BYU student athletes are getting creative with their workouts by using their limited resources to stay in shape and train for their upcoming seasons amidst the closure of gyms and campus facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gymnast Abby Boden Stainton returned home to California but remains in contact with her teammates and coaches through social media and group chats. She said her teammates have made an effort to stay connected and check in on each other online and update each other on what they are doing to stay busy. They have also encouraged each other to keep up on their specific workout programs.
“Our coaches have been super encouraging about staying in shape,” Stainton said. “We’ve had several teammates send different workouts they’ve done and loved. Our athletic trainers are super awesome and they’ve also sent us workouts we can do from home. There’s a lot of support and encouragement from each other. It’s been really helpful.”
BYU baseball’s Andrew Pintar has turned his garage in Spanish Fork, Utah, into a small gym.
“I have a few dumbbells, bands, a bench press, a pull-up bar, and I’ve just been being creative with what I’ve got,” Pintar said. “I spend a couple hours a day in there because it’s all I have right now.”
Pintar has also been going down to the ballpark when the weather is nice enough. He takes advantage when the sun is out by playing catch and hitting in the cages. Pintar is doing everything he can to stay in shape and remain ready for the next time he plays.
BYU volleyball’s Wil Stanley is also getting creative with the resources he has at his apartment in Provo. He credits the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Turreal Moore, with providing the team an effective home-workout sheet full of creative ideas. Stanley uses whatever he can find to fulfill such workouts.
“We use books, backpacks, towels,” Stanley said. “We’ll use doorframes to do sit ups or benchpress other people. It’s definitely been something new.”
The setter admits the unique experience has been helpful for him.
“It’s nice that we’re having to push ourselves,” Stanley said. “We don’t have Turreal or Shawn (Olmstead) or anybody coming in and saying, ‘Hey, you guys have to do this.’ It’s really going to show who took the time over this break to stay in shape and how dedicated everybody is.”
BYU swimmer Gwen Gustafson has been spending a lot of time running in order to stay in shape. Since pools are closed, several other swimmers have also turned to running as their primary source of cardio. Gustafson added that while some do have access to private pools, it can be hard to get in a productive workout in such a small pool.
“It’s really difficult for us right now because there are not a lot of things that are comparable to swimming,” Gustafson said.
Gustafson and her fiancé have been going on runs around Provo and the BYU campus. They have also been playing Pokémon GO at times to stay entertained while they complete their workouts.
BYU soccer’s Mikayla Colohan said her team has a specific program they’re following to stay in shape and keep up on workouts. The program includes various bodyweight workouts players can complete inside the house and cardio exercises they can do outside.
“I think everybody’s just trying to do the best they can within the limits,” Colohan said. “We have team meetings over Zoom and things like that, but as far as working out and training, it’s all on our own. So it’s a lot different.”
Student athletes will continue to find creative ways to train for their upcoming seasons no matter how long gyms and facilities remain closed.
“Everyone’s trying to do whatever they can to stay in shape,” Stanley said of his team. “It’s been really nice to see everyone really taking it seriously. Just because of what’s happening right now, it doesn’t mean we can’t get better and stronger.”