Lockdown has been long and some of us have not exercised regularly in a while. Maybe the odd zoom fitness class, doing some push-ups in your bedroom, or maybe a little jog around the block kept you going.
It’s true that our bodies will have a form of muscle memory when we finally get back to the gym and start lifting weights again.
Although not able to lift the same amount of weight pre-lockdown, it’s a bit like riding a bike, your form might be a little bit wobbly when you get back on the machines or using dumbbells again, but give it time and you’ll be back to where you were.
Here’s a few things to consider when returning to exercise.
1. You’ll struggle to lift the same amount of weight as before, check your ego and dial it back. Its very common to want to get back stuck into it again especially after such a long time off. Your brain is going to want to say ‘Go on, just one more plate’, or ‘Ah I used to be able to lift that, lets see if I still can’. Just pause for a second, think about it, is risking an injury worth it right now which would set me back even further? Probably not.
2. Frequency and Intensity, just pace yourself. Before lockdown you may have been going 3/4 times a week. Had a regular system in place and training with a very high intensity, huffing and puffing and giving it your all. Yes it’s true that bringing your body back into a form of regular exercise will be massively beneficial and you’re going to feel good from it with all those endorphins flooding back. But remember those aches and pains the next day? It’s definitely going to feel sore again. Maybe just spend a little bit longer in between training days to allow your body to heal sufficiently before going at it again, and don’t forget to stretch after your workout!
3. Have a plan, now’s the best time. Sometimes a little time off can be good for us, allowing our body to recover and heal is sometimes what we need. To enter the gym environment again could be a good opportunity for a fresh start, maybe it’s time to change around the exercises you usually do, I know a lot of people are guilty of doing the same workout over and over and over again and wondering why they’re never seeing results. Now would be a good time to get a plan together, set your days and times to workout, perhaps an app that records your training, there’s so many helpful information out there, just don’t go back into the gym and say, ‘Right, what am I doing again?’
4. Time to invest in a Trainer? Ok It’s been a while, you’re a little bit nervous to step foot back in the gym, you can’t remember where anything is or what exercises to do. Simple answer, hire a professional. Personal Trainers are actually there to help you and they really enjoy doing it, that’s why they do the job. They can seem a bit intimidating sometimes or perhaps you’re worried they’ll judge you – far from it! A lot of trainers have had years of experience in working with all sorts of people from absolute beginners to specialist populations. They can help you put a program in place, help with your form and technique as well as provide that motivational boost to help you see results. Maybe it’s time to invest in yourself?