If you are anything like me. you have been counting the days to the gyms reopening. While I kept active and trained throughout this lockdown, I have very little equipment …and space… and time! I work from home while taking care of my young toddler, so the gym felt like my only escape. When they took it away from me (again!) my heart just sunk into my chest.
Now that it’s allowed, I gave it a couple of days before going back. It’s almost like after a bad relationship. I felt as if the gym closing the first time broke my heart. Then it opened again and I still loved it so much that I jumped straight back in (and came out of it with a couple of injuries!). Then they shut it again and since then I keep on telling myself that I won’t fall for the trap again. But I do still love it, so I’ve gone back. But I’m wiser now and here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to keep in mind if you are going back too.
Chances are that the training you did at home (if you did any) was much different from what you would normally do at the gym. Don’t walk through those doors as if the last few months didn’t happen. Ease back in, go back to the basics and make sure your form is still on point before trying to go back to your old training regime.
The gyms have been shut for quite a long time. Chances are you might not enjoy what you used to do as much anymore, so be open to changes.
Always remember to warm up before training and stretch after. Changing movement types and using heavier weights can lead to injuries and bad DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Always start training after a good warm up, and finish with a stretch routine to minimise the risks.
Don’t go straight for the heavy weights. They will probably feel too challenging. Start low and give yourself a few weeks to get back to where you were.
If you weren’t already, make sure you consume lots of protein. Your muscles will be going through some damage and protein is needed to repair them.
Muscle memory is a thing. If you have lost some muscle mass during lockdown, with training and protein it will come back in no time so don’t stress about it!
This has nothing to do with lockdown, but ALWAYS re-rack your weights after using and sanitising them! There is nothing more infuriating than weights being left all over the place instead of where they belong.
OK, last rant I promise. There aren’t endless benches and squat racks in the gym. So be organised. Go in, do your workout, clean up and then leave. Don’t waste your and others’ time!