With Monday 29th marking the reopening of outdoor gyms and the 12th April hopefully the reopening of indoor gyms I feel now is a more appropriate moment than ever to write a blog post about how to get back into the gym.
If you are one of them people who is counting down the days, minutes and seconds until gyms reopen their doors and your biggest concern is what exercise should you do first, then this blog post may not apply as much to you, but if you are someone who is worried, concerned or just not sure about how to restart your fitness journey then I hope this helps!
Top 8 ways to get back into the gym:
1. Just go – There are many situations in life where the thought is far worse than the actual experience, this is one of them. You may think you will be wheezing on the treadmill after 15 seconds or reduced down to the lightest section of the weights but ultimately who cares! 99.9% of us returning to the gym (everyone without a fully stocked home gym) will have in some way lost some strength or fitness so we are all in the same boat. The good news, fitness and strength usually return a lot quicker than you expect, so don’t be hard on yourself and just work your way back into it.
2. Go easy on yourself – leading on from above, you will almost certainly have lost some fitness, strength, tone or maybe put on some weight, but that is absolutely fine, this situation we have all found ourselves in is nothing we could have planned for so, just accept your new starting position and get back to it, trust me being hard on yourself will just make this return harder and less enjoyable.
3. Start off steady – if you used to be able to for example run 45 minutes non stop but haven’t ran in 3 months start off with 3 lots of 15 minute runs with a short rest between. Whatever you do don’t just try to pick up where you left off, you will quickly find yourself either, disheartened, exhausted or injured – all three of which we want to avoid!
4. Find a gym buddy – If you are feeling unsure on going back then set a date with one of your friends to go to the gym, the socialising aspect will not only help motivate you and push you on but will also help to keep your mind off of the worries or concerns you have.
5. Ask – This has been an insane year, no one could have predicted what would have happened or the scope or anything, any gym (and any business for that matter) worth anything should understand this and be compassionate of this, if you feel uncomfortable, concerned or on edge then just ask a member of staff, you can either ring up and ask them to tell you what measures they have put in place or you can ask upon entry.
6. Book PT or get a programme (Shameless plug) – Whilst point 6 is 20% shameless plug the other 80% in all seriousness is a genuine tip. If you aren’t sure how to structure your training upon return or you are lacking the motivation to get back on track then a couple of PT sessions to get you back on track or a programme to help you know what to do and when may be exactly what you need.
7. Go to a class – Classes are the perfect way to ‘force’ yourself to do a workout you don’t want to do they are at a set time and for a set duration and in all the time I have taught classes you will hardly ever see anyone leave during the class, this is because once they start they just keep going until the end. More times than I can count I’ve had someone come up to me at the end and explain that before the class they really couldn’t be bothered and almost didn’t come but now they were so glad that they did it!
8. Accept it – I’ll repeat what I said earlier, it’s been an insane year, that said expecting everyone to immediately on cue drop all worries and concerns about a topic which still dominates 95% of News broadcasts is equally insane. If you are apprehensive or concerned accept that is completely normal and just allow yourself to get back into a routine in your own time. Exercise should be something which helps your physical and mental health and forcing yourself back into the gym before you are comfortable definitely wont help with the latter.
So to sum up, just take your time and do what feels right to you. If you need an extra day, week or month to adjust to all the changes going on in life then take it. Exercise has many incredible benefits not only for your physical health but also for your mental health, but it’s a very strange situation we currently find ourselves in. There are people who I train who have already told me they want to continue training outside in the fresh air or over video because that is where they feel most comfortable. Each of us has to do what we feel comfortable with doing. As always if you have any questions just let me know.
If you don’t want to go back to the gym straight away but you want to get back into fitness then drop me a message and we can work out the best approach for you. Whether this is a home based training plan, video sessions, outdoors sessions or a combination.
Just remember to take everything one step at a time and you’ll be back to smashing your fitness goals in no time!
Next week’s topic – How much protein do you need in your diet?