Train Like Zorro
Katelyn Sander

Train Like Zorro

Living Well

Zorro always has a high bounty on his head. So, Zorro needs to be stealth, powerful, quick, nimble, and strong. So why wouldn’t you want to train like Zorro?!

My actual point, however, is that Zorro wears a mask.

Some of you are choosing to wear masks in various places and for various activities – including your workouts. 

Wearing a mask mitigates the risk that an unwitting carrier of a virus will infect someone else. It can also make it more challenging to breathe and dissipate heat and sweat from your face. 

Lucky for us, the scientists are on it. The schools are closed, so there are no large-scale studies happening yet – but the scientists are sweating it out themselves and have some solid anecdotal evidence and insights to share:

  1. Some scientists reported feeling zero adverse effects. The masks were a little uncomfortable at first, but once they adjusted, they were able to exercise with no adjustments.
  2. Some found their heart rates to be 8-10 beats per minute higher. 
  • The adaptations here are easy: you can slightly lower intensity of the exercise, or reduce the duration of any set or high intensity interval and increase the rest time. 
  • If an elevated heart rate is a risk for you, please choose moderate to low intensity activities for the workouts when you are wearing a mask.
  1. Some found their breathing changed. Breath rate was sometimes a little faster or seemed more onerous. A very few experienced lightheadedness. Individuals with low blood pressure or sensitive blood sugar levels might be more susceptible to this side effect. 
  • As you workout, inhale and exhale as purposefully and fully as possible. Take care when moving from a seated or lying to standing exercise. If you start to feel a little lightheaded, put your weights down, slow your run to a walk, get off your bike, and find somewhere to sit or a stable object to hang onto.
  1. Zorro’s Picks: The scientists also have specific suggestions for the mask you wear:
  • The ideal workout mask is made from cloth composed of breathable, synthetic fibers.
  • Cotton masks – as the above choice – can be very breathable. Note that cotton will dampen easily.
  • Choose masks that are light and have 2 layers of fabric or less – this will mitigate overheating and allow more air to pass.
  • Neck gaiters were a preferred choice for some as they cover the mouth and nose, but are open at the bottom allowing for air flow and heat dissipation. These may not be as effective in terms of controlling transmission. (Please don’t dust off your ski gaiter! Find one in a light fabric!)
  • Avoid paper or surgical masks altogether during exercise.

exercise during home quarantine - woman wearing medical face mask and exercising yoga in home isolation (1 of 1)

  • If exercising intensely for more than 30 minutes, you may need a back-up mask.
  • When removing your mask, avoid touching the front.
  • Remove, pack, or dispose of the used mask carefully, and immediately wash your hands.

Inspiration of the Day

“When you're singing, you're using extra muscles, and it requires a lot of exercise and breathing. You can't do that if you're a sissy. If I have any fitness advice for people, I'd tell them to sing more. It's good therapy, too.”  - Willie Nelson

Classes of the Day

Today we’ve got a couple of classes on the schedule.


Today, Matt’s ready to bring you your lunchtime pick-me-up! This class will focus on the shoulder, hip, and ankle, moving you through a full range of motion. There will be additional stability work for the glutes and core included!

Join Matt at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the class.

Meeting ID: 892 2779 8538
Password: 903005


Garth’s back with another week of On Core, where you’ll challenge your core and stabilize your trunk in just 30 minutes!

Recommended equipment: light/medium dumbbell or weighted object (water bottle, book, etc.)

Join Garth at 5:30pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the class.

Meeting ID: 868 1155 7138
Password: 998132


Click here to review this week’s schedule.

If you have any questions about our virtual classes, please reach out to Lauren.

Event of the Week

Just a reminder about the perfect event for those of you looking for a training goal this summer! The TAC is proud to continue its partnership with the Toronto Triathlon Festival (TTF) this July and while this season’s downtown race has been cancelled due to COVID-19, the TTF has done a wonderful job putting together the 2020 Virtual TTF, which runs from July 10th – 19thCheck out this short 2 minute video

Take part in unique online events throughout the week hosted by triathlete stars Simon Whitfield, Paula Findlay and more and on Friday, July 17th, cook live alongside Stratus’ very own Sous Chef George Vavaroutsos, as he shows us all how to whip up a pre-race pasta dinner right from his own kitchen.

Athletes participating in the Virtual TTF will race on their own - indoors or outdoors - and can choose among a few triathlon and duathlon distances. All legs of an athlete's race must be completed during the July 10th – 19th race period. For more information on the Virtual TTF and how to register, click here.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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