As restrictions begin to lift, I know everyone is eager to get back to normal life especially with gym routines. Many gyms and fitness studios have been given the green light to begin reopening. I know a lot of you can agree with me that we’re all exhausted with at home fitness challenges and done a lifetime’s worth of push ups, sit ups, and air squats.
I’m beyond excited to incorporate weights back into my regular fitness routines but I’m putting it on the record for accountability with myself to PUMP THE BREAKS! This also goes for all of you that are eager to get back into the gym! I have 5 practical tips that’s applicable whether you’re a casual gym goer, gym rat (like myself), or you are just motivated and determined to invest in your health and longevity:
1. Slowly ease back into regular training
The most practical tip is to temper your urge to lift ALL the weights right off the bat! The most common mechanism for soft tissue injury such as a tendinitis, muscle strains, or muscle tears are large spikes of workload. The rule of thumb is a gradual progression of 5% up to 10% increase per week when considering how much weight you lift, miles you run, or overall training volume.
2. Soreness or DOMS isn’t a requirement for a good workout
Muscle soreness or DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) occurs from microtears in muscle fibers from stimulation like lifting weights. It’s also common when undertaking a new activity or exercise but it doesn’t always translate to getting a good workout! I recently did a high volume workout that left me sore ALL WEEK LONG. This affected my ability to train for the rest of the week; workouts shouldn’t sit you out from future sessions! Try not to use how sore you are as a gauge for your training! Instead, while weights are lighter you can focus on form and technique to better translate later in your training.
3. Acknowledge that your fitness is constantly changing
If you haven’t been able to lift weights or train as hard then you have to acknowledge that you’re in a different place with your fitness and that’s completely okay! You’ve been crushing the body weight exercises, at home yoga, running, and plyometric exercises but weights add a higher intensity to consider with your overall fitness and conditioning.
4. Recovery is just as important as the hard work
Now that you’re back to training hard, make sure to emphasize your recovery! Dialing in your sleep, nutrition, and hydration is important to keep energy levels high and the system fueled. On rest days, active recovery or an activity that you genuinely enjoy will help you recover and flush the system Some good ideas include light swims, bike rides, yoga, foam rolling, stretching, walks or good ol’ session here at SP! Personally, I love hiking and getting outdoors on my active rest days.
5. Remind yourself of your goals, why you’re working out in the first place, and most importantly have fun!
Fitness is all about longevity and consistency. Your goals and your ‘why’ will continue to evolve and change as your fitness improves. It’s crucial to stay grounded and remind yourself of those goals to keep you motivated and determined. Finally, the most important tip is to have fun! Fitness is never about the destination so you might as well enjoy yourself on the journey!
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