February Survey Question re: Covid and Exercising

by HMRRC Members

The pandemic has changed the way we do a multitude of things. Fitness centers have been greatly impacted. Gone are the days of taking exercise classes at Vent Fitness and engaging in strenuous sweaty exercises with our friends. The camaraderie of the gym has been replaced by the isolation of the home. Many have responded by making their own gyms.

Most exercise specialists think that gyms will never reclaim their former role in our lives while others think that after the pandemic abates, life in general and fitness centers in specific will go back to normal. With this in mind, I surveyed our runners on how they are coping with their need for exercise while Covid lurks in the background.

Question: Have you made your own home gym to use during the Pandemic or are you doing something else to stay in shape?

Anthony Giuliano

Welcome to the Pain Cave, I have dumbbells, resistance bands, a bench, massage gun, and can watch TV while working out. I haven’t been to a gym since February 2020 and probably won’t be going back to one for a while after getting the vaccine. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks!

Jennifer Rainka Casey

Yes! We have a whole gym set up in our garage! Free weights, benches, bars etc. we also have a stationary bike, a rower & a treadmill. My whole family uses it especially during the pandemic. We are all back at the gym working out as we all have memberships but still use our home gym as well!

Tom Adams

At age 76, Tom is an inspiration to us all. He loved going to the gym but when Covid struck, that changed the game. He then put together his own gym. When you read what he does each day, it will either tire or inspire you!

Tom’s Workouts: How he uses his equipment and his goals

The elliptical is done one day with the bike with on the other. I do them for 20 minutes. I have an ab board for sit ups, which I usually do 90 sit-ups every other day. I’m trying to work that up to 100. I have an ab doer where you sit down on a machine with two swinging arms, a stabilizer in the back and a torque bar that’s under tension all the time. I rock back and forth for three sets of 40 every other day. This is to dedicate the focus on my obliques.

After that I go to the weight machine where I do my leg presses, calf routines, my quads, my hamstrings, lap pull downs and chest presses. I use 40 pounds weights on my chest presses with three repetitions of 15. On my leg presses, I use 195 weights sitting down and pushing against the plate doing 3 reps of 15. On the same plate, I do my calves using 80 lbs. weights, with 3 reps of 15. On my last circuit, if I am feeling good, I add more reps but at the same weight. I do weight work to minimize the impact on my knees which since I have been strength training, I have no knee issues with whatsoever. Gone is the pain and I no longer need to take Advil. 

In addition to the above, I use a foam roller for my IT bands and my quads. To strengthen my back, I use Thera bands.  I lay on my back with Thera bands attached and put my legs up into the air, pulling my legs up to the left and then the right. I use them for hip stretches too.

All of these exercises are meant to get me in tiptop shape for the spring, when I will be biking with my friend Nancy Briskie as we tackle the steep and windy roads of this mountainous area.

I have been exercising, running and biking for over 40 years and have loved every minute of it. I hope that I am able to do it for many more.

Derrick Staley

I have a treadmill at home, do exercises daily, and run outside when possible.

Jim Gilmer

List of items in Jim's gym: 3/4" puzzle mats, Yogorilla mats, yoga mat, bench, erg rower, slam ball, wall ball, peanut ball, swiss ball, foam roller, bosu, PVC pipe, exercise rope, various stretch bands, dumb bells & kettle bells.

Jim’s Home Gym

For the Winter of Covid, I revitalized my home gym that’s located in a 10’ x 12’ room in the basement off the laundry room. 

These days (I’m 71), body-weight exercise on the mat is essential -- long-hold stretches and yoga flows-- interspersed with hand-weight and cardio routines. To aid my running, I find it increasingly important to pay attention to enhancing mobility in and around the joints, especially (for me) the hip flexors, but also the ankles and plantar fascia. 

My new gym includes the following: 

* for flooring: 3/4" puzzle mats covered by Yogorilla mats, and yoga or activity mats, as needed
* a flat workout bench;
* for cardio and joints: a Concept 2 rower (best all-around exercise machine, IMHO)
* for stretching/balance: peanut ball, stability balls, a bosu, ?“ PVC pipe, various elastic stretch bands;
* for resistance training: A 6# slam ball, 8# medicine ball, and 10# wall ball, battle rope, and dumb bells & kettle bells of various weights;
* for rolling: 36” and 12” foam rollers, a 12” half-round foam roller, a Theraband roller, as well as a variety of hard and soft balls (lacrosse, tennis, etc.);

* resources: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett; Facilitated Stretching (4th ed.) by Robert E. McAtee and Jeff Charland; and ROMWOD (online stretching program).

Mary Claire Walker

I have a treadmill which I bought last March at the start of the pandemic. It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made! I have to run inside a lot in the winter because of my asthma so when all the gyms shut down, I could still run as much as I wanted! I also have some resistance bands, two sets of dumbbells, a yoga mat, yoga block and bluster. So, I can do yoga via Zoom classes and some strength work. Surprisingly, it’s worked out really well!

Scott Suba

No indoor workouts for me, my gym is the great outdoors!

Vasil Koleci

My pandemic home gym consists of an adjustable weight set, cable machine, resistance bands and an elliptical machine for cross training days. Having a home gym is very convenient. I always enjoyed going to the gym prior to the pandemic. I hope to get back training at the gym in the future when things have stabilized with the pandemic.

Dennis Beardsley

Barbara Bradley

We don’t have a formal home gym. We do have a yoga mat and a few weights and some stretch bands, though. And I still take several classes at the Guilderland YMCA, where I feel very safe going to. Have a treadmill at home, do exercises daily and run outside when possible.

Benita Zahn

Not a home gym per se but weights, bands, ball, treadmill and elliptical

Bob Irwin

I only have a treadmill.

Sarah Wood Piper

Good question! No home gym per se. I’ve had to make do with some kettlebells, dumbbells and mats on the floor for strength workouts. They serve the purpose but a full home gym is on the wish list!

Dick Vincent

My home gym consists of a yoga mat. Not that I am against home gyms, only that I don't have space for one. I have been practicing yoga for 26 years.

Shaun Donegan

No gym. When I need a workout, I put my snowshoes on and slog through deep snow or hook up my fatbike to our ski chariot and tow the twins (100 pounds) around.

Kelly Virkler

No, nothing different from normal. Just my bike trainer which I have always had. I do yoga wherever there is space, no special gym needed.

Specialized Home Exercise Equipment Digitally Connected

The Wall Street Journal recently dealt with this topic and recommended devices that are digitally connected to a trainer or an APP or A.I. Tech. We are all familiar with Peloton and Nordic Track but not these others that are definitely cool!


ARENA, the new workout solution that is expanding the boundaries of the "at-home" gym, has launched for official pre-sale today, September 25th, 2020. Created and designed by a team of on-the-move fitness experts who work with Olympic medalists, NFL, MLB and NBA players across the country, ARENA is re-imagining the gym by offering a completely transportable piece of fitness equipment. ARENA is the size of a suitcase and is constructed as a step box or bench that is completely controlled from your smart device, holds a month's worth of workouts on a single charge and offers resistance up to 200lbs.


FightCamp Personal gives you everything you need to start training. You get studio-quality equipment, access to expert trainers & on-demand workouts.

Who is this for:

  • Perfect for individual users — if you are the only person using FightCamp in your home.
  • Ideal for those with a busy schedule.
  • Workouts for those who need a little extra motivation.
  • Expert trainers for those who want to find new limits.


Unlike traditional rowers, the Hydrow features a 22-inch touchscreen monitor, speakers, and computer-controlled resistance. It's also Bluetooth-enabled. The exercise experience with Hydrow incorporates subscription-based features similar to that of the popular Peloton bike, such as access to an online community with live leaderboards and weekly team races.

The Hydrow monthly membership, which costs $38 per month, unlocks a library of live and on-demand classes and is an essential part of the interactive experience. The idea is that the community aspects of a workout will help encourage and motivate users.


A nearly invisible Home Gym: PERSONALIZED FOR YOU

When not in use, looks like regular mirror

Certified trainers from the country's top fitness studios provide motivation and live feedback.

Advanced camera technology and proprietary algorithms deliver in-workout adjustments based on your goals, preferences, and personal profile.

Choose from expertly curated playlists featuring popular music in a variety of genres from rock to pop, or sync with Apple Music and use your own playlists.

Happy Exercising!

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