If you’re as obsessed with the gym as we are, you’re no doubt excited to be returning.
In fact, there’s a fair chance you’re already hitting the gym multiple times a week.
That said, it’s also super normal to have feelings of trepidation when returning to the gym, so you want to go about it the right way.
Muscle Memory and DOMS
The key thing to remember when getting back to the gym is to take baby steps.
The good news? You’ve got a history of muscle memory to work with. Muscle memory is your body’s ability to activate muscle fibres quickly and efficiently since you’ve already done it before.
So even if you feel weak, to begin with, never fear! You’ll be back there in almost no time.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS might also be something you’ll have to deal with. Remember not being able to get off the toilet after your first leg day? That feeling is about to return.
Contrary to popular belief, feeling sore isn’t necessarily an indicator of a good workout. It’s simply because the muscle hasn’t been used in a while. Once you establish a routine again, you’ll find yourself able to workout without the burn the next day.
Rest and Recovery
Incorporate a good warm-up and warm-down into your time at the gym.
We know it’s easy to skip, but this is key to avoiding injury and building up muscle the right way.
Remember to always rest your body and give it time to recover. Recovery days are a key component of building muscle back — it’s all about those active rest days.
Don’t forget to sleep! Your body does major recovery while you’re sleeping and it helps maintain a strong and healthy immune system.
If you’re suddenly getting up early for the gym, be sure you’re getting into bed earlier too in order to get your hours in.
Focus on building back up what you might have lost.
Your time away from fitness has most likely involved a lot of sitting, which can cause weakness in your posterior chain. These muscles are important for basic everyday movement, as well as keeping your spine straight and proud while sitting at your desk.
Look to incorporate exercises to improve posture, develop core strength and activate those glutes and hammies.
Exercises like squats, lunges, bridge and core work are awesome to get back into the swing of it and build up those work from home areas.
Set Your Intentions
Maybe you’ve been working out from home in the interim, or maybe you’ve been taking time to recuperate. Either way, it’s important to set your intentions.
Ask yourself, what do I want to achieve? Giving yourself goals means you’ll be more likely to stick with it on your return.
Find a friend to keep you accountable and to be a key motivator if you struggle to get back into a routine. The social side of exercise can be a great incentive to hit the racks.
It’s been a while, so don’t forget to continue proper social distancing and maintain gym etiquette.
The most important thing to remember? You got this!
Check out our 5 Hacks to Keep Your Health on Track During a Crisis for more fitness tips applicable to the current climate.