After more than three months of lockdown we are finally getting back into the gyms! Wahoo!
However, for your own safety, loading that barbell back to the pre-Covid weight may not be your best idea. To avoid injury, burnout and reduce the anxiety many of us feel, here is our guide to getting back into the gym post lockdown.
Take it Easy
In the early days your excitement to be back in the gym may get the better of you, but we really recommend you take it easy. As tempting as it may be to do two hours of cardio or a full body weights session every day of the week, odds are your muscles won’t be able to handle it after being on you bum too much at home. Be kind to yourself (physically and mentally) and don’t expect to compare now to your pre lockdown numbers. Just focus on pushing yourself a little but more each week.
As you are rebuilding your strength, don’t try to build Rome in a day. It takes time to build up to certain levels, as you will have to chip away at it bit by bit again to avoid injury. It is not recommended that you increase your weights or cardio by more than 10% per week. This is however a general rule, so it may not be applicable for everyone. You need to make sure you are going at your pace, not your friends. This may mean 10% increases may be too much for you. Always remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Try Something New
With many of us falling into new (or no) patterns at home, exercise can be feeling a little “meh” right now. Skip what doesn’t excite you and try something new that fires up your brain! Yoga, Pilates, HIIT or even a walk with your friend. You might even discover a new love, or at the vert least challenge yourself with new movements and techniques.
Set a New Goal
NOW is the time to set a new goal! By setting a realistic goal with a set timeframe and an action plan will help you reconnect with the underlying reason you want to go to the gym and what you want to achieve.
Ask the Experts
Whether you have a favourite Personal Trainer to train with, or you have never trained with one before, this is a great time to engage with an expert and get a program specifically designed for you and your goals.
Embrace the New Normal
The world has changed. Your routine might be different, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you aren’t able to make it to the gym. Instead, take advantage of the new training solutions created due to lockdown, such as online pilates, online coaching and so much more. Things are going to look and feel different, but in many cases these changes create more opportunity.
It is very important that you are recovering. This doesn’t just include foam rolling and stretching. It includes consuming enough calories, having at least eight (8) hours sleep, dealing with your stress levels and so much more!
Do you need help with some niggles associated with returning to the gym, we are here to help.
Written by Anouska Symons (Physiotherapy)