a funny, insightful and balanced podcast to listen to.....

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted March 20
Good the hear you are putting in place what you need to survive mentally. Take care and though I know you will, at this time be kind.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 20
Well, I lifted those weights. I hit that bag. Couldn't find my gloves so I had to go 'empty hand' on the bag and be careful not to break anything. The weights were a pleasant surprise. My year of training with Darren has given me a lot more strength than many years of training by myself ever did.
I cooled down with some tonfa drills. The tonfa is an old peasants weapon that became the basis for the riot batons cops started using about 30 years ago.
I chose this as my grading weapon for black belt a few months back and have been promising I'd find time to start mastering the basics. (And I mean the actual basics. Like how to swing one without hitting myself in the face). It was nice to have time to do some of that today. And I only hit myself three or four times. Maybe five.

Matthew F. mutters...

Posted March 22
If you would care to put a camera in your workout area, I for one would be prepared to double my Patreon pledge in return for a monthly "JB hits himself with a tonfa" video montage.

(Autocorrect wants that to be "with a Tonga" which I will accept as an alternative.)

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jl puts forth...

Posted March 20
Yeah, I've spent a large chunk of my life in lousy little outposts with bad circumstances. What we always did was worked out a ton. Sound body, sound mind. You don't need fancy gear; it sounds like your humble set-up is a few notches above the minimum set-up, John. Amazing what you can do in a small space with hardly anything. Ammo cans full of sand, doing calisthenics with weights, the possibilities are limited only by one's imagination.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted March 21
Going away for Christmas and New Year meant skipping Pilates for a couple of weeks, and suddenly it’s the middle of March and I haven’t gone back and DEAR GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE??

Mind you I started a new job mid January after that trip so that didn’t help with getting my routine back in place. This post has given me the metaphorical kick up the pants I needed, especially as we’ve a lockdown looming. Western Australia has finally had two suspected cases of community transmission this week, after getting to 50 odd cases with people coming home from overseas with infections. It’s beginning :(

jl would have you know...

Posted March 21
Lucky you, She Jedi.

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tqft would have you know...

Posted March 23
It's council kerbside cleanup time and we are cleaning the garage up too.

But I might be radical and not hoist the exercise bike but actually use it

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Brother PorkChop would have you know...

Posted March 24
Yep, after just joining a gym 3 weeks ago, now I am shut out. Was going so well too. So, like you JB, I have dusted off the home set up, cleaned some rust of the bars and will look at sewing the bag back on to its hanging straps after the boys broke it by swinging off it-muppets. And try not to eat too much.

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