Lockdown Lowdown: How BASE Founder & CEO Jack Thomas is staying active at home

As Bangkokians go through another round of lockdown, they have creatively adapted their homes to function as offices, gyms, art studios, and so much more. In our Lockdown Lowdown series, we talk to professionals from different areas of life to discuss how they are keeping on with their careers, what they are doing to stay sane during the new normal, and give us tips on how to live a better life at home.

For gym rats and fitness junkies, working out without the usual gym equipment isn’t exactly ideal. Though people have come up with inventive ways to keep up their fitness routines, many gyms have also adapted themselves to ensure clients are still active during the lockdown.

One of the few fitness studios that have spent the last 3 lockdowns keeping clients consistently fit is BASE. Through trial and error, they have found the perfect solution in adapting their in-person group classes into daily live Zoom sessions, which have been very popular throughout all stay-at-home periods. We spoke to BASE founder and CEO Jack Thomas about working out from home and how to maintain your fitness journey without a familiar gym environment.

[Hero/featured image credit: BASE Bangkok]

BASE Founder & CEO Jack Thomas

How have you been staying active at home?

The current climate has been hard as gyms and parks are closed, so I’ve had to get creative and develop a routine with kettlebell training, rowing on one of BASE’s rowers that I brought home, and some running in the streets.

Have you picked up any new activities during the lockdown?

I’ve always enjoyed rowing in BASE classes but I’ve never really done long-distance or endurance rowing. Me and some friends set up a challenge to row 100km in May and I just finished that with a half marathon row (21.1km), so that was certainly something new and tough for me!

What are some of your favourite home workouts?

Without a doubt, the kettlebell is my tool of choice when it comes to at-home training. They’re cheap, they last forever, and work all your muscle groups. The downside is that it takes some experience to use it properly and well, but once you learn the basics it’s a very powerful piece of kit.

What are some ways people can get creative with workout equipment at home?

Firstly, I recommend a little investment in some dumbbells or kettlebells. If you’re really stuck without any equipment then there’s still a lot you can do. Bodyweight movements such as bodyweight squats, lunges, push-ups, and pull-ups will develop strength. If you need to make these movements harder just pick up a chair, a bag full of books, or a dog to load the muscles more. As you get stronger, pick up heavier things.

Image credit: BASE Bangkok

What is the first thing you’d like to do when gyms reopen?

Do a monster BASE session with my friends!

Any general advice for people who are just getting started on their fitness journey during this time?

Two big tips to those starting out now: start slow and get some accountability. Set a realistic goal that you know you can achieve, such as walking for 15 minutes per day for 7 days, and get some friends or a coach involved so you have someone checking in on you. Do some basic beginner workouts online – such as our free BASE Anywhere workouts on YouTube – and gradually build up the pace and intensity. The first few weeks are always tough but then you start feeling good and it all gets much easier and more enjoyable.

Image credit: BASE Bangkok

How has BASE evolved through the lockdown and what are your future plans after the new normal?

Through Bangkok’s 3 lockdowns we’ve evolved in many ways. We’ve taken the opportunity to work on the business and prepare it for growth post-Covid and the team has worked hard to develop many online training options and platforms to help our clients stay strong and our coaches stay busy. It’s been a very difficult 12 months but we know there will be a massive fitness rebound once things have improved. We’re pumped for the future of the industry and BASE and that excitement helps get the team through the tough days of lockdown.


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