Author: Julia Simon
Pictures: Meghann Krüger

Life in quarantine

Working out at home and slowing down

Since March 2020, we’ve most likely been using the word quarantine more than ever before in our lives. Those who have been in quarantine are familiar with the sense of isolation and separation. Meghann felt exactly that way right at the beginning of the pandemic. But instead of growing lonely, the firefighter used the time to decelerate. An athletic and mental aide. 

“Hello, this is the fire brigade staff speaking.” Meghann was relaxing on her couch after her latest night shift when a call from an unknown number came. The Fire Chief of the Berlin fire brigade was already looking forward to her weekend off. Time for the café, cinema and a jog – but the voice on the other end of the line quickly laid end to Meghann’s plans. We regret to inform you that in your last shift, you most likely came into contact with a colleague who is ill with COVID-19. This means that, as of now, you may not leave your flat for an indefinite amount of time. You’re now in mandated home isolation. 

Thousands of questions race through her mind    

Meghann hung up after this short conversation. The firefighter athlete, normally a great bundle of energy, hadn’t reckoned with this. A thousand questions raced through her mind. Have I caught it? When will I be told if I really have to stay at home for two weeks? Will I be tested? Who’s going to take care of shopping? And what in the world should I do at home for the whole time? Two weeks without exercise – I’ll never make it! I’m going to sleep – maybe things will be completely different in the morning. 

Two days later, the sobering message finally came: her colleague tested positive, which meant two weeks of home isolation for Meghann. On top of that, she also had to keep a daily log of any symptoms and take her temperature.  

Establishing new routines  

The first week was conquered – halfway there! In her one-bedroom flat with its small, shadowy balcony, the options for occupying herself are limited. Doing a deep clean once again? Sure – but in a 40 sqm flat, that’s finished quickly.  

So the firefighter developed a new routine: every morning she laid out time for herself. An ample breakfast on a beautifully set table and morning baths transformed it has to go by quickly into a short wellness event. On top of reading, the athlete cooked a lot and tried out new recipes that she’d been wanting to test for a while. An extended workout was on the schedule from the afternoon to early evening.  

I miss my gym and the fresh air while running, but I can count down the days. That’s also my motivation, explains Meghann. She took it upon herself to leave isolation stronger than she was on that evening on the couch.  

Dancing, HIIT and yoga Meghann’s at-home workout routine  

The warm up: turn your music up loud and just dance! Dancing is freeing and brightens the spirits. Follow it up with weight training, body weight exercises and new HIIT workouts. Nowadays, you can find a wide selection of ‘coronavirus home workouts’ on the internet. Meghann adds yoga exercises to her cooldown. Her next goal is to perform a perfect handstand.   

Meghanns Tipp für alle, die in häuslicher Isolation stecken oder denen im Homeoffice einfach die Decke auf den Kopf fällt: Dreh die Musik voll auf, zieh Deine Lieblingssportklamotten an und beweg Dich! Jede Bewegung ist mehr, als den ganzen Tag nur auf der Couch zu sitzen. Versuche daheim deinen Alltag zu entschleunigen und nutzt die Zeit für Dinge, für die Du sonst keine Zeit hast.

Meghann’s full-body workout for home with various dumbbells and weights: 

Every exercise has 4×12 repetitions   

Variant 1: 

  • Back Squats  
  • Front Squats  
  • Hip Thrusts  
  • Romanian deadlifts
  • One-arm rowing with 4×12 reps per side
  • Snatches 4×12 reps per side
  • Pullovers  

To finish: 15 minutes of AMRAP – as many reps as possible 5 push-ups, 10 burpees, 15 sit-ups, then start again from beginning 

Variant 2: 

  • Sumo deadlifts
  • Lunges 4×12 reps per side 
  • Front raises
  • Side raises
  • Calf-raises 
  • 30 second plank, 15 second break – 6 reps 

To finish: 10 minutes of EMOM – every minute on the minute: 5 burpees + 3 thrusters  

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