As lockdown started I noticed more and more people turning to fitness, using it as an emotional outlet, maybe even becoming a lifeline to some, allowing people time outside away from the stresses of isolation. I knew that the moment restrictions began to lift I wanted to document how people’s training evolved throughout the lockdown period and how in some cases it had inspired others to start. 

I started reaching out to people in my local area with the idea that I would photograph people training in public spaces from a safe distance. People’s mental health has been a huge topic of discussion and it seems for all of my subjects training has a played a vital role in helping them though isolation.

“Movement and dance to me is that magic little string that holds everything together. The focus of my practice combines the tenets of yoga, chinese medicine, martial arts and dance. Finding the play, calming feelings of tension and anxiety, all the while building the foundations for a resilient body that can carry me through life. No injury is purely physical and we have to have presence with our inner world. This is why even pre-lockdown being in tune with my bodily sensations is paramount. When I don’t move I’m stagnant, when I move I’m effortlessly free to express.”

Georgie, Contempoary Dancer

“Training keeps me sane during the chaos that is lockdown. It’s not always easy to motivate myself but I’ve been able to work on my weaknesses and resilience.”

Flo, Crossfitter

“After lockdown was enforced, I have really enjoyed running through an unusually quiet central London. I live in a small flat with no garden, working my long hours at home. The hour run each day has been a real escapism and provided new goals and objectives to focus on”

Alex, Running

“As opposed to running, cycling doesn’t have as many problems with the social distancing rules when out by yourself. Whereas parks are now more than ever packed with joggers and pavements not wide enough for just one walker, cycling is naturally distanced from pedestrians which gives a sense of normality in these strange times. Once the working day is finished, and with the evenings growing longer, it’s possible to extend a ride into the leafy countryside of Kent or Surrey from my home in South London and still be back in time for a cool beer and some well deserved grub. Let alone the 2-3 hours of steady exercise, the escapism itself is worth it for the headspace after being cooped up in a bedroom-cum-office all day.”

James, Cyclist

“As work came to a halt due to an un expected turn of events that we had no control over, I turned my attention to training, something I have complete control over and something I’ve loved all my life. It became my cornerstone, my anchor of my daily routine and has forced me to look at training more objectively and allowed me to set new goals.”
– Sam , Callisthenics

“Training for me is non-negotiable. It’s part of me and something that I will always love. I’m lucky enough to have access to a garden and managed to get hold of a few bits of equipment just before lock down hit. Training hasn’t been drastically different for me, but I have had to adapt.

I’ve competed in sport all my life and have a very competitive nature. The fact all competitive sport was brought to a hault actually never really phased me. Because I will always have a form of competiton regardless of the situation, and that competition is myself. The enjoyment, the buzz and the desire to be able to perform the best that I can is what drives me. And is why I’ll never stop.

It can of course sometimes be more difficult to get motivated to train at home than at the gym, but there’s just something inside me that won’t let me stop. For me it’s like an inate personality, so regardless of the limitations I’d always find a way to train.

It’s very much a mindset. Having restrictions imposed on you may mean shifting the focus of training, but it doesn’t change your motive. I’d say that’s what has kept me so driven during lock down – being able to shift my focus to components of fitness and performance that I can currently work on, rather than focusing on what I can’t do.”

Jason Coultman – Strength Coach