BYO Personal Trainer: Consistency Is Key

Surprise, surprise: the secret to working out is to actually do it. We got tips from personal trainer Matthew Liao (find him on Instagram at @mattliao) on how to coach yourself through these crazy times.

1. Plan Your Workout

Liao says that YouTube and Instagram are great resources for home workouts (Liao’s favourites are Ben Bruno and Bret Contreras), but if you want to go full-on DIY, designing a circuit of your own is pretty simple. “One of the easiest things to do is to plan out a full body workout,” he says. “I like to choose exercises that each target different areas of the body and put them into 2-3 different circuits for 2-3 rounds.”

For example, you might plan one circuit focusing on your legs, another on core, and a third on arms. Rotate through those 2-3 times. “From there, it’s a matter of creativity and trying to perform them to the best of your abilities,” says Liao.

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*HOME WORKOUT*⠀ ⠀ I thought I would share something different in spite of this horrible virus that we’re trying to fight against. #socialdistancing is tough, but needs to be done in order to help the cause. With no access to weight rooms, I thought I’d share a home workout plan for those of you who want to try something different. There are endless possibilities out there. Here’s what I did today.⠀ ⠀ -1st clip-⠀ 10 min EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute)⠀ Banded deadlifts followed by pushups⠀ ⠀ -2nd clip-⠀ Then I decided to whip out my knee wraps that have only ever been used for this purpose, which was some Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR). If you haven’t done this before, then you’re in for a real treat. Comment below if you aren’t familiar with this. I just cycled 3 rounds of squats and standing leg curls for 12 reps each.⠀ ⠀ -3rd clip-⠀ Lastly I hammered some good old 90/90 PAILS for my right hip with a focus on my internal rotation. I’ve talked about this a little bit in past posts. I swear that I’ll dive deeper into it soon. For now I just need to get better at them.⠀ ⠀ Let me know some of your go-to home workouts down below. I would love to see different ideas! ⠀ If you’ve been tagged. Then you’re up next. Now go show the world your home workout!

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2. Focus On Yourself

“We need to realize that our mental and physical health matters more than anything,” says Liao. Whether or not you’re feeling extra stressed, it’s important to take time out of your day to care for yourself (and no pain, no gain). “Dedicate a specific time where you completely shut off from the world,” he suggests, “and make those 30-60 minutes about you.” Regardless of the exercise, your workout time should be a time to re-centre yourself and your body. 

3. Don’t Do it Alone

Okay, this might sound contrary to the last point, but bear with us. “Scheduling time with a friend to go for a socially distanced workout is a helpful way to stay active,” says Liao, “but remember to stay six feet apart from each other.” Making time and plans with a buddy will help make sure you hold yourself accountable and get ‘er done. 

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*HOME MOBILITY WORKOUT*⠀ ⠀ With most of us stuck at home, we’re often confined in our chairs or bed and not moving around very much.⠀ ⠀ These 3 exercises are for you all to practice and try out to keep those hips mobile and healthy. Some of you may struggle with a few of these exercises, but that just really shows how important it is to stay on top of your mobility work! ⠀ ⠀ These 3 exercises are shinboxes, 90/90 transitions, and hip axial rotations. If these exercises are difficult for you to perform then you probably need some help to modify exercises and restore mobility back into your hips. (ie. I got you!)⠀ ⠀ Let me know what some of your favourite hip exercises are down below!

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4. Change Things Up

If you’re getting bored of your current routine, Liao suggests asking someone you trust for exercise variations. He says that, for example, a squat can be done 10 different ways—you can change up the reps, tempo, or do a different exercise that targets similar muscles (for example, a lunge).

5. Be Consistent

Another contradiction. What part of health isn’t? (Muscle weighs more than fat, riddle me that). The personal trainer wants to remind folks that you can’t get good at something by only doing it once. “I understand that it can be boring to repeat the same thing over and over, but it helps develop discipline and practice having better technique,” he says. Keep it fresh by changing up your playlist or the location of your workout. “What’s most important is that you dedicate time to yourself, to commit to it, and stay consistent,” says Liao. “Consistency is key.”