‘The new normal’. How many times have we all heard this since March 2020? This is the current reality of the world. In and out of lockdowns seem the norm, at least for the immediate future. It’s not just disruptive to our training, but it’s disruptive in all facets of life. I won’t babble on too much about the current state of the world, but I will discuss what YOU can do to put yourself in the best position possible after an extended period of solo Netflix n Chill.
There’s only so many Zoom workouts and walks you can do during a stint in lockdown. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Gyms and organisations across the world will offer services to keep you ticking over during these dark times. I’m not here to talk to you about what you can do during lockdown, I’m here to tell you how to rebuild yourself and get back to where you were pre-lockdown as fast as possible and as safely as possible.
We’ve all missed having access to racks, barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines, so we must be mindful to not get ahead of ourselves and get too excited once those holy doors open to your favourite strength training haven.
(Our own strength training haven)-------->
Outlined in this blog are a list of Do Not’s and Do’s for you to keep in the back of your mind when you start your strength training journey again post-lockdown.
First of all, lets discuss the Do Nots:
❌ Once gyms re open, do not attend every session possible in the first week back. Heard of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)???
❌ Do not try and lift the exact same weight as you lifted pre-lockdown right away. You won’t be able to.
❌ Do not expect your body to be able to handle the same amount of strength training sessions in the first couple of weeks. Your body will break down.
❌ Do not come back into the gym without a planned progression for your strength training. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
I’ll go into a little more detail with the Do’s, so you can start putting plans into motion straight away.
✅ Do have a steady and eased back in approach when gyms re open.
Your body has gone from doing online bodyweight workouts and walks, to being re-introduced to the gym and all the equipment in a gym. It needs time to adapt and get used to the intensity of lifting some weight and using muscles it hasn’t used in a while.
✅ Do build your weights back up from lower than you think!
You may think that if you were squatting 100kg pre-lockdown, you can start on ~80kg, BUT when was the last time you squatted with any weight at all? You need to be sensible and start at a lower base than you think, otherwise, your first week of sessions back in the gym, will become your one and only session for that week.
✅ Do accept you’re starting from the start, stay humble and build into it.
Building from the two points above, your body is not going to be able to handle those 4 strength sessions you were doing 4 weeks ago. You may need to build up your frequency of sessions slowly. For example, 2 sessions in the first week, 3 in the second week, then try for 4 in the third week. Step by step, just like the easing of lockdown restrictions.
✅ Do have a planned and progressed program based around your return from lockdown.
This is a must if you’re serious about getting back to where you were pre-lockdown. Having a plan and sticking to that plan is vital for not just this particular scenario, but general strength and performance training. You program needs to reflect the lockdown period, and slowly build from a low starting base again. Talk to a professional strength and conditioning coach to get guidance on for this point. Just because the lockdown affected your program halfway through, does not mean you start up where you left off!
Work smarter, not harder! A professional strength and conditioning coach can turn your cube into a ball leaving you head and shoulders above your competition.
For more information on how to build up your strength quickly, safely and the most effective way possible reach out to our professional strength and conditioning coaches at ACE Performance