After well over a year of intermittent closures for nearly all Gym’s and Fitness Clubs across the nation, most of us are very excited to return to an electronic rowing machine or load up our barbell.
And with that in mind, we must all be very careful not to overdo it. As Owners, Managers and Fitness Fanatics, it is important that we prepare to ease ourselves into working out in a professional and responsible environment and all return to the gym in as safe a manner as possible.
We’ve gathered our best insights for the coming lifting of lockdown and our full (and hopefully permanent) return to normality.
Start stretching to prepare your body
The Oldies are the Goodies as they say, and this one is no exception.
Many of us have fallen out of the habit of stretching over lockdown. Even fitness friends who have been working out from home have felt that their homes and gardens do not provide the same scope for pre-workout and post-workout maintenance as the Gym once did.
And we all know what a huge role stretching plays in injury prevention and muscle growth.
A lot of peers have been worried that it’ll be hard to get back into the stretching routines that we had pre-lockdown.
Try to put a real focus on stretching by reading blogs and watching videos that detail new and old stretching routines. Now is the perfect time to mix up your stretching game in a big way!
This will help with our transition back into the Fitness Club and Gym environment in a responsible way and hopefully leave us in better standing than we were pre-lockdown.
As it proved with many things, Lockdown might be the idea time to break some negative cycles of behaviour.
Be mindful and careful as you return to a more intense workout environment
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Adonis or Arnie.
As we return to these more high-pressure and intense workout environments, it is more important than ever to be, be patient with yourself.
You may not be able to push yourself as fast, or as hard, or for the same length of time as you did pre-Lockdown. And that is okay, especially if you were taken ill and even if you weren’t. It is of utmost importance that you return in a responsible and mindful manner. There is no point having waited 4 or 15 months to return to the gym only to break your body as you try and do an obscene weighted pull-up.
Slow and steady wins the race and just because you’ve been spinning your wheels for a set amount of time doesn’t mean you need to go crazy on your first session. In fact, it means quite the opposite!
Increase the amount of low-level exercise you’ve been doing from Lockdown Levels
I think it is safe to say that a good portion of the UK population started to move less during Lockdown. If you didn’t have a garden, your outside options were severely curtailed. Even if you did have a garden, the scope and applications for an outdoor space dramatically lessened.
Many people stopped needing to commute, stopped doing outdoor classes, sporting events, marathons, gigs, or even just being able to walk twice a day.
As such, you should make a conscious effort to increase the amount you are active consistently in the time running up to your triumphant return to the Gym.
Couch to 5k or Home-Workout Initiatives
Not comfortable returning to your Gym or Fitness Club as soon as Lockdown is lifted? Then why not try one of the popular health apps or programmes that can be done at home or outside around your local area.
Couch to 5k has become a household name and for good reason! Apps like Zombies, Run or None To Run offer more interesting and fun alternatives to the poster boy of the movement.
Or if you fancy something more based on weight-training and muscles, there are also sorts of good home-workout Apps, such as the official Apps provided by Athlean-X of YouTube fame.
All of these resources are free and will get you slowly and responsibly ready for your return to the Gym in your own time.
Monitor yourself: Understand what you can do currently and where you want to be
During lockdown, we fitness fanatics learnt to improvise, adapt and overcome as the saying goes. And this was very apparent when it came to how we were working out.
Suddenly our Kettle Bells were replaced with heavy bottles of water and the door-frame was creaking under the strain of a pull-up bar.
As such, your body is most likely not at the same level it was if you were a regular gym-goer before Lockdown and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This represents an opportunity to start monitoring yourself anew. If you haven’t been using marked weights such as dumbbells or plates. Then understand what you’ve been lifting and make a note of it. Dedicate a notebook to what you are capable of currently and what that will translate to when you are ready, willing and able to return to the Gym.
Knowledge is king and understanding and transferring your temporary lockdown regime into something that can be used at your Gym or Fitness Club will make the world of difference and allow you to hit the ground running.