Returning to the gym after lockdown/quarantine won’t be as hard as you think, but it is vital that you keep a few things in mind. The LAST thing you would want after 4 months off is an injury, causing you to take more time off. That won’t happen because you have been doing all your stretching and mobility work right?… so that won’t happen…will it🤔? Not if I have anything to do about it. To streamline your return to the gym, I’m releasing a FREE RETURN TO THE GYM 2 WEEK GUIDE😱 Which you will be able to download at the end of this post.
Whether you are –
- Unsure of what the best are exercises to do.
- Feeling anxious and have anxiety about returning to the gym.
- Worried about what classes will be like.
- Worried about how busy the gyms will be after lockdown.
Here are my 5 DON’TS for returning to the gym after lockdown –
DON’T Max Out
I’m pretty sure this will be the first thing you’ll want to do. Get back into the gym and test your max squat, bench, deadlift, even bicep curl. Well, I wouldn’t recommend doing this straight away – work up to around 60-80% and get comfortable with the movements and show your body “look we are back now, let’s get ready to smash it”.
Your body is an amazing thing, it can adapt to pretty much any stressor you expose it to. On the other hand, it also adapts to the stressors you don’t show it, so this means over 4 months it will have adapted to not lifting heavier weight (unless you are a lucky one who has gym equipment at home).
Although! There is this brilliant thing called “muscle memory”, your body’s ability to relearn a skill. Your body will learn fast, so you just need to give it that initial lighter exposure before asking it to max out!
The program available at the end of this post covers this. Working on muscle activation, priming the body and building a strong foundation to build on.
DON’T Be Surprised At The Amount Of Soreness
Hands up…who has been running and doing more HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts during lockdown?🙋🙋♀️. Well, these styles of workouts focus more on different areas of training. Running is targeting more muscular and aerobic endurance and HIIT tends to be more pliometric and endurance. Coming back to the gym and adding more weight is going to be working on the strength element and this is going to shock the body.
Not that type of shock 🤣. This type of change in training is commonly used by coaches when clients hit plateaus and stop progressing, as it uses different types of muscle fibres. But when these changes are made there is always a transition phase. This transition phase is what we need when returning to the gym after lockdown.
Due to the fact that we are shocking the body, there is going to be more adaptation needed which will lead to more DOMS (delayed onset of muscular soreness) after workouts, especially in the first few weeks.
It isn’t just your muscles that will need to adapt, you will be putting a larger amount of stress through the tendons and joints with the extra load. So there is a chance of developing tendon issues or our joints aching and clicking if you don’t take the time to prime the body.
DON’T Leave Booking Classes To Last Minute
After talking to some of the gyms, the majority of gyms are going to be at 80% of their full capacity. However, with the fact that people are still working from home and have flexible hours, they aren’t expecting the peak times to be as busy as they would usually be. So there shouldn’t be too much of an issue at any point.
The main and Critical difference is for the people who like doing classes at the gym, like spin classes, yoga, body pump etc. Definitely look into your gym’s policy about booking onto classes. If you need to do it in advance, as there will be limited spaces to allow for social distancing.
DON’T Feel Like You Have To Go Back Yet
I know there is a lot of hype about gyms reopening and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worst than the New Year, New Me January Warrior Rush. That said, it doesn’t mean you have to go if you are feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable or have vulnerable people around you at home. Don’t feel pressured into going back.
You have survived 4 months without the gym, so an extra few won’t make that much difference. A lot of gyms are offering an extra two-month membership freeze to accommodate you if you don’t feel comfortable in returning.
If you are stuck for ideas when it comes to working out at home, but still don’t feel comfortable to go back to the gym yet, I’ve got a full home workout eBook available using nothing but a towel. This can spice up your workout routines and give you some fresh ideas.
Home Workout Guide – Time Under Tension
Home workouts may seem easy for the more experienced gym go-er. But this home workout guide will show you how it’s possible to keep your gains – no matter your experience level. This guide will also help you gain experience in resistance training. With a towel being the only piece of equipment you need. Now there’s no excuse!
As a Physiotherapist, I often have to come up with different exerc…
DON’T Be A Dick 🍆
It’s as simple as above – Don’t Be A Dick. Everyone in the gym wants to stay safe, no one wants to go on your sweat-covered equipment after you. If you can lift it off the rack you can put it back!🤬🤯😤😡 Can you tell what one of my main pet peeves are?
But seriously put them back. DON’T Be A Dick!
I really think after two weeks you will be able to train and workout, maybe not as heavy as before but to the same level of intensity. Your strength will come back. The body is an amazing thing and its ability to adapt along with muscle memory will have you hitting PB’s in no time.
Just be aware of others in the gym and if we all do our bit it will be just as good as normal. If you aren’t confident about returning, don’t feel pressured and if you need more home workout ideas. My “Only a Towel” home workout guide is available.
To get your 2 Week Return to the Gym Guide CLICK HERE!