For many of us around the world, the time has come or is coming, for the quarantine restrictions to be lifted and we are able to get back to training in the gym again. If you did not have access to your usual training equipment and have spent a substantial amount of time away from your usual lifting (more than a few weeks), we want to share with you some of our favourite ways to get back into training after taking time off.
Our first recommendation is to LOWER/CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS for the first few weeks back in the gym to avoid any disappointment that may hinder your progress or motivation levels. We want to ensure our first experiences back in the gym are enjoyable and make us feel good about ourselves, so we feel encouraged to keep coming back for more and continue to move forward in the right direction. Our aim in these first weeks back at the gym is to recreate positive habits around exercise, rebuild training momentum, avoid injury, build confidence and get our bodies feeling happy, healthy, fit and strong.
Our favourite way to ensure this is to START CONSERVATIVE, which means making each session feel easy and achievable enough that we can progress week after week. If you are unsure of how to do this, we recommend the following as a good starting point:
REDUCE VOLUME AND INTENSITY and MAINTAIN FREQUENCY. What this means is, lower the amount of weight being lifted and the amount of overall sets being performed throughout each session, but still train for the same amount of days as you normally would. We recommend taking the numbers you were lifting before lockdown and halve them. So if your last set of squats was 5 reps for 5 sets, lifting 50kgs, then start your first session back with 25kgs. Not only are we are going to halve the amount of load lifted, we are also going to halve the amount of volume performed. So we are sure you are thinking how do I halve 5 sets? Again, be conservative and do 2 sets for the first week. So 2 sets of 25kgs. That will give you lots of room to progress week after week and keep your body from fatiguing and getting so sore that you aren’t able to continue to train efficiently and therefore progress.
One of the most important factors when you’re getting back into training, is actually being able to train, so the focus in this time should be to STIMULATE NOT ANNIHILATE your body. We want to stimulate our muscles, but not get them so sore and fatigued that we are unable to continue to train for the rest of the week. To prevent this, we like to SPREAD THE WORKLOAD across the whole body. So rather than concentrating the workload on one body part for the session, which can cause too much muscle soreness and fatigue, we recommend spreading the workload out across the whole body, so do a little bit on each part of the body in each session. We recommend 1 or 2 sets on every body part in the session for the first week as you are easing back into training, which is a relatively low and manageable amount of sets per body part. In light of our above mentioned points, any more volume than this would increase the potential for muscle soreness and fatigue, which may interfere with the remainder of our scheduled sessions for the week. Remember, our aim is to have the ability to keep training, progressing and of course enjoying the process.
It’s time to get back to base babes!
Sending you all lots of love and strength,
Felicia and Diana xx
Your Online Personal Trainers