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Photobombing cats and camera cockups: how lockdowns transformed my fitness routine

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The chaotic, weird world of online exercise had expanded my horizons – and kept my focus on fun

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Don DeLillo’s Underworld will always remind me of lockdown. Not because I have read either of them, but because I have been doing bicep curls with them most days since March. At 1.4kg and 1.35kg respectively, they make passable improvised hand weights.

Along with most of life, fitness has taken unexpected turns in 2020. Joe Wicks was a middle-ranked YouTuber eight months ago; now he is a national treasure with an MBE who has been on Desert Island Discs. Weighted hula hoops have been tipped as a hot Christmas gift. Of the million ways in which 2020 has changed our world, exercise is one of the few areas in which our horizons have expanded, rather than shrunk.

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