Preparing for a bodybuilding competition takes an average of 16 weeks. That amount of time is enough under normal circumstances. Well, welcome to the new normal, where everything has been thrown into chaos. Bodybuilders are increasingly getting anxious as the Covid pandemic sinks deeper into every aspect of their lives. Not only are they lacking equipment to train with, but they are also not getting the right diet that befits a bodybuilder.
Bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts no longer have the luxury of walking to a nearby gym to train with their colleagues. Persistent lockdowns have confined most of them to their homes, where there is little or nothing to use for training. That is not to mention their special dietary needs, which have been reduced to a little more than an ordinary meal. For those bodybuilders who were training hard for upcoming competitions pre-Covid, months of hard training have been wiped out, and they have to start all over again. The worst thing about this madness is that we are not sure when it will end. There is wave after wave of this monster, and every subsequent wave proves deadlier than the previous ones. Luckily, the vaccine is here with us, thanks to the many hours put up by our scientists.
At-Home Training for Bodybuilders
When Covid-19 came knocking, many employers advised their staff to work from home to stop the virus from spreading. Although a bitter pill to swallow, many people quickly adjusted to it, and operations resumed, though a little slower. The same can’t be said in the case of bodybuilders and other athletes. For people from other professions, all they needed was mostly a laptop and a stable internet connection to perform their normal tasks. On the other hand, a bodybuilder will require a lot of equipment to mimic the normal gym. As expected, this equipment is costly and can’t just be found anywhere. Bodybuilders were forced to order their gear online because the lockdown was still in effect.
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However, what you order is not always what you get. In addition to being pricy, most bodybuilding equipment ordered online does not match the quality shown in advertisements. The other challenge is that the equipment requires a spacious room with the right conditions, such as ventilation, suitable for a workout. That is not to mention that setting up the equipment is another sweat-breaking task that might need more than two hands. However, since two is not a crowd, you can always call your training partner and get it rolling. Furthermore, cost-sharing can be a great way to reduce your spending on pricy gym equipment.
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Americans pay under $20 for a workout mat and more than $3200 for a cardio machine. That should give you a clear picture of how much a fully equipped gym could cost. Bodybuilding, or fitness in general, is not like any other sport. Heavy investment in select equipment goes a long way in determining whether you will make it to the pro league when the lockdown is over. Unfortunately, many athletes didn’t expect the pandemic to last this long, and there is still no end. Fitness enthusiasts have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets to buy the equipment or improvise household items to supplement whatever equipment in their disposal. Did you know you can use water containers for chest and arm workouts? I thought you should know.
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It is important to note that the open spaces around cities and towns worldwide, such as parks, have provided excellent jogging sports. That has saved most bodybuilders from purchasing expensive equipment such as stationary bicycles. It has been estimated that health and fitness equipment has wrecked more than 2 billion dollars in the last year. That is double the usual 1 billion such equipment cost under normal circumstances. That only tells you one thing; people have moved gyms to their living rooms and other spaces. All this trouble is coming at a hefty price, and the figures keep rising.
Even though these machines are costly, their sale has soared 140 percent more during the Covid period. Any bodybuilder will agree that this equipment plays a critical role in their training, and leaving it out is not a good idea. Whatever it takes to acquire a treadmill, bodybuilders are ready to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to put it in their homes.
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A good treadmill will cost anywhere between $1000 and $3000. That is huge, given that it is only one of the tens of equipment needed for full-body training. On the other hand, cardio machines come in many sizes and designs. You could get one for as little as $50, while complex ones could cost you a fortune. Lighter equipment is quite affordable and is no headache.
Sales from stationary bikes are off the chart, thanks to Covid-19. To develop strong legs, bodybuilders must do some cycling. However, a regular bike can also do the trick, and many of them have one at home. Most people are running away from the boring stay-at-home routine that almost makes them go nuts. One of the best ways to escape it is by riding outdoors. As a result, the demand for bicycles has tripled over the last year. Moreover, the demand for cold-weather bicycle gear, such as outerwear and snowshoes, has dramatically risen.
Special Diets and Supplements for Bodybuilders
It is estimated that some bodybuilders spend up to $10,000 a month on supplements and fitness equipment. However, these items, more so special diets, have not been to come by. One bodybuilder has noted that he is starving since he can no longer access his supplements. So, even if you squeeze your budget and buy these items, you’ll be shocked to find that most of them are not available. That is understandable since travel restrictions have resulted in a shortage of goods and services.
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Surprisingly, some athletes have invented creative ways of dealing with the shortage. For instance, bodybuilders are now preparing their meals in a way that matches the supplements they are missing. Preparing a proper meal might be an uphill task, but the tough gets going. Furthermore, the internet is buzzing with tutorials on how to prepare a standard diet for a bodybuilder.
Since they cannot physically meet their trainers and colleagues, many bodybuilders have found consolation in fitness applications. Consolidating gyms within one’s premises has caused downloads of such applications to soar. Because every cloud has a silver lining, companies that were about to be shoved into solvency by the pandemic have found comfort in applications. Furthermore, most fitness enthusiasts consider apps an excellent supplement for the at-home workout.
The apps have enabled bodybuilders to stream workouts from the internet in real-time, and many have embraced this new trend. For example, an app like Home Workout – No Equipment has been downloaded more than 45 million times during the Covid period. That is more than twice the number of downloads in the previous year. GPS running and cycling app is another popular app that has seen over 20 million downloads in the last year alone.
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App downloads are expected to soar even higher with no end in sight for the pandemic. Although most fitness apps are free, companies offering the same are wrecking in millions of dollars from the downloads. It is estimated that mobile app downloads over the last six months have seen a 120 percent increase. If we don’t factor in other sports, bodybuilding, and fitness alone, they contribute to more than 50 percent of the downloads. Most people, bodybuilders included, are not exercising at home because they’re preparing for a competition. After all, there is no any. Rather, they’re doing it because physical fitness plays a role in managing the virus if it ever lands on your body.
The Big Winners
Again, Covid-19 has come with a silver lining for retail gyms and fitness gear suppliers. With their sales skyrocketing and a virus mutating, it is undeniable that they will keep reaping big. Demand is outstripping supply, according to some equipment manufacturers. Transforming homes into classic gyms is probably a new idea every few have explored before. Now that bodybuilders have been forced to adapt to the new normal, chances are that there is no going back. I bet no one will dismantle their home gym once the pandemic ends. That is good news for the bodybuilding fraternity because it means they’ll be immune to unprecedented events like Covid. It is an eye-opener for athletes who have never considered diversifying their training. So, yes, bodybuilders are the other big winners.
Online fitness trainers are minting money from their streaming classes. One such strainer, Deborah Hirsch, has stated that she has been doing 35 online fitness classes a week since the pandemic began and physical gyms shut down. Although such classes are not paid for directly, trainers are earning quite huge from the massive traffic.
The Biggest Casualties for Bodybuilders
The health club industry has taken a big hit from the ongoing pandemic. At-home training has cut off revenues amounting to billions of dollars. An exclusive consumer survey conducted by an investment bank in New York revealed that the sector could lose more than $10 billion in a year if the pandemic is not managed effectively. The worst part is that fitness clubs and gyms will take longer to recover, even if the pandemic were to be stopped. As of March of this year, about 35% of gym-goers had canceled their membership with their respective clubs. Where do those people go? Did they stop exercising altogether? No. They have set up gyms at home amid the biting economic situation. As a result, more than 40,000 gyms and clubs have shut down in the United States alone.
No End in Sight
It is projected that Covid-19 will be around for a couple more years. Although we have achieved a huge milestone regarding the vaccine, the virus keeps mutating, and every new strain is deadlier. So, what happens to bodybuilders whose biggest motivation to train is competition? Unknown to many, bodybuilding is a contact sport, meaning the risk of spreading the virus during competition is high. That means we are ruling out the possibility of returning to competition soon. You are not going to put training on hold. Neither are you going to stop steroid cycles?
Every bodybuilder’s best chance of remaining in form is by investing in their training. That means spending on equipment and diet. Most importantly, ensure you have a consistent flow of income to meet those needs. The good thing about investing in quality equipment is that they will give you many years of service. However, you must be prepared to pay more for good equipment because it is quite costly. For instance, benches cost about $300, while dumbbells go for $70-$200 a set. That is not to mention heavier equipment like cardio machines that could go more than $3000.
For a bodybuilder, nothing is as heartbreaking as seeing your months of grueling training go to waste, and have to start all over again. That is probably the motivation behind heavy spending on gym equipment during this lockdown period. Luckily, heavy investment in at-home training is bearing fruits. The only challenge is the lack of motivation and discipline when working out at home alone. However, tough times create tough people, which is the motivation every bodybuilder should have. It is only a matter of time before you fully adapt and come to love training from home.