Most gyms in England are opening up again so I thought I’d share some tips and things for you to think about before you go back after a 4 month + hiatus!
Personally I’m not going back just yet, I don’t have a membership at any gym at home because I usually come home and work as a fitness instructor over summer and therefore don’t have to pay a membership but use the gym around the classes I’m teaching, however I don’t feel right as staff going in to use the gym for free when there’s limited slots for members etc. I also cancelled my membership for the gym I go to in Leicester, and although I do miss that style of training, I probably won’t go back to gyms this year, unless it’s a one off. I’ve been loving training at home, I have a small selection of weights which is enough to make me work and I’m happy with that, along with my fitness classes as well!
That being said, I do have some tips and things to think about if you are going back!
HAVE A PLAN
I definitely used to be guilty of heading into the gym and making it up as I go along. But it also meant I spent a lot of time faffing about and just wandering aimlessly while I thought of what to do next – that usually happened on days when I didn’t really want to be there. Now that there’s a strict time limit and you need to get in and out and get your workout in as efficiently as possible, it’s a really good time to start following an actual plan. It might be busy though and if equipment you need is being used, you need to think about what you can do instead and effectively have a plan B for each exercise.
EASE YOURSELF BACK IN
This is so important!! Especially if you’ve not been lifting any weights at home, don’t go back to the gym and try and use the same weights you did before lockdown. I don’t want to be a Negative Nelly, but it’s not gonna happen! Ease yourself in slowly and build that strength back up gradually – you’ll be there in no time. If you try and dive straight back in to where you left off, you’re going to put yourself at serious risk for injury, especially if you’ve not been as active during lockdown.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
Everyone’s going to be posting their gym sessions all over Instagram, so try not to fall into the comparison trap. It’s hard not to do it automatically, but focus on your own progress and how you feel about your training rather than wondering how it compares to someone else that you follow. Everyone is at different stages of their fitness journey, and everyone has been doing different amounts/varieties of training over the last few months and that’s going to affect your gym performance. Celebrate your own victories, and be proud of yourself for going back to the gym! Also don’t beat yourself up if your first session isn’t amazing and you don’t feel as strong/fit/lean as you used to once you’re there. Completely normal but you will get it back!
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF
Kind of already covered this one but just wanted to reiterate. Be kind to yourself! Also don’t even compare yourself to your pre-lockdown self. Think of it as starting fresh, wipe the slate clean and make new personal bests to beat.
Remember there is NO RUSH to go back! If you’re not ready yet, that’s totally cool. If you’re loving home workouts, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t stick with them a while longer. Or forever. Personally I am loving home workouts and will definitely be something I take out of lockdown with me. But I also understand why people are ready to get back to the squat rack! On the other hand, home workouts can be extremely effective and a great way to train.
The gym shouldn’t be a chore, of course it’s going to feel like that at times but if you’re not at least a little bit excited to go back then don’t. Find another form of exercise that you actually enjoy and makes you feel good!
If you need any help with planning a gym session or programme for yourself, hit me up! You can drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I’m a Level 3 Personal Trainer and would love to help you reach your goals! Even if you just have a question about training or the gym or anything big or small, I’d love to chat with you.
Not ready to go back to the gym but want to do something? Check out my online classes
Let me know what your thoughts are about going back to the gym, if you’re already back, if you’re going this week or if you’re holding off a bit longer. If you’ve already been when you’re reading this, let me know how it was!