Starting (all over?) Again
First Week Back
This week was my first workout back in the gym with a group. In some ways, it felt like starting all over again.
Throughout the stay-at-home orders, I stayed active and engaged with the online workouts, getting in 3-5 a week. In that regard, I am not starting from square one with my fitness. I have been lucky enough to gain some habits and skills that I would not have been able to focus on if I had not been stuck at home. On the flip side, I undoubtedly lost some practice in other skills (pull-ups, I’m looking at you).
What feels like as nearly as quickly we were thrown into staying at home, our worlds are shifting again rather rapidly and we are now having to find new routines.
My first day back in the gym was rough, I’m not going to lie. I can’t chalk it up to anything much more than changing environments and changing routines.
Am I still capable of moving with a barbell… of course! Am I out of practice… yes. Does my mind tell me that I *should* be able to do what I did before? Yes. Can I resume exactly where I was? Probably, with some fight, but at what cost and for what gain?
Leaving any expectations at the door will make your transition back into the gym much easier and who knows, you may learn something new from allowing yourself a fresh start.
Easing Back In
A few tips to help *ease* back into the gym:
- Focus on your base health. If you are unsure where to start, choose one or a few of these and get at least 3 days in a row of practicing them.
- Quality and Quantity of sleep
- Minimize processed foods, maximize whole foods
- Move your body several times a day
- Check-in with your breathe and body several times a day
2. Complete some bodyweight movements
- If you haven’t touched a weight in a while, try getting at least 3 bodyweight workouts in one week. These can be as simple as practicing push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. Between 10-20 reps every minute on the minute.
3. In the gym, go lighter and with fewer reps than you may be used to
- For the first week back in the gym ease in with the weights and reps. If you were used to doing thrusters at 65#, bring it down to 45# and adjust from there as you get more workouts in.
4. Plan your week.
- Talk to your coach,
- Reserve your classes,
- Plan your recovery methods and active recovery sessions
5. Gather your team
- If you had been seeing a physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, personal trainer, nutrition coach or other professional before, enlist them to help you ease into a new routine.
You’ve Made it this Far
Rapidly changing course in Mid-March has proven that we are capable of making and adapting to changes. This time around, we have a little more say in how we build the environment around us and the timelines we do it in.
What will you do with your options?