If the announcement of the COVID-19 lockdown extension has got you feeling a bit ‘meh’, Steve Bingley’s got a solution for you.
The exercise physiologist and founder of local business Century Strong Strength & Conditioning is encouraging Canberrans to push themselves during lockdown with a free online bootcamp.
The sessions are livestreamed three mornings a week on Facebook and Instagram, but the workouts are also published afterwards on YouTube so they are there whenever and wherever you find yourself.
“Training at home actually makes it accessible to everybody,” says Steve. “You can rest when you want or just complete as much as you have time for in each session.
“Sometimes when we hear the word ‘bootcamp’ there’s a bit of a connotation with hard, military-style training, but here it’s actually much more flexible.”
For Steve, this makes the program much easier to fit into lockdown living and all the distractions that entails, whether it’s work, phone calls or kids.
“There’s a lot of negativity in our lives at the moment so the least we can do is look after ourselves physically,” he says.
“We know the benefits of strong physical health and its effect on our mental health.”
Steve understands the stresses of lockdown life only too well. He and his wife, Mel, are currently home-schooling three children while keeping up with their own work and businesses.
He knows it can be a real challenge to fit training into all of that, especially when you’ve got to do it at home, or indoors.
“Of course, a lot of people don’t have access to dumbbells and other equipment so they struggle without being able to go to a conventional gym,” he says.
Steve knows a thing or two about bootcamps – he’s been running them around Canberra for the past decade so he’s drawn on his vast academic and physical experience when putting them together.
“Now in our second lockdown, we are also getting used to having to run these sessions via social media,” he says.
Rather than focusing on the negatives, Steve explains he prefers to see the online sessions as a way of giving back to his ‘bootcamp family’ and the wider community by offering free training.
The training is structured and designed to be progressive, meaning if you do two sessions in a row it won’t target the same muscle groups consecutively.
The sessions have also been compiled on what Steve describes as the “lowest denominator so all the sessions can be undertaken in a very limited space”.
“All of the workouts are very static so if you are in hotel quarantine you could actually complete it easily,” he says.
Some of the sessions focus on the upper body, some on the lower body, and others are full body, but each generally includes cardio.
“We need to be doing more cardio in lockdown because we are all doing fewer steps,” says Steve.
He also wants people to be realistic about their goals and expectations, and says he understands that for some, the idea of doing a 40-minute boot camp is out of reach.
“So start out with 10 or 20 minutes and break it up,” says Steve.
Above all, he encourages Canberrans to focus on setting small goals and aiming for small wins.
“We’re also running these sessions in our house and with three kids that means anything can happen,” says Steve. “You might even see the kids jump in.
“Then one will inevitably have to go to the toilet so we might have to run off and wipe a bum or give a snack to another, or the other might want to just have a chat off-camera.”
There are also 10-minute kids’ workouts available on Century Strong Strength & Conditioning’s social media pages.