Apr 1, 2020
UNC trainer gets creative with home workouts during coronavirus

The University of North Carolina football team is blending current technology with an old-school approach to workouts while players are home for the foreseeable future during the coronavirus pandemic.

home workouts, covid-19
Photo: Shawn Henning / Creative Commons

According to a story from The Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s strength and conditioning coach Brian Hess has gotten creative in leading remote optional team workouts. Combining Zoom calls with backpacks filled with books and substituting household items like water jugs for dumbbells, the Tar Heels have taken a “make lemonade” approach to staying fit during this self-quarantine.

“We have a program for those that have no gym, and with that we just get a backpack and make it as heavy as you can,” Hess said to The Daily Tar Heel via a video press conference. “We’re going through and treating this as a ‘No weight room’ lift, because that’s the majority of our guys right now, and we’re taking that one as the team lift.”

Hess went on to tell The Daily Tar Heel that student-athletes who choose to take part in the workouts meet multiple times a week on a Zoom video conference call, where he leads a workout that is, now, ever-changing. While the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in everyone’s day-to-day lives, strength and conditioning coaches included, Hess has drawn on past experiences of leading workouts remotely. One of his first jobs came with Harvard University‘s strength and conditioning staff, where he led summer video classes while student-athletes completed summer internships and did not have access to high-level weight rooms.

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“Our take on programs over the summer [back then] was always that you had to include a bodyweight section of it, or a makeshift workout,” Hess told The Daily Tar Heel. “I have that background, and immediately just went to some of the things that I had done there.”

To read the full story on how UNC’s Brian Hess is making the most of self-quarantine workouts during this coronavirus outbreak, click here. 

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