Getting back to the gym
The news we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. Rearranging furniture to accommodate your home workouts will soon be a thing of the past. Ladies and Gentlemen, drum roll please…… As part of the Prime Minister’s road map to the lockdown exit, gyms are expected to reopen on 12th April. Will it or wont it be a mad rush to get back to the gym? Perhaps home workouts will continue to be part of your routine. It’s more likely that all that equipment we’ve recently bought will follow the same mothball path as the clunky exercise bike, the Bull-worker (google it, someone in your family has had one) and that household favourite, the ab cruncher. Maybe things are different this time. Especially as it’s about interactive sessions, kettlebells and resistance bands; but what is for sure, is that the gym will once again be open and available.
In all seriousness, is there anything that we should be thinking about when heading back to the gym? To help us prepare for the 12th April, we have caught up with Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer Daine Mitchell, to give us his knowledge and insights in getting back to training at the gym.
Daine’s Top 5 Tips to getting back to the gym:
- Start Slow - Bear in mind that you probably haven’t used heavy weights or been able to load your movements for quite a while now. This means you will have to build your strength back up gradually to prevent injury and be prepared to join the DOMS club. Start at around 40-60% of your previous weights for the first couple of weeks before increasing the weight and volume.
- Focus on the fundamentals - Your fitness level may not be the same as they previously were, but don’t worry, you won’t be the only one. Start slowly and keep things simple. Pick basic movements and fundamental movement patterns to start-off with, before trying anything too complex.
- Plan your workout - Consistency with training will build motivation and lead to results. Start by planning your workouts ahead of time. Making a plan and knowing what you are going to do, will make all the difference and prevent you from getting bored, frustrated, or leaving after only a couple of sets. Plan training sessions that you enjoy and that are fun. When you get back into the swing of things and your training mojo returns, you can then mix things up.
- Nail your nutrition - Fuelling your sessions will be important, especially if your lockdown training hasn’t been as intense. Making sure that you eat right pre and post workout will guarantee a great training session. It will also assist with recovery afterwards so you can return to the gym sooner with minimal muscle soreness. Aim to consume a protein and carbohydrate meal or snack 60-90 mins before training and a recovery shake within 30 mins afterwards.
- Recovery is key - Warming up and cooling down is another simple thing that you can do which will be super beneficial to your training and recovery. Stuck on zoom calls, being home school teachers and locked inside, will have more than likely reduced your normal activity levels. This could lead to tighter muscles and restricted mobility. Ensuring you warm up correctly, will be key to getting blood flowing around the body and preventing any injuries that could keep you from training even longer!
Getting back to ‘Normal’
It’s time to dust of that shaker, we are heading back to the gym. I hope that with all this extra time at home, you have been able to experiment more with real foods and finding various ways to either meet or increase your daily protein intake. As you head back to the gym, protein has never been more important. Potentially reduced or unconditioned muscles, coupled with the desire to return to pre-lockdown fitness and strength levels; protein is just what you need. To help provide this support in a convenient manner, we have launched some ‘back to the gym’ product bundles. These include Max Whey protein powder; perfect for mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack replacement or post sessions, to help your muscles repair and grow. For more on how Max Whey can help you, click here. Protein bars are also part of the ‘get back to gym’ bundle; a perfect treat without the cheat. Great tasting protein on your terms.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that these good times keep on coming. Start slowly, respect other gym users and stay safe. It won’t be long until the ‘new normal’ becomes just normal, once again.