It’s been 126 days since gyms and fitness centres had to close. 4 months during which many people have turned into runners, ordered equipment to turn the living room into a makeshift gym and have made use of books and milk cartons as weight substitutes.
After countless Zoom workouts at home or in the park, or maybe after taking a rest period, the time has come to return to the gym. You will no longer have to work out in your living room, unless you want to.
Whether you choose to return to the gym immediately or wait a little longer, here are some things to consider for a successful return to the gym.
As keen as everyone is to get back into their previous routine, things might not be the way they were before lockdown, as 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 and finally putting some weights on that barbell. Grab your gym bag and your favourite supplements and head back to the gym. Who else is ready to lift a barbell for the first time in months or jump on that spin bike?
Don’t go too hard, too soon
Keep in mind that you haven’t used proper gym equipment and heavy weights for almost 4 months. 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 adjust to the new workout, so consider 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 and gym closures; other people will be in the same boat as you so don’t worry. In returning to the gym, it all comes down to slowly restarting and gradually building your fitness back up.
That also means sticking to more basic movements. Remember, over the last 4 months you have done bodyweight workouts, runs and worked with little weight. Stick to similar movements and avoid aiming for that squat PB or advanced gymnastic movements in your first session back.
Plan your workout
Before heading back to the gym, plan your workout to make sure you are making the most of your time in the gym. Why not start with the exercises you have missed the most? After 4 months at home, that might just be a deadlift, squat or jumping on a rower.
And don’t forget to book a time slot in your gym, otherwise you might not be able to enter, or you may need to queue.
Have fun in the gym
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!
Bring your favourite playlist for that motivational boost and if you still need some extra workout motivation, try our range of Pre-Workouts – a great way to boost your energy levels and focus.
Focus on nutrition
Make sure you focus on the right nutrition before and after your workout. Especially after some time off and less intense workouts, it is essential to fuel your body with the right nutrition to assist recovery and minimise muscle soreness.
The consumption of BCAA’s before, during and after your workout is a great way of reducing muscle soreness. By delivering essential amino acids, products such as Intra BCAA+ can assist in the muscle rebuilding process.
Protein shakes post workout are a great way to optimise recovery and support muscle regeneration.
Mobility is key
Make sure to spend a good amount of time warming up for the workout you have planned and don’t forget to cool down after your workout.