A lot has changed in the months (& months) since the gyms were forced to close. We have seen some people smashing their lockdown fitness goals; turning into runners by taking on their 1st 5K, ordering equipment and creating their very own home gyms and joining in with countless Instagram Live workouts. Others have been taking a well deserved rest from all of that, because quite frankly who needs to put any extra pressure on themselves during an already pretty stressful time?
The time has now come that gyms are able to open (12th April) and for some people this is the best thing since sliced banana bread. For others, there is likely some trepidation about going back. Whether you choose to return immediately or wait a little longer, our friends at PhD Nutrition have given us some helpful things to consider for a successful return to the gym.
As keen as you may be to get back into your previous routine, things might not be the way they were before lockdown. Your gym will have implemented new rules and measures.
Social distancing is here to stay. Equipment will be spaced out to make sure everyone stays 2 metres apart and you will have to wipe down all the equipment you use. You might have to have your temperature checked upon arrival. Booking time slots for your training in advance will become the norm as gym capacity will be limited.
As keen as you may be to get back into your previous routine, things might not be the way they were before lockdown. Your gym will have implemented new rules and measures. Social distancing is here to stay. Equipment will be spaced out to make sure everyone stays 2 metres apart and you will have to wipe down all the equipment you use. You might have to have your temperature checked upon arrival. Booking time slots for your training in advance will become the norm as gym capacity will be limited. Don’t let those changes ruin the fun of returning though. Remember, these measures are in place to keep everyone safe, so grab your gym bag and your favourite PhD supplements and go smash that workout.
Don’t Go Too Hard Too Soon
Keep in mind that you probably haven’t used proper gym equipment and heavy weights for 4 months plus in some cases. You will have to build your strength back up gradually. There is no point in pushing your body too far too soon, as you will risk injuries and possibly landing back on your sofa again. Your body will need time to re-adjust, so start off by using lower weights, reducing the reps and planning for more rest time between sets.
Stick to the Basics
Your fitness level may not be the same as before lockdown; other people will be in the same boat as you so don’t worry. Start off slowly and gradually build your fitness back up. That also means sticking to more basic movements. Remember, over the last 4 months you have likely done body weight workouts, runs and worked with little weight. Stick to similar movements and avoid aiming for any PB’s in your first few sessions back.
Plan Your Workout
What really matters is that you show up and enjoy your workout. Even if you go to the gym and the workout isn’t as you initially planned, it doesn’t matter; any workout is better than none. Why not listen to your favourite playlist for that motivational boost.
Focus on Nutrition
Make sure you focus on the right nutrition before and after your workout. Especially after time off and less intense workouts, it is essential to fuel your body with the right nutrition to assist recovery and minimise muscle soreness.
Check out these recipes to include protein to optimise recovery and support muscle regeneration post workout.
Mobility is Key
Make sure you spend a good amount of time warming before you work out and don’t forget to cool down after your workout. It may seem simple, but it’s definitely one of those things that we think we can skip and then regret the next day.
If you are stuck for ideas on workouts, or aren’t quite ready to hit the gym just yet, check out our Tough Mudder training guides for some great ideas to get you started.