When heading back to the gym after lockdown (or any period away) it is important to ease yourself back in with caution.
Unless you have been able to replicate the weight and movement patterns you were using in the gym before your break away, it is likely you will have lost some strength, aerobic fitness and technique.
Remember that a lot of movement patterns in the gym are complex. A back squat for example is using your entire body, all coordinated together and then we throw in some weight! This is not easy stuff! And it should be treated with care.
Here are my top tips for returning to the gym:
- Leave your ego at home! It doesn’t matter what you were lifting before, or what your mate is lifting, take it slow and at a pace that suits your current ability.
- In the first few sessions back, aim for around 50% of what you were previously lifting. This will help you to ease back in, perfecting your form and reducing the risk of injury and muscle soreness.
- Warm up thoroughly including mobility work and stretch well after your session.
- Have a plan so you can train effectively.
- Think about the small stuff – ie breathing, foot placement and focus on how it feels instead of how much you are lifting.
- Take enough rest days to be able to recover properly.
- Hydrate and refuel well around your sessions.
- Be patient! Your strength and fitness levels will come back relatively quickly! It might feel like you are starting from scratch but muscle memory will come into play and you will soon be back to where you were before your break.
- Enjoy it! Train in a way that you love and focus on YOU and your goals
Need a session with a trainer to get you back on track? Speak to myself or one of the team at the gym to book one in.