Last updated:

25 July 2023

Influencers said should train “harder” with no distractions, but that’s not real life. Here’s how to REALLY train & diet during lockdown.


Reading time:

6 min read

Lockdown 2020 / 2021 is a real b**ch for gym rats like me.

Instead of banging and clanging in the weights room, I’m watching my muscles disappear in the mirror.

… or am I?


Today I’m going to show you exactly how I’ve been staying in shape during lockdown, and it’s easier than you think. But first I want you to check out this e-mail from website member Stephanie. It presents some serious issues I’ve seen a LOT lately…

“Hey Russ, lockdown isn’t going well for me. The fitness pages I follow online are saying they’re training harder than ever with no disctractions, and my friends are posting memes that say you’re lazy if you don’t learn a new skill or start a business…

I feel like I’m not good enough. Is it just me who’s finding lockdown really hard?”

– Stephanie

lockdown home workout program

Russ Says: “F**k Social Media!”

It’s important to remember that we’re going through a pandemic.

This is serious stuff. Your kids will ask you about this years from now, and your grandchildren will ask you about it decades from now.

I guarantee they won’t ask whether you had abs.

It’s understandable that being stuck at home has caused lots of people to throw in the towel regarding their fitness routines, and you probably know at least a couple of people have gone completely f**king nuts, but hey:


^^^ Read that again.

It’s important to know that most of this unnecessary pressure is coming from social media. “Influencers” have been dishing out terrible training and dieting advice, as well as people’s strange ability to treat each other like absolute thunderc**ts.

Influencer: noun; person who wants to be a coach but thinks they’re too pretty for qualifications.

I’ve seen lots of posts where fitness folk say things like “you should be training even harder now because you have no distractions!”

Let me assure you this is complete bulls**t.

No distractions?! There are ENDLESS distractions! I’ve got three kids, I’ve NEVER BEEN so distracted!

Also, if you’re a gym lover like me then probably find it difficult to get motivated for home workouts.. I’ve personally hated staring at a big pile of washing while trying to lift weights, and on the occasions I decided to power through I was instantly reminded that my house is also home to a gang of miniature people who wear underpants on their head and want me the second I try to do anything.

And that’s fine! That’s real life!

So yeah, ‘Yasmin Yoga Pants’ might judge you, and she might desperately want you to click ‘like’ before she wrecks her knees with those super-dangerous split squats performed across two garden chairs, but f**k her.

As for the claim that you must be “lazy” if you don’t start a business or learn a new skill during quarantine… I’m a business owner and I’ve spent less time to working on my business during lockdown than ever before.

But that’s not even the biggest thing…

The biggest thing is that shaming doesn’t work as a form of motivation. All it does is make people feel like s**t.

lockdown workout advice

Here’s What To Do

So how should you train and diet during lockdown? And why is there a picture of Jon Bon Jovi?

Well, I want you to listen to the man.

Because aside from being the only man in history to have had three great hairstyles, he also summed up my approach to lockdown training perfectly:

“When you can’t do what you do, you do what you can.”

Believe me, there will be plenty of time to go “all in” when the world gets back to normal. For now, it’s a case of just doing something you can stick to regularly.

No pressure. No competition. No bulls**t.

The mental health benefits of exercise are MASSIVE, and I do not want you to miss out on them just because some unqualified social media f**kwit has made you feel bad. From this point on I’d like you to train (and eat) without that pressure to be ‘perfect’.

My training has certainly not been ‘perfect’ while in quarantine! Heck, after two months of lockdown my home looked like a scene from Mad Max. At this stage, I’m pretty sure my girlfriend has become a pirate and the kids are selling petrol on the black market.

It’s weird as f**k.

lockdown workout routine

See What I’ve Been Doing During Lockdown

My training and diet have been VERY SIMPLE throughout the pandemic.

That’s probably one of the biggest reasons it’s worked so well.

Nutrition has been as easy as tracking calories and having the occasional Netflix & binge. Yes, it really can be that straightforward.

Now let’s talk training.

Again, simplicity is your answer.

I’d rather you have something you can do every day, versus something that’s crazy hard and leaves you dreading it.

Walking is a solid option. The kids and I have been making sure we get 10-20k steps each day. It gets you out of the house, pumps those all-important endorphins, and it’s GREAT for mental health. Plus, it’s not stressful at all until you see another human.

But what if we go into another full-scale lockdown?

I mean, let’s face it, most people are absolute f**knuckles who cannot obey rules, so we might end up in a situation where we can’t even go for a damn walk.

Don’t worry, Uncle Russ has got you covered…

Here’s where HOME WORKOUTS come in handy.

And not the super complex stuff you see annoying orange people doing on social media for ‘likes’.

A good home workout should be fast, straightforward, and fun. If a workout needs 2 hours to get the job done, it SUCKS.

To maximize your results at home I recommend grabbing a 5 minute warm-up, followed by performing very short bursts of conditioning exercises, for about 30 minutes IN TOTAL. That’s it, you’re done!

Use this structure:

  • Warm-up for 5 minutes.
  • Choose 4 full-body exercises.
  • Perform x15 reps each, then x14, then x13, and so on. See how low you can get the reps in 30 minutes.

A few months back, when I saw the apocalypse forming on the news, I created a fully structured home workout program that website members have been using since gyms were forced to close. The simple 3 step structure you see above is the foundation of my Home Workout Hero training plan, and the full program is in the members area on the website.

Home Workout Hero workout plan

So, now that you’ve got the perfect lockdown training routine, and you’ve got a good handle on your nutrition, I’ve got an important question for you:

What will you do with all that time you’ve just freed up?

I’m gonna break out the S&M gear and join the whole Mad Max thing…

Who Is Russ Howe PTI?


Russ has been a personal trainer in the UK since 2002, and provided both training advice and full programs on this website since 2011.

His work has been featured in Men’s Fitness magazine, and the content on this website led to him being voted one of the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost.

Russ spends his time coaching men and women inside the legendary Powerhouse Gym, South Shields, and writing training tips for the 114,301 members of his popular free training e-mail (join it below).

Response to “How To Train & Diet At Home During Lockdown (Without Going In-f**king-sane!)”

  1. Richie avatar

    More First rate advice from yourself Russ! Stay safe bud!

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