We are 1 week back into gym’s being open in Perth and we are slowly seeing the influx of our members returning – which is FANTASTIC however, you may be ready to jump head first into your training following all the iso-snacking and increased couch time, but we are to remind you that you are not in the same position you were 3 months ago. And thats ok!
Unfortunately for all of us, the principle of de-training means that this time off from the gym, without access to your usual weights and equipment, will have caused some reduction in strength. The upside- muscle memory means you will likely see a quick rise is strength. However, it is important to recognise that the body has likely not shifted heavy weights in the specific movement patterns, for example squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press etc. Our advice: minimise the risk of injury by giving yourself a few weeks to get back to your pre-covid numbers to minimise the risk of injury.
This applies to training volume also – a sudden spike in training load can lead to injury. Start with one to two less sets or weight sessions, and build up the volume each week. This will allow your body to adapt and progress.
Have a plan
With many of us out of our usual routine during lockdown, it is important to set yourself a training schedule. This will keep you accountable, and allow you to prioritise your training. Furthermore, having a balanced training program across the week will ensure you optimise your time in the gym and increase the likelihood of hitting your goals!
Warm up and Activation
A proper and thorough warm up is more important than ever!! With the return to the gym, means a return to movements your body may not have done in several weeks, and under load!! This is the perfect formula for injury if you are not smart about your warm up. Take the time to perform mobility, activation and movement pattern preparation before jumping under the bar or onto the machine.
Expect to get some brutal DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as a result of training, this will be due to the re-introduction of movements and heavier weights than the dumbbells and bands at home. Make sure you still prioritise your recovery, including massages and having 1-2 rests days per week. Although you may be keen to get in the gym all day, every day- think about longevity. If you go all gung-ho and injure yourself that just means more time out of the gym and on the couch! So be kind to yourself! Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to hit your strength and body composition goals over night. Set yourself challenging, yet realistic goals over specific time frames and get to work!