As Australia’s restrictions have eased and gyms are able to welcome members back, many (if not all) of us are keen to get our gains going and get back to where we left off before shutdown. However for your own safety, loading that barbell back to the pre-COVID weight may not be in your best interest. To avoid injury, burnout and ease the anxiety many of us feel, here’s the Fitness First guide to getting back into the gym post-lockdown.
In the early days your excitement to be back in the gym may get the better of you, but we really recommend to not overdo it. Tempting as it may be to do two hours of cardio and a full body weights session every day of the week, odds are your muscles won’t be able to handle it after some downtime being sedentary at home. Be kind to yourself (physically and mentally) and don’t expect to lift the same amount of weight or run for as long as you used to be able to, just focus on pushing yourself a little bit more each week.
As you’re rebuilding your strength don’t try to build Rome in a day. Besides taking it easy like we mentioned, also go slow. It takes time to work up to certain levels, and you will have to chip away at them bit by bit again to get back to where you were or you’ll risk injury. It’s not recommended with weight lifting to increase your weight by no more than 10% at a time. That means each week you can add 10% extra weight, and then you have to work at that level before moving up again. While there’s no one size fits all approach, slow and steady wins the race!
With many of us falling into new (or no) patterns at home, exercise can be feeling a little stale right now. Skip the all too familiar pushups and try a class you’ve never taken before such as RPM or Yoga to fire up your body and brain. You might just discover something you love, or at the very least challenge yourself with new movements and techniques.
Speaking of new, now is the time to set a new goal! By setting a realistic goal with a set timeframe and an action plan, it will help you reconnect with the underlying reasons why you go to the gym and what you want to achieve.
Whether you have a favourite Personal Trainer to train with, or you’ve never tried one before, this is a great time to ask an expert and get a program specifically designed for you and your goals. Fitness First has a huge range of PT’s available with expertise in various fields such as weight loss, mobility, training with injuries or postpartum.
Things have changed in the world and in gyms. Your routine might be different (e.g. a blend of working from home and the office, or changed hours), so don't be too hard on yourself when you're not able to make it into the gym and instead take advantage of the new training solutions created due to lockdown, such as Fitness First At Home, to keep up your momentum. There’s also new safety procedures happening in club, such as temperature checks and increased cleaning. Things are going to look and feel different, but in many cases these changes create a better gym experience.
Social connections took a hit during lockdown, so make up for lost time and get social and make a new friend in the gym! People are more likely to attend the gym when they have social accountability, so start making plans to attend a class or do a workout with someone else. Group Fitness and Freestyle Group Training classes are great for connecting with people and making new friends!