A local para-lifter champion is refusing to let self-isolation stop her from progressing, dramatically changing her routine and setting up a 'gym' to keep lifting at home.
23-year-old Rachel Leck, who made history last November when she picked up Jersey’s first English Champion title in para-lifting, has had to remain at home since returning to the island from abroad - but says she won't let isolation get in the way of her goals.
As one of the athletes on the Power2Podium Programme, which aims to prove that Jersey can produce athletes able to compete at high level, Rachel normally trains at the Jersey Sport Foundation Performance Facility at Fort Regent.
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Video: Rachel's first training session in her home gym.
But with the facility being closed and having to self-isolate, she has had to train at home - something which is not easy without the right equipment.
Luckily, the Jersey Sport Foundation dropped a barbell, a few plates, dumbbells of different weights, and a kettlebell to her house to enable her to set up a gym in her hall.
Rest assured, though, Rachel says she kept her distance during the delivery and even wiped all the equipment with disinfectant wipes “just to be extra safe” before taking them inside.
Pictured: The Jersey Sport Foundation dropped some equipment at Rachel's home.
“As my sport involves lifting heavy weights, it is very hard to do without the right equipment,” she explained. "I'm very grateful the Jersey Sport Foundation were able to provide the equipment so that I can continue my training and complete the more specific development exercises as well as the general preparatory exercises.”
With the help of her coach, Sam Morris, the young athlete has adapted her training routine to take advantage of the fact she can train more often and choose whether she wants to train in the morning, at lunchtime or in the evenings as she can just walk up across the hall where her home gym is set up.
“Although I am sticking to the evenings for now to try and keep my routine similar, the only difference is I now have a pre-workout snack before my session and dinner afterwards whereas I used to have dinner before my sessions,” Rachel said.
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Video: Rachel and her coach have adapted her training routine.
“We have adjusted the type of specific development exercises to what we can do without a bench or rack, but the majority of the exercises stay the same,” she added.
“My mum also has lots of meals in the freezer, so my food hasn't changed too much - maybe a few takeaways here and there to support local businesses during this time.”
While she can’t see her coach during her training sessions, Rachel is in touch with him on a daily basis via email. They also use Zoom – a video conferencing platform – to do video calls every week.
Pictured: Rachel and her coach Sam Morris at the English Para Grand Prix in Milton Keynes last year.
To keep in touch with the other athletes, she turns to via social media on Facebook or Instagram to “see how everyone is getting on and adapting their training!”
To fill up the rest of her days, Rachel says she is lucky to be able to work from home. “…That keeps me busy for the majority of the day from 09:00 to 17:00!"
She added: “I'm trying to get outside for half an hour in my garden at lunchtime to read a book, get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine while it is here, as it’s the only place I can go outside as I'm currently in self isolation for two weeks after returning from a few days holiday in Cyprus!”
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