Sport | Columnists
Sean Van Staden
Life as we know it will never be the same again.
In some way we have to be incredibly grateful the South African fibre infrastructure stepped up their game and fast tracked us into a first world bandwidth usage.
But it’s still sad to see cellular network providers have not come to the party where they could give the entire country the ability to access cheaper internet and kids all over the country can stream their home learning.
Vumatel, on the other hand, have doubled all internet speeds for a short period of time, free of charge.
They have done this, so it is easier to access homework but unfortunately not accessible to everyone.
Technology has played an important role in keeping us sane, providing us entertainment and even spiced up our training routines.
Technology has come a long way and even though you won’t get that physical experience of being at an event or gym routine, you get a different experience but the same physiological outcome which is needed to keep your heart strong and your body fit.
Here are some awesome tech and home systems that are making training fun.
Zwift has exploded onto scene and has become incredibly popular among runners and cyclists.
It does require you to have a treadmill or cycling trainer but once you have those key essential, the fun begins.
With your TV or tablet linked up to the software you can compete in the comfort of your own home.
Chances are you have found it very hard if you have ever tried to train on your trainer at home without any external stimulus, it tends to be boring and you can easily lack the motivation.
Zwift users are even getting up at 4.30am to train. This is unheard of from regular gym goers.
When you add the element of competitive to the mix with real humans behind their screens training then it changes the game and motivates action.
Zwift blends the fun of a video games with the intensity of serious training, helping you get fitter and faster.
It provides gamification which allows you to level up, earn points and rank among your peers.
You can choose training plans designed by some of the top coaches in the world, participate in group rides, runs and races.
Zwift is offering a 30-day trial during lockdown.
I forecast that gyms around South Africa are going to take a massive hit in membership.
Simply because at this point in time the biggest chain doesn’t employ enough people to clean machines.
Their model has always been lean staff count.
That is how they maximise profits.
There is a reason why Morningside Hospital has been closed for two weeks already for deep cleaning.
They have to kill the virus.
If one person is contagious but doesn’t show symptoms and goes to gym, how many machines and equipment will that person touch and how many people in a day will touch the same equipment?
Even with a full team it is going to be nearly impossible to clean everything every time.
Unless they solve this problem you better off spending your money on home equipment.
The guys leading the pack on home equipment is Technogym and Zest.
There are some other smaller players like Mifitness and PerformBetter which offer more functional bases equipment.
Technogym has some of the most beautiful and ergonomic designed equipment in the world, but they do come with a price tag.
Luckily for the consumer they have moved into a rental model.
See it like this, what you pay for you monthly membership, you might as well rent to buy a piece of equipment and then keep adding to your gym.
It is important to remember, you don’t need everything, you need equipment that will add value to your life by burning more calories for less time and to build functional strength and muscles you can use rather than just look at.
Mifitness is great for home gym stations and get two or three pieces of equipment that work big muscle groups.
A bench, interchangeable weights and a home squat rack is some of the best and minimalist things you can get for big gains.
There is so much you can do with it.
Peformbetter is great for performance and recovery equipment that is light and aimed and building more functionally sound people and athletes.
Resistance tools like these add to your complete gym. Also remember, Rome was not built in a day. Take your take time and rather save for good equipment instead of rushing out to buy cheap alternatives.
Lastly, knowledge is power, and my best advice in everything you do, find the experts and invest in yourself by investing in expert coaches.
You will learn a whole lot more, have less injuries and your results will be far superior.
Why put in all the mileage and then when you are riddled with imbalances and injury only then look to find answers?
Experts have years of experience you can tap into so utilise them and just google in your sport, who the best coaches are and reach out to them or find out if they have any training programs.
Be safe, be positive and don’t let training become boring at home.
Sean van Staden is a sport scientist. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanVStaden or visit advancedsp.co.za.
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