A Love Letter To Former Bachy Sam Wood For Getting Me Through Another Lockdown
As anyone in NSW or Victoria would know all too well, staying motivated in an endless lockdown is bloody hard.
Going in, we all have the best intentions: walk every day, get some sunlight, eat healthy, cut out the booze, read more books, start learning a language, take up yoga, take up painting, call home more often, plant a herb garden, finally start meditation, buy an at-home pottery kit that you’ll never open, do a big online order at Rebel Sport for boxing mitts you won’t pick up again in 2022… the list goes on.
The reality is that lockdown is a stressful time for everyone and no one is operating at full capacity. While you may have imagined life looking like the above, the pressure of work, family, money issues, and confusing and infuriating government messages means we’re not all smiling blankly while making another loaf of bread in our super clean and organised homes. In fact, if you’re anything like me, your room is a mess regardless of how much time you’ve had to clean it, you ate a cookie for breakfast, and your screen time has gone through the roof even though nothing interesting has happened on Instagram for weeks.
Every variation of lockdown I’ve been in and out of, I’ve pledged little goals for myself, and the main ones have revolved around fitness and exercise in an attempt to keep motivated while gyms are shut. But we all know that’s easier said than done. Dragging ourselves for another loop around the same park gets boring and while Yoga with Adrienne is a fantastic way to unwind, not all of our bodies were built to bend in weird and wacky ways without accidentally retriggering our neck pain (from spending too much time hunched over a computer at home, no doubt).
So instead of beating myself up with unrealistic expectations this Sydney lockdown (“I’m going to start running!”, “I’ll do weights on my own, I know I will!”), I decided it was time to pick an online program that made sense.
Enter former Bachelor Sam Wood’s 28 Program.
Now, before we really kick off why the program is great, this is NOT a sponsored post. I first trialled Sam Wood’s program years ago and credit it as being the first fitness program to actually kickstart my love of going to the gym (words I never thought I’d say).
But until this lockdown I had pretty much forgotten about it until I saw an 8-week challenge pop up mid-late July in my Instagram feed.
“Hmm 8 weeks is the perfect time to keep me motivated and take me to the end of lockdown,” I (hilariously) said to myself. “Maybe then I can do this 8-week program and gyms will be open again,” I (hilariously) thought.
So for $99 for 8 weeks, I signed up.
The pros of the 28 Program.
It’s easy to use:
If you’re someone like me who loves structure, a scheduled routine, and feels most accomplished when ticking boxes, 28 by Sam Wood is going to be a borderline erotic experience for you.
Each day is laid out and requires no thinking from you – you can follow it as loosely and strictly as your heart desires.
The workouts are also tailored to your fitness level – you can do low-impact if you’re recovering from injury, or dial it up if you’re wanting to get no rest in between the rounds. Each workout is, you guessed it, around 28 minutes and four rounds that can easily be done from your living room.
While some hand weights wouldn’t go astray, you also don’t need a whole gym decked out to get into the program. No weights? Just grab some canned goods. No step? Your chair will do. Sam and the team have made working out so accessible, it’s hard to come up with excuses to say no.
The recipes are actually really good:
I never thought I’d be the person to be addicted to chocolate chip chickpea cookies. But here we are.
We’re done with the days of women feeling guilty about eating carbs, sugar, or fat. The 28 program embraces balance at its core: the motto of the whole program is “progress not perfection”. The app has a whole bunch of healthy recipes and healthier versions of all our fave treats too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live a life without chocolate or bread. Thankfully, Sam Wood knows that.
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The app features a bunch of extras from workouts to meditation:
From weight-based workout routines, to yoga, pilates, and even a running program, the app has it all. Have I managed to take up running in the last eight weeks? Absolutely not! But would I use the app if I did? I’m so sure of it.
The part I want to rave about the most, however, is the meditation app. I’ve always been one of those people who loves to read about everyone else’s wellness routine and unfortunately, it seems like to be successful and centred, you have to meditate. The thing is… I hate meditating. I find it so incredibly frustratingly BORING.
So, it’s safe to say I never thought the voice of Hamish Blake would get me into meditating. But the 28 app has some great mindfulness and meditation tracks (some narrated by Blake) and there are a lot of options under the 12-minute mark.
Now I won’t pretend like I was rolling out of bed and getting mindful straight away – I saved my meditation for bedtime, my LED mask on, and the most miraculous thing of all was how easy it made me fall asleep. As someone who has struggled with sleep and periods of insomnia since I was a teenager, it has been a heavenly addition to my routine.
The cons of the 28 Program.
The four rounds of exercise can sometimes feel a bit repetitive, mainly because Sam is just repeating the same thing every round. So if you’re someone who likes someone chanting at you during a workout without repeating themselves, it could get on your nerves pretty fast. Luckily for me, I tend to zone out while I’m working out so Sam repeating things like “the ducking squat… some 28ers have another name for this one!” four times in 28 minutes didn’t really get to me all that much.
Plus, if it really gets to you and you need a Sam break (sorry Sam), you can easily switch things up by doing the strength with Sarah videos, a pilates one, or a yoga one.
Other than that, there’s really not many cons. No, really. Trust me.
As you’ll learn doing the program, 28 minutes is just 4% of your day – and when you’re stuck in lockdown, having 28 minutes of complete mindlessness and only getting angry when you realise burpees are part of the workout routine is somehow priceless.
You can find out more about the 28 program here.