July 14, 2020
Getting Back To The Gym
It’s finally here. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s right, soon, the gyms are going to be open.
But perhaps a more pertinent question to ask ourselves, is not when will gyms open.
Rather; “What will I do once they open?”.
The answer depends on you, and what you’ve done during quarantine. Nevertheless it is crucial to approach our return to the gym with a healthy dose of caution.If we haste our return, it is likely that injuries, plateaus and a general bad time will ensue…
If you had a solid workout routine during quarantine, then it isn’t as much a concern. Still there are a couple of important factors to pay attention to…
It is likely that you’ve utilized a high rep scheme during your time away from the gym, to compensate for the lack of heavy weights. I commend you for that. Now aim for the same effect when getting back in the weightroom. Keep the weight light, and the reps high. Challenge yourself by increasing the rep count rather than weight. Give it a few weeks and you’ll likely be good to get back to whatever program you wish. In fact, you will probably come out better, and realize that you now have better control on all of your lifts!
If you have been inactive throughout quarantine, then the story is a little different…
I would suggest taking a couple of weeks to just get back into exercising… it can be anything from getting on a bike, to doing calisthenics (but no running). Rebuild the habit of fitness. In fact, I would recommend you to do that for 30 days. That’s right, dedicate the next month to getting back in your groove, it doesn’t matter as much what you do, as long as you do something… What you should absolutely NOT do, is load up the same weight that you had pre-quarantine, within the first ten minutes of entering the gym… I would urge you to stay away from the free weights, until you feel like you’re back in the groove. How can you tell when you’re finally back in the groove?
Here are a couple of tell tales/movements that you should own before you are ready to step back in the weightroom;
If any of these exercises cause you pain/discomfort or if you are struggling with them…you are not ready to hit the weights. Own those movements, for double digit reps, without discomfort and then progress to the weightroom.
Regardless of the position you are currently in, there are some necessary ground rules to keep if you plan on getting back to the gym and staying there for the long haul…
Drop the ego; You aren’t going to outlift anybody anytime soon(or at least you shouldn’t). Takeit nice and easy.
Stretch/Roll after every workout; You will be sore! Do not let tightness/stiffness accumulate inyour body, address it before it becomes an issue.
Properly warm up; Again, your body will need some time getting used to the “new old”stimulus. For some it might be faster, others longer. Listen to your body. If you need a 20min warmup, so be it. This isn’t the time to power through.Whatever you do, get a proper warmup!
Do not start with running; Look, i get it. Some of you like to warm up by running. Find anotherway to warm up, at least until you get back into resistance training. Running carries a high risk, and if you’re deconditioned, the stakes are raised even higher. The high likelihood of rolling an ankle, spraining a knee or a million other possibilities is not a good look.
Go easy on the volume; I would cringe if I saw one of my clients at the gym everyday, on thefirst week of reopening. 3-4 times a week would do you just fine for now. If you feel inclined to get back to your 6-day split routine in a month, be my guest. Now is not the time. Give your body enough time to recover.
Your appetite will grow; Unless you’ve been active during quarantine, chances are that yourbody demanded less calories. Understand that you will be hungry as you start hitting the gym, eat accordingly…
Have fun; If you previously had the notion that exercising equals torment, now is the time tochange that mindset… start anew, find a way to make it fun.
If you are looking to make a smooth transition back to the gym, and want to maximize your time and effort, reach out to me.
Personal trainer/Nutrition coach