2020 hit us harder than a round of 100 burpees. And while we are well on our way to being (or at least appearing to be) clear here in Australia, the same cannot be said for other countries around the world.
The Bat Kiss is still sending shock waves through various industries, nothing more than fitness. Staying active is beneficial not only for your health and appearance, but also your mental health. It is enough to be on the four walls of your house for days to send someone around the corner.
So what do you do when your career depends on looking absolutely great? How do you keep fit during lockdown if you are an international male model?
The answer to this question is Rafael Miller, a 23 year old Parisian who is under contract with a number of modeling agencies around the world and like many of us has been unable to reach his usual gym in the past 12 months. Unimpressed and equally motivated to stay in shape for both himself and his job, Rafael found the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer – a home fitness machine we’ve seen before that can – and can – help with chest exercises at home now share his knowledge and routines which hopefully can help you stay fit at home.
“This year has been difficult to stay in shape. Until I found out about the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer, I had no access to fitness equipment at all. I only trained with body weight on a fitness mat. “
“It is the first home weightlifting machine that has met my expectations and since purchasing it has changed my entire home fitness experience.”
Much of Rafael’s fitness knowledge: exercises, form, technique do not come directly from fitness professionals. Instead, he says, “I’ve acquired most of my fitness knowledge over the past 7 years from inspiration on the Internet.”
While Rafael may have found good sources of information, it is not often recommended to blindly follow online fitness gurus. However, if you have trustworthy and reliable sources, the internet can be a gold mine of information.
CONNECTED: “I succumbed to the internet’s favorite fitness hack in search of bigger gains.”
How exactly does Rafael stay in shape? Here the exercises he does are listed below.
Deadlift (Good Form Is Key)
The deadlift is one of the absolute best exercises anyone can do in the gym (along with the squat and bench press) and it literally refers to lifting “deadweight” without the aid of swing. As Rafael says, good form is key to this movement as the wrong technique can lead to injury. You should start with a light weight if you are new to the deadlift to get the technique right before moving on to heavier weights.
Cable flys on a bench
Flying rope is a fantastic chest exercise. In Rafael’s case, he performs them on a bench that can be set at various angles – and can also be left flat – to target specific areas of the chest. This is an isolation move in that only the chest muscles benefit from this exercise. Adjust your bench for different angles of inclination to build up your chest.
If you are looking for bouldering shoulders, you should familiarize yourself with side elevations. This way, you lift dumbbells or resistance bands to your sides and keep your elbow at a constant angle. Some people make the mistake of bringing their hands above shoulder height, but all you have to do is bring them into line with your shoulders.
Squats with the bar attachment
As mentioned earlier, squats are another of the great exercises that you can do in the gym. However, since it is a compound movement, you need to use the correct technique to avoid injury. When crouching, it is recommended that you hold your breath for the duration of the movement for additional stability. You need to support your core by tucking your pelvis in and lowering your body like you’re sitting down (the goal is to get as deep as possible) before pushing it back up and making sure your knees are out demonstrate.
Calf raises hold the cables
One of the most famous mottos in the gym is “never skip the leg day”. While this usually relates to building your quads and glutes, you should pay special attention to your calves. If you don’t have the V shape trainer, you can hold dumbbells in your hands instead. All you have to do is stand on your toes and stretch your calf muscles. Press and hold at the top of each increase for two seconds before lowering and repeating.
“This is my favorite on the V-shape,” Rafael told DMARGE.
Cable lunges have some advantages, although you will likely be better off having access to free weights or kettlebells instead. Put one foot out in front of you, crouch down, keeping your front knee at a 90 degree angle, making sure that your back knee is as low as possible. Once you master these, you can try the lunges.
Body weight exercises
If you don’t have a V shape trainer, don’t fret because Rafael also provided his favorite body weight exercises that can only have a great effect.
“I would do pushups, planks and [hanging] Upper body leg raises and body weight squats and alternate lunges for the lower body. “
As you all should know by now, diet naturally plays an important role in your overall health and body composition – something I found out while trying to eat like Chris Hemsworth – and Rafael agrees.
“I’ve fasted intermittently for the past 3 years – first meal at 1pm, last at 9pm – and I’ve felt my best since I started.”
“I definitely adjusted my diet during the pandemic while doing bodyweight training, but now I’m back on the V-shape and can go back to my normal diet, which looks like this for almost every meal.”
- Protein source approx. 150 g (chicken, eggs, fish, etc.)
- Carb Source when it’s a workout day and I feel the need to get something (rice, wraps, etc.)
- Vegetables (any kind, lots and unlimited amounts)
“I finally add oatmeal with fruit (with no added sugar) during the day if I have to.”
“I allow myself to cheat for days quite often, but if I’ve overdone, I usually go for a run the next morning.”
Way of thinking
Keeping fit by lifting weights and eating the right foods is all well and good, but keeping track of things doesn’t necessarily mean keeping your sanity in check too. And in Rafael’s case, gym closures had more of an impact on him than he expected.
“I have to be honest, it did [the closure of gyms and lockdown]! This year  was very tough on stress and mental health, social life is not what it was and it affected me not to have a place to let go of all of this (for me that was the gym). “
“I managed to overcome this by maintaining a positive attitude and looking for alternatives such as setting up my own gym at home.”
While we don’t necessarily have the looks of an international male model, our worlds seem to have more in common than previously thought, and indeed we can learn a lot from the good-looking industry.