Returning to the gym after lockdown

After many months of home workouts returning to the gym can take a bit of getting used to. As we went into lockdown after lockdown, people ad to get creative in order to get their fitness fix. Home gyms became the new normal along with countless Facebook and Instagram Live workouts. Others decided to take  a well deserved rest.

When gyms reopened the hardcore massive couldn't wait to get back, however a large contingent opted to stay away, either because they had instilled new routines or because of anxieties that had manifested during exceptionally stressful circumstances. 

As society opens up and we try to establish a new normal, here are some tips to get you back up and running at your gym.

BE PATIENT

As keen as you are for things to feel 'normal' things might not be the way they were before lockdown. Your gym will have implemented new rules and measures.

Social distancing looks like it is here to stay. Equipment will be spaced out to make sure everyone stays 2 metres apart and you will have to wipe down all the equipment you use. You might have to have your temperature regularly checked upon arrival to the gym. Booking slots for your training and classes in advance will become the norm as gym capacity will be limited to government guidelines.

Remember that the new normal is equally frustrating for your gym staff as it is you and that they are trying their best to follow the rules, that do change quickly.

DON’T HIT IT HARD TOO SOON

Keep in mind that you probably haven’t used proper gym equipment and heavy weights for some time. Your body is going to take some time to adapting to the increased loads. Try not to go all in too soon as you could end up with injuries that will send you back home. Start off by re-familiarising yourself with the weights and equipment, less is more when getting back into the swing of things.

STICK TO THE BASICS

Your fitness level may not be the same as before lockdown; other people will be in the same boat as you so don’t worry. Start off slowly and gradually build your fitness back up. That also means sticking to more basic movements. Remember, over the last 4 months you have likely done body weight workouts, runs and worked with little weight. Stick to similar movements and avoid aiming for any PB’s in your first few sessions back.

PLAN YOUR WORKOUT

What really matters is that you show up and enjoy your workout. Even if you go to the gym and the workout isn’t as you initially planned, it doesn’t matter; any workout is better than none. Why not listen to your favourite playlist for that motivational boost.

BE FLEXIBLE

Don't just jump back under your favourite squat rack. Ensure you warm up before you work, start with some easy cardio and then more specific movements that will replicate the exercises you are about tp perform. 

KEEP YOUR NUTRITION ON TRACK

Remember working out is only half the battle, maintaining the correct nutrition before and after your workout will help you maintain your gains. Fuel your body with the right nutrition to assist recovery and minimise muscle soreness.