Read this before heading back to the gym
Monday 12th April is a date many avid gym goers and personal trainers would consider as big as Christmas this year. The gyms are reopening!
But before you sprint in to the gym and hop on to a squat rack or treadmill, read the below so you can be sure you’ll be safe and hitting your personal goals
Go in with a properly structured plan
I don’t mean a plan you got off the internet on Men’s / Women’s Health. These plans are not tailored to someone going in to the gym for either the first time or after a long period of time.
You need a plan that will progressively build you up to a level that will help you achieve your goal.
Alongside this, you want to have a way of tracking and seeing your progress. Without this it is very easy to deviate from a plan and do a workout that looked cool on Instagram.
Consider hiring a personal trainer
They’re there for a reason. Having a qualified coach who knows how to help you achieve your goal is going to be more beneficial than spending a year guessing what’s good and bad for you, getting injured, or making mistakes.
If you’re someone who needs accountability and proper guidance I really recommend a trainer. Every gym will have a list of personal trainers working there. Contact them and see who suits you best.
People are too busy worrying about themselves to be focused on you
Gym fear is a real thing. I’ve seen it so many times. Fact is that everyone is way too concerned about themselves to even see you there.
The gym is full of like minded people and a common misconception is that if someone overweight enters the gym then everyone will look at them and mock them. In my experience, it is the complete opposite. Everyone is supporting your new found goal and desire to better yourself. The gym is somewhere where everyone wants to see you succeed.
Take it slower than you think
I’m sure you know that going too hard too quick is going to lead to serious muscle soreness the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, and probably the day after that.
Your body has not been exposed to this level of stimulus for months now. Even if you’ve been firing off 100 press ups a day, a heavy bench press is still going to leave you tender. The reason for this is because you’re causing what’s called mechanical stress (using extra weight), rather than metabolic stress (higher reps with low weight).
Build up to the amount of days a week you’re hitting the gym. Start it off 2/3 times a week and build back up to however many you were doing before. Too many sessions too quick and your body is not going to enjoy the amount of stress occurring, especially if you can’t recover well enough with good sleep and nutrition.
Do full body workouts to start
The temptation to smash a legs session or a chest workout first day back is high, I get it.
But I can guarantee you’re going to struggle to perform other lifts the next day or day after due to the soreness.
Working full body allows you to hit all muscle groups but without over fatiguing a specific muscle group.
Doing this over 3 days gives enough time for you to hit all muscle groups over the week and stimulate muscle growth.
Gyms have never been cleaner
As someone who works in a gym and sees what happens behind the scenes, there is SO MUCH cleaning done by all the staff and everyone using equipment.
Nobody wants the gym to close again so nobody is taking any risks in allowing there to be an excuse to close.
This period has highlighted how many gyms were not overly sanitary, and members now demand a high level of hygiene for a gym. Whatever a member needs to feel safe, staff are going to do.
Amazingly, gyms were very low on transmissions of coronavirus before each lockdown, showing that it is a safe environment to be in.
Additionally, gyms are naturally well ventilated which is a huge plus.
Hopefully these tips and comments will help you get back in to the gym in the safest, most practical way.