Life in lockdown is finally finito, but jumping back into our pre-covid routines isn't exactly easy, is it?
Show of hands if your exercise routine plummeted during lockdown... ✋, mine sure did!
Being confined to my four walls, I quickly found my active, go-getter lifestyle was flicked to the side for a life of bingeing Netflix and chowing down on wayyy to much peanut butter toast (yum!).
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a complete slob. I went for a decent walk most mornings, but trying to finish a weights session or completing a HIIT workout that was longer than 20 minutes felt impossible most days.
I kept giving myself the regular spiel, "It's fineeee, I'll get back into routine when the gym's open. It'll be easy as pie". Well, to my surprise, it was not!
It took me a whole 7 days before I successfully completed my first post-lockdown gym session. I say to my surprise because pre-covid I was hitting the gym at least 5 days a week. It was easy, I didn't even really have to think about it. I'd wake up, go to work, go to gym, repeat. Simples. But after working from home for the most part of 2 years, I was knackered returning the office. No more luxury sleep ins, it was back to rising early and grinding hard. I was tired, and the motivation to go to gym after a 10 hour day was non-existent.
I quickly realised that life wasn't just going to 'return to normal', I had to implement some sort of plan to get myself back into a consistent exercise routine.
Below are the 6 tips for easing back into the gym post lockdown.
1. SET NEW GOALS
Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your goals.
That 150KG deadlift you wanted to nail by the end of the year may no longer be achievable if you haven't been lifting throughout lockdown. But that doesn't mean you can't reach 130KG!
Maybe during your isolation you found a new passion for running, and rather than lifting heavy weights you're new goal is to smash a half marathon.
Before you head back into the gym have a long, hard think about what it is you're actually wanting to achieve there. Is it to become stronger? Faster? More flexible?
Re-aligning yourself with your fitness goals will help you rebuild your motivation, making it much easier to fall back into a consistent routine.
2. START WITH SOMETHING YOU LOVE
Training legs is my favourite muscle group by a mile. It's when I lift the heaviest, feel the strongest, and I know I'm always going to work up a killer sweat session. So, to help get me back into the gym I trained legs first.
This is a simple yet extremely effective tip for helping reboot your exercise regime. You're always going to be most motivated to do the things you love, so for your first day back in the gym pick your absolute favourite activity and start there.
If you're like me and you have a preferred muscle group you like to train, take it even further by working your favourite exercises into that days training plan. Make your first exercise your most-loved lift. By starting out with doing something you love, it makes it much, much easier to do the rest.
3. WRITE IT INTO YOUR SCHEDULE
With a massive easing of restrictions life has suddenly become a lot busier. We are returning to work, cramming in missed social events, and to top it off it's almost holiday season!
If you haven't returned to the gym yet because you simply feel like you haven't had the time to do so, try scheduling in a time. Just like you block out 9-5 for work, block out 6-7 for the gym.
Writing something down and committing to a pre-determined time are two simple tools you can use together to help keep yourself more accountable, increasing the likelihood you'll actually pick up the barbell again.
4. TAKE IT SLOW
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was your fitness. This is important to remember, especially after a bit of time off.
When you first go back to the gym you won't be performing at your peak. It's as simple as that. So, before you go and smash a 2 hour weights session and try to hit a new PB within your first week back, strip back the weight, slow down your run, and take it easy on the classes.
Focus on form and technique, and allow your body get used to training again before you go balls to the walls.
5. RECRUIT SOME HELP
If it's motivation you're lacking, recruiting a friend to workout with or finding a personal trainer may be the kick up the backside you need to get back into the swing of things.
This is because having someone your accountable to makes it much harder to turn around and say "I'll just do it tomorrow" or "I'll start again next week", because you never want to feel like you're letting someone down.
Training with a partner or group also helps you sneak in some of that much needed social time, making it that all the more fun!
6. TRAIN AT HOME
Like I said before, life's busy, so why not make it things easier for yourself by training at home?
There are a TON of benefits to having a home gym, such as no travel time, you can train when it's convenient for you, and you can choose the equipment you need for your specific goals.
We hope you've found these tips useful! If you require any assistance building your dream gym, you can also reach out to our expert team!