With gyms still closed and sport banned across the country, Australians have been forced to find new ways to keep fit in isolation.
But Brisbane man Tim Franklin has taken home workouts to a whole new level.
The ultra-endurance athlete recently completed two “ridiculous” fitness challenges – an indoor marathon and Mt Everest hike – all without leaving his apartment block.
“I set out a 21 metre course and ran 2010 laps, all inside my apartment,” Mr Franklin laughed.
“It took six hours and 46 minutes – at that stage it was an unofficial world record.”
But completing an indoor marathon of 42 kilometres wasn’t enough for Mr Franklin.
His next task was completing a simulation of the world-famous hike from base camp to the peak of Mt Everest.
“In the fire escape in my apartment block, I climbed the same elevation as if you were climbing from base camp to the top of Mt Everest,” he said.
“I ran up the flight of stairs, eight levels, 161 times up and down.
“The apartment marathon was the hardest mental thing I’ve done, but this was the hardest mental and physical thing I’ve done – it hurt a lot.”
Though Mr Franklin makes it sound easy, the reality is lockdown has been tough for the dedicated athlete.
“The COVID-19 lockdown flipped my world upside down – I lost a majority of my income overnight,” he said.
“But instead of having a pity party, I wanted to do some activities to stay active and positive.
“The support from the general public has been amazing. Lots of people have left comments thanking me for inspiring them to keep moving. That’s why I’m doing it.”
Mr Franklin is among millions of Australian gym members finding new ways to exercise during the pandemic.
Since gyms were closed six weeks ago, about 86 per cent of Fitness Australia gym members have kept up regular exercise, an analysis found.
Of those still working out, 36 per cent said they were walking or running, and 29 per cent said they were doing their own yoga, Pilates or strength training sessions at home.
But Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said while people remained active during isolation, many were missing the gym and looking forward to getting back to their regular routines.
“For many, the gym is also more than just a place to exercise,” Mr Elvish said.
“It’s a social environment with more than 24 per cent of respondents saying the sense of community was their reason for maintaining or renewing their membership.”