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Notes From COVID-19: Diversify Your Training

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of any links I’ve mentioned, I just believe they are sources worth checking out.

I’ve been stuck at home the last week or so courtesy of the state’s “stay at home” order, with no immediate sign of being released any time soon. Thankfully, I can still go outside, and on my morning run I was listening to Papa Swolio extol the values of diversifying the sources of your fitness content, and it made me want to take a moment and do some inventory. Links of note will be listed under Further Reading.

Dash Kellner, or Papa Swolio, is a certified fitness trainer, yoga instructor, and the primary content creator behind Swolenormous X, Swolenormous, and The Daily Swole podcast. His brand is “info-tainment”: informational and entertaining. His tone is sometimes abrasive and off-putting, but he is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition, and I’ve come to hold his opinions in high regard.

On the episode titled “#1418 – Strengthen Your Mind to Overcome,” there was a lot of discussion surrounding the topic of gym closures. Like many listeners, my knee jerk reaction when my fitness places closed was “Shit, how am I going to stay in shape now?” In the grand scheme, the health and safety of employees should come first. This is absolutely a first world problem. This quote in the first three minutes of the episode really stuck with me:

“Stop making excuses and acting like you can’t, that the gym is the only place. That building, with those four walls, that’s the only place you can do it, that’s a mile away from your house, or ten miles away, that’s the only place? Walls, no walls, you can stay on point, you can stay focused, you can stay consistent. You can do it; you just have to do it.”

Papa Swolio

With that in mind, here is the running list of sources where I’m getting fitness and nutrition content:

Facebook: Thankfully, the fitness studios I frequent have been able to pivot to distribute content online via videos and pictures on their pages and in groups. One group I am a part of is very active in posting workouts and meals, which helps motivate me to stay on track. 

Fitness Blender: I found Kelli and Daniel in college, but never really took advantage of their platform since. Recently they discounted some of their most popular programs, so I bought them. I’m about to wrap up the first week of the low impact program, and I’m really enjoying it. I appreciate Kelli and Daniel for being realistic about fitness. They’re keen on creating workouts that are accessible to any level, regardless if you have equipment or not.

Peloton: I bought a digital only subscription when I bought a used spin bike last year. I’ve never been one for live stat competitions, so I’m not bothered that I don’t have the bike or treadmill. I typically stick to spin and bodyweight programs, though I’ve also been adding yoga (Denis is my favorite ❤). I’m interested in trying the new dance collection, especially since Cody is one of the teachers, and he’s just a treat in the spin classes.

YouTube: In addition to Papa Swolio, there are a few other content creators I periodically check in with: Michelle McDaniel, Obese to Beast, and Every Damn Day Fitness. Collectively all of them are the “Swolevengers.” They each have a different history with fitness, so I appreciate their individual takes on how to stay healthy while stuck indoors.

Books: I went nuts picking up materials just before the libraries closed, but I’m only just getting started in reading about nutrition specifically. I checked out Paleo Perfected and What to Eat When (which I’m a bit skeptical about but I’ll still try reading it). At this point any further materials will have to be online, which is fine because between Libby and Overdrive there is a robust selection.

This list aside, the overarching point of this episode was about mental health and how not to get sucked into the quagmire surrounding COVID-19. The key takeaway for me was to focus on what I can control. How much sleep I’m getting, what I’m eating, staying away from people, exercising with what I’ve got, these and others are what I should be focusing on. I highly recommend giving this episode a listen.

Thanks Papa Swolio and crew for helping me keep a level head! How are you staying sane during lockdown?

Further Reading

The Daily Swole #1418 — the episode number is wrong on the site but it does take you to the correct episode

Swolenormous X


The Daily Swole

Fitness Blender


Michelle McDaniel


Every Damn Day Fitness



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