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Personal trainer reveals how to use a paint tin, an Esky container and a towel for home workouts

A personal trainer has revealed how she has replaced a paint tin, bricks and Esky lid for her usual gym equipment now that indoor fitness centres have been shuttered by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Rachel Dillon, who is based in Queensland, said that anything with resistance, that isn’t fragile or dangerous, and can be lifted easily, can be used as a substitute weight.

A coffee table, chair or large Esky container can double as a bench, the 26-year-old told, a paint tin can replace free weights, bricks can act as dumbbells, and if you can get your hands on resistance bands you can use your own bodyweight. 

‘But make sure to test them before going full throttle. A simple towel is also a great prop for moves such as hamstring curls, core rollouts, and stretching,’ she said.

Ms Dillon said that usual gymgoers might be used to using heavier weights, so you’ll need to alter your training regime to get the most out of a home workout. 

‘Minimise rest between sets and increase training volume (do more reps/sets than usual). Another great way to mix up your training is to add explosive moves that don’t require any equipment, such as jump squats, alternating jump lunges, or burpees,’ she said.

‘Do what you can, have fun challenging yourself to new ways of training and remember that any movement beats no movement.’

One of her favourite full body circuits requires only something heavy – like a dumbbell – and a skipping rope.

It involves skipping to fire up the heart rate, dumbbell lunges, push ups, rotating squat jumps and shoulder taps.

Ms Dillon grew up playing sports and was always very active, but had a ‘petite build’ she wanted to work on.

‘When I first started exercising I was your typical cardio bunny. Spin classes were my favourite,’ she said on her website. 

‘I was gradually introduced to weight training and quickly fell in love with it. I loved the feeling of becoming fitter and stronger. I never tracked a macro or followed a nutrition plan – my focus was just on eating clean foods.’

She noticed her body, particularly her glutes, legs and arms, slowly bulking, and after entering two bikini competitions – in 2016 and 2017 – she gained considerable muscle mass the following year.

‘I had put a lot of work into my 2017 comp and had dieted pretty hard. Rather than reverse dieting, I found myself over-indulging to compensate for feeling so restricted,’ she said.  

‘At the time my maintenance calories were quite low and weight gain was happening easier than usual. Although I was gaining weight, I was also training really hard! 

‘I had amazing levels of energy and strength and I really benefited from this. I built a lot of quality muscle and established a great foundation.’ 

These days the bikini world champion eats anywhere between five and six meals a day, totalling between 2000 and 2500 calories.

‘I try to live by the 80/20 rule, where I eat healthily 80 per cent of the time and treat myself the remaining 20 per cent,’ she told FEMAIL previously.

‘I also tend to eat high protein and high fat in the evenings, and carbs around my training times.’ 

Ms Dillon’s advice for women who want to get a feminine but toned body is to quit dieting and ‘stop cutting carbs, protein and fats’ from your daily intake:

‘I always recommend my clients increase their calories incrementally so that they tone up – you just need to know what sort of calories to eat.

‘I also avoid any processed foods and too much sugar,’ she said. 


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