Pandemic and post pandemic era workouts

About 5 years ago I got a minor tear in the right gastrocnemius muscle as I was walking down steps. Thankfully in was not a complete tear, but the pain was way above 10 on an 1 to 10 scale. I had bright white streaks across my vision.

After the pain dropped to a manageable 6, there was swelling of the calf and the knee. I made an appointment with my PCP who ordered a sonic gram of my legs to rule out deep vein thrombosis. All was clear so I was referred to physical therapy.

The PT evaluated me, had me do various exercises and stretches. The last session she had a heart to heart with me about only cycling. “Cycling is very good exercise, but you ought to do some cross training.” “WHOO now, no CrossFit.” Cried I. “Not CrossFit, That’s how we get a lot of our clients, cross training such as resistance workouts to strengthen bone and muscles. Also to give a more balance of muscles.”

Since I had a Silver Sneakers benefit that paid for gym membership I took advantage of it. The problem was I didn’t know what to do with all those machines and tended to spend time on the stationary bikes and rowing machines. I knew I needed a trainer.

The first one I had wasn’t too good and he moved away after a couple of months. I noticed this one PT, which was easy as she is 6’2”. What stood out was the way she worked with her clients - tailoring the workout for each individual.

Along came Covid, I can’t think of a better medium for infectious disease than a public gym. Cynthia started training me via Zoom. At first I didn’t have much in the way of equipment, 3 resistance tubes, one kettlebell and a couple of 5 pound bricks, and a suspension strap.

Over time a set of dumbbells and more tubes were added. I do these workouts about twice a week, once with Cynthia and once on my own. Over the years there haven’t been a lot of gains, but no losses either, Then about 2 months ago I have gained real strength gains in legs, arms, core, chest and back. I guess persistence really pays off.

I like to workout outside. Here’s a picture of my gym.

The post is a guyed 10’ Tee fence post with a piece of PVC conduit over it. The spool looking thing can be raised or lowered to change the angle of the resistance tubes. On top of one so you can see it is a vise grip style oil filter wrench from Harbor Freight with tubing to protect the PVC. There are 2, one to support the spool and the other to prevent it rising.

I am not really any kind of athlete or gym rat, but regular exercise, both endurance and resistance has keep me as healthy as the medications and insulin I take.


Wow, @CarlosLuis, that’s an awesome setup you have! Being able to do it outside is great too!


I agree, @CarlosLuis, being able to do workouts outside is a huge benefit! You get the fresh air and nature for mental health, plus the physical exercise! I do limited stretching/light weights but agree, they really are key to strengthening, especially for biking and running, the main other activities I do, besides hiking. I think I mentioned I damaged my knee last year from walking my huge puppies (they PULL), and really nothing helped 'til I started doing basic stretches and light weights, like pushups, situps, squats. Nothing elaborate, and only light weights, 5 - 20 pounds. I could do with a trainer, too, but don’t belong to a gym and really, like you, would prefer to workout outdoors!!!