While home workouts have served us well over the last six months, the gyms are finally back open! With new rules and procedures in place, it can seem pretty daunting to start going back with many asking themselves how to get back into the gym and what ‘back to gym’ routine to follow.
The gym is often a safe space for many people and is hugely beneficial for your mental wellbeing as well as physical health. So how do you get back into your old routine, and what changes might you have to make? Some of us fitness fanatics have been yearning for the gym to reopen, and some of us… well… we’ve enjoyed time on the sofa with very minimal exercise! Either way, choosing a ‘back to gym’ routine requires a change of mindset.
Read on to find out how to get back into the gym!
As the mornings get colder and the days get shorter, it can be a struggle to get out of bed and into the gym. It’s not quite the same as working out in your living room! Get your clothes, and gym bag sorted the night before, so when you get out of bed, you’ll be ready to go.
If you schedule into your day to go to the gym, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Plan your week ahead of time and make sure you know exactly what days and what times you want to go. Make sure to schedule in precisely what you’ll be doing!
Gyms now have equipment spaced out to adhere to the social distancing guidelines. This doesn't have to be seen as a bad thing! You can work out in your own little space with no distractions, which sounds like bliss if you ask us! You could try doing a full workout with only one piece of equipment or only one machine, so you won’t have to move out of your section until you’re finished.
There are sanitation stations in place around the gym where you can wipe down your equipment before and after use. Hand sanitiser is also available to use, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the cleanliness.
With these new precautions in place and a limited number of people allowed inside at one time, going back to the gym shouldn’t feel too scary.
As excited as you may be to get back to the gym, don’t go in too hard too fast! If you haven't used a squat rack for six months, don’t think you can just pick up where you left off. Lifting too heavy when your muscles are not adapted to it can easily result in injury. Start slow and work your way back up.
Remember to incorporate recovery in between sessions to give your muscles a break! Try using a foam roller or recovery gun to ease soreness and help repair damaged tissue. This will help to prevent injury and make sure your muscles are functioning correctly. You can use recovery equipment before and after a workout, but also on your rest days! This will help with improved performance by keeping the muscles flexible and increasing range of motion in the joints.
It’s best to reintroduce old habits back into your new routine slowly. If you usually work out four days a week, you could try doing two days in the gym and two days of home workouts. Remember, it’s supposed to be something you enjoy, not a chore!