The time has finally come to begin your return to the gym. However, with so many resorting to running and body weight workouts during the Provincial closure, what does a return really look like?
The good news is that our bodies can, and will, regain strength and muscle in a relatively short period of time with the right training plan. The bad news is that it’s not uncommon to get far too excited and end up setting yourself back by doing too much, too soon.
To help you, we have compiled some tips to keep in mind for once you decide to step back into training:
Take it easy – really easy. Spend the first 1-2 weeks priming your body to return. This is especially important for those who have had no access to using weights or have not been exercising nearly close to their regular level of effort.
You want to be working with weights that feel a bit silly to even be considered moderately heavy. This is because the first week back, you’re not focused on regaining all your muscle immediately and hitting PRs, you are reminding your body of what it used to do and what is to come in the weeks following this period.
Keep your repetitions high and weight low. Focus on proper movement technique, bracing your core and breath.
Focus on setting aside time for the gym, getting the motions in and giving your muscles a friendly nudge that your months long hiatus is coming to an end.
If you take the opposite approach of challenging yourself starting on day one, you’ll be in for a rude awakening the next morning. Let’s focus on longevity over intensity!
Stay moving on your rest days! It sounds counterintuitive, but if you are very sore and feeling like you cannot do another workout, go for an easy walk or participate in a mobility/stretch session instead. It will help you feel better compared to if you just choose to remain still the whole day.
To avoid doing too much too soon, schedule your workouts to ensure success. Incorporate a dynamic warm-up to prepare your body for movement and reduce your likelihood of injury
It may be hard to get the motivation to do anything after that first workout back, but remember it is going to be uphill from here.
Get your sleep in! Sleep hours are your true recovery hours, let your body take it is time to reset. You may even start to feel more tired at the end of the day once you return to the gym, listen to your body, and get in that extra hour if needed.
Hydrate and fuel! Drink more water and do not make this the time to cut calories. Water and food will help you recover far more efficiently, and you will need it as you transition back into your regular routine and habits.
Have Fun! Having a routine and being committed is important, but do not forget to have fun. The time off has been an exercise in gratitude for us all and let’s make it a goal to come into the gym with the mentality of “I am grateful to have this opportunity.” Add your favorite exercises to your routine and participate in your favorite classes when you return. Remember to seek advice from a Fitness Professional if you are looking for a personalized program or battling an injury.
Now more than ever we truly see how much we should appreciate the time we can set aside for our health and wellness and we hope to see you soon!