FARGO — Not only has the coronavirus pandemic forced the immediate closure of local sports events, the modern training facilities that have sprouted up over the past several years have also had to close their doors. The athletes were sent home.
So what now?
Those high-tech training investments are essentially sitting idle. But that doesn’t mean those who participate in extracurricular activities should sit around and do nothing, either.
It’s turned former North Dakota State football players and current gym owners Cole Jirik and Chase Morlock into virtual trainers. Jirik’s business for instance, Dynasty Performance in south Fargo, has an app that clients can access for home workouts.
“The phone is ringing off the hook, kids want to get in shape,” Jirik said. “We’re hoping to use social media, a video platform and the private app to keep these kids in shape.”
Morlock, who runs Rise Training & Fitness in Moorhead, said the first order of business is to get a consistent schedule, like working out at home at the same time. It’s that way when sports were in motion; practice was usually at the same time every day.
And, he said, don’t worry about losing the gains athletes previously made.
“It sticks around a long time as long as you’re doing something,” Morlock said.
Doing something may take some creativity. There are the obvious avenues like pushups, situps and running outside, alone.
Simulating explosive movements may not be so easy.
“Explosive movements for those athletes in say football,” Morlock said. “That would be the first thing to start to fade a bit.”
Box jumps can help. Find a box, or something similar, and do a sequence of jumps on it. Figure out some sort of pull-up bar.
“You have to be creative,” Morlock said. “Start making things up, old-school ‘Rocky’ style.”
“Rocky” is the old-school Sylvester Stallone boxing movie, where the character works out with nothing modern. For quickness, Rocky chased chickens. For endurance, he ran the streets of Philadelphia.
The optimal plan would be for the athlete to contact their strength coach, if they have one. Or perhaps a coach can contact a strength coach and get ideas.
“You can do a lot of things, a lot of isometric stuff,” Jirik said. “A lot of isometric lifts; slow and in control to work on the finer muscles. Find little things around the house. You probably have something with weights on it, maybe do rotator cuff stuff. Go out to the garage, find a bag of salt and do squats with it.”
Workouts, Morlock said, that touch all the muscle groups. The problem with only doing pushups or situps, for instance, is the ignoring of the backside muscles.
“It’s one of the harder muscles to hit,” he said. “Get to the posterior chain so the glutes, hammies and all the stuff back there get a workout.”
And, perhaps just as important, stay mentally sharp. The coronavirus outbreak is expected to be a relatively short-term issue, although the end game is still uncertain. Morlock said it’s a matter of holding on and getting through it.
“It’s been a confusing time,” Jirik said, “but it’s cool to see people come together and help each other out.”