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Belfast Telegraph coronavirus podcast: Personal trainer David Campbell's new approach to fitness in lockdown


David Campbell

David Campbell

David Campbell

A Belfast trainer and coach has said he hopes home workouts will give the public the confidence to continue with health and fitness after coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

David Campbell is a personal trainer at Swat Gym in Blackstaff Mill and a strength and conditioning coach for Belfast Royal Academy.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph's Coronavirus podcast, he said workouts from home and exercise outside have had a positive impact recently on mental health.

After being unable to meet clients due to social distancing restrictions, Mr Campbell decided to reach a wider audience by uploading home workouts to YouTube.

"A lot of other trainers were just going to take clients through Zoom but I thought why not try something different so it gets a bigger audience?

"Yes it involves my clients but I try and involve as many people as possible who could get into fitness through something I could help with," he said.

The personal trainer's workout series now follows a six-week programme with 34 workouts that can be followed every single day, with high intensity interval training (HIIT) the most common feature.

"It gives the people at the top level a bit of a challenge and the people who are getting into fitness, there are so many variations of the exercises," he said.

"As time goes along I try and incorporate more household items like a brush shaft or a broom as a pole or bar and you can attach weights like school bags. It teaches people the technique of the lifts.

"No matter the space or the equipment you have, you can always incorporate some sort of fitness, whether it’s through your body or going out for a walk. Having that stuff helps, but if you are doing it for wellbeing or mental health, body weight is just as good," he said.

Mr Campbell said he advises everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to get outside. "When you’re allowed, go out during the day, get a walk and get a bit of fresh air," he said.

"At this time, people are unsure of what’s going on and it’s affecting them mentally, they’re getting stressed out. Doing that workout for half an hour or twenty minutes, that’s twenty minutes where your mind is completely off what’s going on, it can give you a bit of stress relief and can help with sleep as well," he said.

He said he hopes the public will realise, post-lockdown, the benefits exercise brings when it comes to dealing with difficult situations.

"What I’m hoping is that people will realise how much better you actually feel through exercise mentally and physically and how it does add a benefit to your life," he said.

"There have been a few people I’ve trained in the past who have said I’m too busy and shied away from the training. A few of them have now said they didn’t realise how much the training benefited (them) until it was taken away.

"People who weren’t interested in training are really enjoying [the workouts] - hopefully people will keep the walks and different things when we get back to normality," he said.

Belfast Telegraph