We are slowly returning to a world with a sense of normality, with shops, pubs already reopened and now gyms are set to reopen on the 25th July. So, I thought I would share some tips for when heading back into the gym after a long period of limited training, especially for those without access to equipment during lock-down. These will be in no particular order as you all will have personal goals that differ from person to person and experiences that also differ from the individual.
Stay safe, follow rules & regulations of the gyms you are attending. Be considerate to others about wiping down equipment and respecting social distancing rules.
Chances are you will have lost some strength, bare this in mind when lifting that first set. Always better to underestimate that first session and progress (will increase motivation levels); than to struggle.
Set yourself measurable goals!! This could be weight, body fat, waist circumference, time to complete 5k, a target weight to lift. Choose what works for you.
Set a plan!! You may have a just set a goal but how are you going to achieve it without a plan. When I say set a plan, I do not just mean "I'll go to the gym 3/4 times a week". Set a plan means; on day 1 I am going to do xyz exercises, for x amount of time, or x amount of sets. Day 2, something similar and same for day 3 & 4. That is your weeks plan, you know exactly what you are going to do each day before you step foot in the gym! Follow this plan for 4-6 weeks.
Doing the same exercises for 4-6 weeks follows onto my next point. Progressive overload. Simply improving each week via, adding extra weight, distance on a run, shorter time completion, more reps in a HIIT workout, whatever it may be.
Track your progress! It is so easy to forget how many reps, sets or weight you did the previous week if you did not record what you lifted in the session. Meaning your progress will be slower as you will have no idea how to overload your next session.
Take "rest" weeks after a training block of 4-6 weeks. Decrease the intensity for one week, still do 3/4 sessions in that week if you want. But, your body needs rest weeks otherwise you will burnout, tire and lose motivation. Not only this but you will be so much more refreshed after the week and will notice a large improvement in the next training block!
Last one. If you are looking to lose weight, please track your calories. How will you know if you are in a calorie deficit if you do not do some form of calorie tracking?
Follow these simple tips and you will notice huge improvements in your workouts and achieve your goals. Hopefully, this equips you with the knowledge you need when gyms reopen!! If not, please get in touch with me as I am qualified personal trainer/S&C coach that can help guide you into great shape. Creating the detailed plan for you.
Hope you enjoy these top tips, stay safe and see you all in the gyms soon.