Gyms around the country are reopening!
Am I the only person who’s excited?
I’ve been counting down to get back into the gym since we left the gym back in March.
Home workouts are cool, but they are NOT the gym, right?
It’s just not the same, and I enjoy the gym a lot more than working out at home.
And if you’re like me, you’ve probably lost some endurance and a little bit of strength.
So, I wanted to write this post to make sure that as we get back into the gym and back into our routine, we do it safely and do not allow our excitement to cause injuries.
Here are three rules to follow as you start back working out in the gym.
Ego Causes Injuries
Egos cause a lot of injuries in the gym because we won’t just use a lighter weight and use the weight appropriate for our body at the given time.
As you start back in the gym, you may find out that you can’t use the same weight you used to and may have to reduce your weight by as much as 50%.
If you’re trying to use the same weight you were using back in March, but it’s now June, and you have not been using that weight for the past two months, your body probably is not ready for it.
So put the ego to the side, reduce your weights as needed, and focus on form and getting the most benefit from the exercise, as opposed to feeding your ego and trying to use a weight that is too heavy for your body right now.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Does your workout routine for your first day back to the gym look like a long list of exercises?
I get it. There’s a lot we haven’t been able to do at home, right?
There’s equipment that we’ve missed.
We haven’t been able to lift heavy.
And the atmosphere is unmatched.
So, we may be going into the gym with a long list of exercises we want to complete, coupled by a hundred sets and a thousand reps of each one.
It’s too much too soon.
Let your body have a chance to ease back into your routine.
Like I said before, if you give your body too much too soon, you’re going to either be super sore and not be able to work out the rest of the week or you’re going to cause injuries.
Keep your volume low.
What does that mean?
If you were doing a lot of sets before quarantine, like between 3-5 sets, it would be best to start with 1-3 sets per exercise per muscle group.
If you had been doing 3-6 exercises per muscle group, you may need to scale that back and do 1-2 exercises per muscle group.
Give your body a small routine on your first day back and then keep slowly increasing as you go along and can see what your body is able to handle.
But giving it too much too soon, again, is just a recipe for injury.
Enjoy the Process
Let’s be honest… nobody really wants to feel like they’ve regressed in this fitness journey.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re moving backwards. That’s never the goal.
But unfortunately, here we are.
So, what I want to do is challenge you to enjoy this process.
If you had been working out on a regular basis for years, pre-quarantine, the amount of progress you were able to make at a time was in much smaller increments than the amount of progress you’re going to be able to make over these next two to three months.
Because your body is deconditioned and is no longer used to the same stimulus you were giving it before.
Therefore, the amount of endurance you’re going to be able to build and the amount of muscle you’re going to be able to put on are going to come quicker than they would when you were working out before.
That’s the cool part!
If your food is on point, if you’re working out on a regular basis, and if you’re giving your body the stimulus that it needs, you’re going to make a lot of progress in a small amount of time.
The amount of time it took for you to get to where your body was back in March is not the same amount of time that it will take for it to get back there, or even beyond that, because your body is deconditioned.
Your body is ready for something new. And as long as you keep challenging it on a regular basis, you’re going to be amazed at how quickly you see your body start to change.
A lot of us have been sitting around a lot more than we used to when we were more active.
Make sure before you start your workouts that you are doing some type of dynamic stretching, which means you’re moving your body in different planes of motion, and stretching out a lot of those tight areas like your hamstrings, your hips, your back, especially your lower back, and your chest.
This will help reduce the risk of injury.
Yall, we made it! We’re back in the gym.
I’ve been counting down the whole time because the atmosphere just cannot be replaced
But I want to make sure that when you go back, you’re doing it safely.
Keep these three rules in mind. Put the ego aside. Don’t do too much too soon. And enjoy the process.
Take care, enjoy the gym, and make a great week!