In the midst of the pandemic we’re all learning to adjust and cope.  Team myHMB athlete Brad Gillingham shares what life has been like in his household during quarantine.

Minnesota, like most states, passed an executive order that limits public gatherings and enforces social distancing until at least May 4th.  In addition to the closure of gyms and restaurants, which impacts our social schedules, all public schools and colleges were closed , which means that college athletes have just learned that spring sports seasons were cancelled.  In my house, this was a hard hit!  Strength events have been cancelled, and both of my daughters’ college track seasons are done for the year.

Creativity in Exercise

During these stressful times, it is important to keep active.  If there is a will to train there is a way. Research indicates that exercise not only provides physical benefits, but also does a lot for our mental well-being.1  I have seen more people than ever in my community out walking, jogging and riding bike. I have also seen a lot of creativity from athletes I work with to find different method of training in lieu of gym equipment.  One of my wrestlers made cement weights from molds he made out of flowerpots.  He also has designed a functional strength course at his farm including tractor tires, chopping wood, log pulls, overhead log throws, and different log cleans and carries.  One of my volleyball players has incorporated paint cans into her workout for extra resistance.  Others have access to dumbbells and have used them for added resistance while performing squats and lunges.  This is a reminder to everyone that functional strength movements, bodyweight exercises, and plyometrics can still be done at home. Pushups, planks, bodyweight squats, leg lifts, burpees, and plyometrics will build strength, power and provide cardiovascular benefits.2,3

My Training Regimen

I brought a squat rack, bench and plenty of weight home from the gym.  I am working out in the garage with my two daughters.  We purchased some rubber mats from the local farm store, and have a nice set-up.  Like all garages, we had to park the car outside and move the snow blower, lawn mower, shovels, and rakes out of the way.  In fact, it was a good excuse to clean up the garage!  I am using this time to train light and enjoy this opportunity to make training a family affair  with my daughters Emily and Lizzy.  I am primarily training 3×5 squats, 8×3 speed bench, cleans, and a combination of RDLS and stiff legged deadlifts.  My girls are following a similar program, but have added in plyometrics and their running workouts. Our assistance work is limited to free weights, but you can get a lot done with bent rows, upright rows, straight bar curls and bodyweight movements.

Stay strong, and stay healthy! Keep training and be creative in your workouts! Enjoy the time spent with your family. This will soon be over, and life as we know it will be back to normal.

Brad Gillingham, CSCS | Team myHMB Athlete

  1. Penedo, F.J., & Dahn, J.R. Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Curr Opin Psychitry. 2005;Mar;18(2).189-193. doi: 10.1097/0001504-200503000-00013
  2. Krans B. Exercise at home to avoid the gym during COVID-19 outbreak. Healthline. Published April 2, 2020. Accessed April 15, 2020.
  3. Millar A. COVID-19 coronavirus: how to exercise at home. Published March 24, 2020. Accessed April 15, 2020.
Hall of Fame Powerlifter Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham is a Hall of Fame Powerlifter who is a 6-time IPF World Powerlifting Champion and has more than 30 IPF World Championship medals under his belt.  Brad is the co-owner of Jackals Gym where he coaches a variety of athletes.  Brad is also strength and conditioning coach for wrestling and volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State University.


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