How to survive your return to the gym

Gym goers are rejoicing around the nation as restrictions to health and fitness venues begin to ease.  While the thought of working out alongside others and being able to access proper gym equipment may seem super exciting, there is a daunting level of doubt that may have surfaced for some of us.

“I feel so weak, compared to pre-iso”, “I went overboard with iso snacking”, “How am I ever going to get back into the rhythm again?” may all be internal thoughts going through your head right now, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

This is a unique time in the world, but the best part about it is – you aren’t alone. You have the whole world going through similar thoughts and feelings about returning to the gym.

To make this transition easier, we have put together some tips and tricks on how to get back into the swing of things.

Have a plan and reassess your goals

If you haven’t been as active as you had envisioned during isolation, don’t sweat it. What’s important in the ‘now’ is to stop, pause and reassess. Take a minute or two to think about some realistic fitness goals you’d like to achieve and try breaking them down in to short term and long-term goals.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so creating your own short-term fitness goals is a smart way to attain big results. Taking this approach will allow you to decrease the likelihood of getting frustrated, which in turn will allow you extra time and energy to focus on achieving those big accomplishments like weight loss or completing a fitness challenge. 

Once you’ve hit your short-term goals, you can start thinking about the long-term ones. An example of a long-term goal may be, “I want to be able to run for 5km without stopping, within the next 4 weeks.”. This example follows a SMART goal framework by specifically outlining the goal and its measurability and identifying a realistic timeframe. To find out more about planning out long-term fitness goals, see here.

Pace, pace, pace

Ever heard of that saying location, location, location? Well, apply the same concept to your pace – it is all about pace. Taking it slow and steady as you ease back into your routine or build up to a new one is extremely important.

We know it’s an exciting time to be back in the gym, but focusing on perfecting your form and technique by using lighter weights will do you wonders. Prioritising technique at this time will alleviate the risk of injury, so take your time and focus on gradually building up your endurance and strength. Your future self will thank you for it!

Rest and recuperate

Being patient with your self is a virtue. Listen to your body and mind when it is telling you it is tired. If you need to take a rest day or maybe two, that’s ok. It’s good practice to build in a rest day to your training so you don’t burn out and to let your body heal. If you want to take a lighter approach and still get in some movement for the day, have a look at some light stretching exercises or yoga.

Remember, any form of movement is better than nothing. We know you’ll be back to your normal routine in no time and achieving those fitness goals in no time. Just remember to plan, take it easy and rest when you need. You got this!