For the last 4 months, our entire routine has changed. In particular, our training routine has looked and felt very different. Most of us went from training in a gym, with coached classes, pre-determined programming, lots of equipment and space, to doing bodyweight movements in our condos. So, it’s no surprise that we are all ITCHING to get back into a gym.
Right now we’re all starting to feel the effects of our quarantine habits - from late night netflix binging, to boredom snacking and sitting more - and wondering, “how do I get back to where I was?”
Here are 5 things you can (and should do) today to set yourself up for success and get the most out of each training session.
The reality is that even though gyms are starting to open up, their and your routine is going to be different and will not be what it was pre-pandemic right away. So, we want to make sure that you’re capitalizing on each training session so you can still see the results you want!
1. Be Patient & Trust the Process
Results don’t happen overnight. And, because the pandemic put a wedge in all of our training plans, most of us are starting at a different point vs pre-pandemic. Knowing this, it is especially important to be patient with yourself. Accept that the barbell is going to feel heavy, metcons are going to feel harder than you remember, but know that this is all part of the process. Through consistency, proper recovery and hard work, you will notice improvements, just like you did when you got back from vacation after not training for weeks at a time. However, it is VERY important to not add too much too soon. While you may feel recovered and healthy from all of your at-home workouts, use this time as an opportunity to go back to the basics. Set a new benchmark for where you are currently at and let’s build from here, one baby step at a time.
2. Listen to Your Body
This is an exciting time in your health and fitness journey! It’s a time where you truly can see what your body is capable of - how it bounces back after a 4 month roadblock. With that being said, remove all expectations of what you “used to be able to do” - don’t compare yourself to that person. You’re starting with a clean slate and setting a new benchmark.
Approach each training session with an open mind, zero expectations and a willingness to learn about your body and its CURRENT abilities. Rather than worrying about the weight on the bar, ask yourself : “how am I moving today?” “how does my body feel in this position?”. Instead of focusing on load, use these next few weeks and months to prioritize movement quality - your future self will thank you!
Plus, before you freak out about “losing all your gains”, remember how hard you worked to get where you are today. Your body hasn’t forgotten about that. And, as long as you take the time to build back your strength and endurance properly, you’ll avoid injury and frustration & instead be rewarded with the gains you’ve always wanted! But, start too fast or ignore what your body is trying to tell you and you risk overtraining, adrenal fatigue, injury or loss of enjoyment.
Treat your body like the beautiful and capable temple it is and you will be rewarded!
3. Dial in your nutrition
You’ve heard this a million times before, but as we all experience a change in our routines, proper nutrition is more important than ever. If you’re not fuelling your body properly, it’s not going to perform or recover, resulting in extended soreness, injury, loss of energy, reduction in productivity etc.
Think baby steps!
Here’s what you can start with:
4. Drink more water!
Along with proper nutrition, adequate hydration is going to be key to maximizing your performance and your gains, inside and outside of the gym. A reduction of just 2% of fluid can result in degraded performance by as much as 10-20%! So, keep your water bottle near you at all times, and make sure to drink consistently throughout the day! If you’re noticing that you are feeling more thirsty than usual, drink more! The heat outside also plays a role in dehydration.
Rule of thumb: consume 1L per 50 lbs bodyweight + more when adding in physical activity.
5. Spend at least 5 mins every day stretching (hips and shoulders)
Going from your bed to your home office to the gym and back home to the couch to watch Netflix is not a recipe for success. Most of us know that sitting is a killer, yet we get stuck in a vortex without even knowing it. Use this blog and your return to your gym as a kick-in-the-but to move and stretch more.
Aim to add at least 5 minutes every day of stretching into your routine (in addition to the stretching you will do at the gym). This can be added into your morning routine, your bedtime routine or throughout the day.
If you’re up for the challenge: do something every hour! Set an alarm on your phone or computer as a reminder.
Not sure what to do?
Start with these:
We all have no problem popping netflix on at the end of our day, so “I don’t have time” isn’t going to cut it. Turn on netflix and stretch WHILE you watch - BOOM, multi-tasking!
Need some help navigating this new normal?
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