Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
2 Apr 2020
1:20 pm

Stay fit during lockdown with two of SA’s sport stars

Wesley Botton

Blitzboks skipper Shakes Soyizwapi and cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena share some workout secrets.

Siviwe Soyizwapi of South Africa runs the ball in the Men's 5th Place Semi Final 2 played between South Africa and Spain during the 2019 Sydney HSBC Sevens at Spotless Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

While they admit it is a challenge to stay fit and healthy during the national lockdown, even for professional athletes, some of South Africa’s most accomplished sport stars have offered some advice on diet and training during the 21-day isolation period.

Unable to work together with the rest of the SA squad, Springbok Sevens captain Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi admitted this week that restricted access to gyms and sport fields had limited his options, following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“Our training programme is in a shambles. Everything that was planned has been completely turned upside down,” Soyizwapi said in an interview with sponsor Under Armour.

Though strength and muscle endurance were likely to be affected, however, he felt it was possible to maintain fitness levels while working out indoors.

“I am making use of the space at home and I can definitely maintain my fitness,” Soyizwapi said.

“I will not be as strong, but I will definitely be at a good level to be able to get back on track as soon as life gets back to normal.”

Soyizwapi, the 2019 SA Sevens Player of the Year, recommended avoiding sugary drinks and processed food.

He also suggested drinking lots of water, and eating high fibre foods, fruits and vegetables.

Despite training programmes being restricted during this period, exercise regimes could be focussed on bodyweight training, and Soyizwapi recommended high intensity intervals and utilising home gym equipment.

In addition, Soyizwapi offered a 24-minute workout which could be completed indoors:

Five-minute warm-up

Three rounds:

– burpees (30 seconds)

– rest (60 seconds)

– star jumps (30 seconds)

– rest (60 seconds)

– push-up to jump squat (30 seconds)

– rest (60 seconds)

– jumping lunges (30 seconds)

– rest (60 seconds)

One round:

– mountain climbers (60 seconds)

Kevin Lerena. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Professional boxer Kevin Lerena, who retained his IBO cruiserweight title when he stopped German veteran Firat Arslan in the sixth round in Goeppingen in February, agreed that nutrition was crucial while people’s movements were restricted.

“Increase proteins and reduce carbs, and try work towards that calorie deficit if you are looking to lose weight,” Lerena said.

“If you want to maintain, then a balanced diet for 21 days is good enough.”

Lerena provided a 34-minute bodyweight workout:

– skipping (10 minutes)

Five rounds:

– burpees (60 seconds)

– rest (60 seconds)

Four rounds:

– shadow boxing (180 seconds)

– rest (30 seconds)

“It is possible to keep in shape, and easily so, by following online training tutorials,” Lerena suggested.

“And I think the key to this isolation is maintaining a good diet.”

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