With most gyms now open, the fitness industry is trying hard to return back to ‘normal’. New precautionary measures and restrictions have been set up to improve hygiene and safety. We are all trying to adapt to the new ‘normal’ and get back into our fitness routine.
This month’s article will talk about making gradual progress and how to train safely and effectively without going too hard too soon or causing yourself an injury. The gyms have been closed for months, it’s inevitable that you and I will have gained weight or lost some strength and muscle mass during this time. If you have been doing home workouts, well done, you have a head start over those who didn’t. But that still doesn’t mean you should stack the weights up and aim for a PB in your first week back training.
To get results, you have to push yourself. You need to challenge your body. However, if you go all guns blazing as soon as you start back training again, you are more likely to get injured. You could pull a muscle or over exert yourself too much too soon, which could lead to you being unable to train for a few weeks which would push you back even further.
Start off slow and gradual, build it up. Due to muscle memory, you will be able to get back your strength, if you train right. Think of the first few weeks back in the gym as building the foundations again. The time of the treadmill may seem like it’s going super slow, the weights may feel super heavy compared to before and that’s normal. In a few weeks time your body will start to adapt to the demands put upon it. Muscle fibres that are torn will start to repair faster, you will be less out of breath doing cardio, you will feel fit and strong again. It goes without saying, you also need to eat the right nutrition and get enough rest and sleep to perform well in the gym.
Here are some tips to help you monitor progress:
Log your training. Keep track of how many repetitions and sets you do or how much weight you lift. This is a great way to help you look back at how far you have come.
Measure yourself. By stepping on the scales to measure your weight, getting your body fat tested using skin callipers or a measuring tape round your body. Doing this will give you values which you can look to improve.
Take photos. This can be a photo of you in front of the mirror, a photo in your nice jeans or going out dress. Have a visual where you can see what you used to look like. This can really help with motivation.
Check out my Instagram page @nicky__fitness for more tips on fitness, nutrition and health. My website is www.nicky-fitness.com