When the weather doesn’t cooperate, adjust your workout routine

Clients and group fitness instructors alike have routines when it comes to workouts and teaching classes. They are hard to break. In some cases, they are even set in stone.

But when you live and teach BodyPump in the Northeast, there is that one obstacle that blocks your path: Mother Nature. And she is expected to be an obstacle over the next few days, with a potentially historic blizzard heading for New England.

She can be a real pain in the neck. Thanks to Mother Nature, I sat in the Portland jetport impatiently waiting for my delayed flight to take off to Orlando for that mega quarterly workshop in 2013. A pre-Christmas snowstorm later that year marked the only time in my group fitness career I only had one participant in class. An ice storm last winter nearly hindered my club’s January launch, but the room was packed anyways.

It’s easy to get frustrated when the occasional Nor’Easter shuts down group fitness classes for a day or closes your gym early. But that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your training plan and get a workout in.

An example: On Thanksgiving morning, I couldn’t get out of my driveway after a late-fall storm dumped more than a foot of snow on my hometown, and I was fuming because I had a push-up challenge to finish. I went to one of my spare bedrooms and took that aggression out of the rest of the push-up challenge, and annihilated my goal of 10,000 between the start of November and the first of three Thanksgiving dinners I had.

You don’t need much to get a workout in at home. In a lot of cases, a resistance tube or a medicine ball are inexpensive yet useful pieces of equipment. A resistance tube can be used to work your core, arms, shoulders, and even your legs. Medicine balls are great for core and leg workouts, particularly a press squat. All you do is hold the ball at the center of your chest, sink into a squat and as you push up, drive the ball upward. Similar to the top phase of the clean and press.

Speaking of core, you don’t need any sort of equipment to give your abs a good, solid crunch. So long as you have a yoga mat – if not, go to a room in your home that is carpeted – you can get in 30 to 45 minutes of ab work. Planks, leg extensions, side-crunches, cross-crawls, those are all exercises you can easily fit into a short ab workout. If you’re a CXWorx instructor, pop in your current or one of your past releases into your DVD player or laptop. There’s a good chance you have a tube that you can use, and even if you don’t have a plate or dumbbell, use the aforementioned medicine ball.

So even though your personal trainer or Les Mills instructor may cancel a class or workout, or even if your gym closes early and the roads are hazardous, remember that you don’t have to go to the gym to get a successful workout in. If you have to adjust your routine a bit because of a snowstorm, that’s OK. I’ve had to do it myself. We’ve all had to. Just try and keep that focus on your long-term goals. Don’t let a stinkin’ snowstorm throw you off course!

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.