The last few months we've all broken out the resistance bands and adjustable dumbbells once again as we returned to home workouts. But the end is most definitely in sight with gyms opening in just a few days! And whilst this is of course very exciting, it will be a bit of a process getting back into the swing of things and finding a routine once again.
So, if you're panicking about how on earth you're going to get yourself back into a routine something like the one you had before, here are just a few tips to get you on the right track.
1. Be excited and get your motivation back
You need to get some motivation back because these last few months might have stumped your motivation once again after just getting it back. Motivation will be the driver behind restarting your routine, so here are a couple of ideas to get your motivation back:
- Make a checklist of gym exercises you want to do
- Visualise your new goals
- Remember you will progress quicker now than before
- Watch some workouts for inspiration
- Less thinking, more doing
2. Choose a new routine
Hopping on a new programme will be perfect for restarting your gym routine post-lockdown. This is the perfect time to start from fresh, so you can hone in on the weak-spots and come back stronger than before.
Have a think about what you want to achieve too, so you can work in alignment with your goals. For building muscle and strength, a full body workout 2-3 times a week is always a solid choice (especially since our full bodies probably need it right now).
Even if it’s not a new routine or programme, at least choose something you enjoy and feel comfortable doing. Then for your first session just play it by ear — you might have to anyway if it’s busy.
Looking for a programme to guide your re-build? Try our build muscle guide.
3. See where you’re at in your first session
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for your first time back. Just go into your first gym session as an experiment to find out how much strength and endurance you have lost over lockdown.
Even if you have been keeping up with your home workouts, chances are there are some exercises you might not be quite as good at. Don’t worry too much though, we’re all in the same boat.
After your first gym session is out the way, you can start setting some new PBs and clear markers for improvement.
4. Set new goals
Once you know where you’re at with your fitness level, set some new goals. Use our fitness goal selector to help you out with your nutrition plan.
Lost your strength on the bench? Set a goal of reaching X weight by Y time. Don’t make it unattainable like trying to reach your previous lifts by the end of the week, but make it an achievable fitness goal that you want to build up to.
5. Get prepped with some protein and pre-workout
You might be down on supplies after all this so make sure to stock up on everything you need. Get the building blocks you need for those first, tough sessions back.
Think about what you need to make the most out of your workouts and what you need to recover too. Whether it’s pre-workout to get you through, or protein to build on those gains, make sure you’re prepared.
Why not treat yourself to some new kit too? This is a great way to get yourself excited, as well as feel good as you do your first strut back across the gym floor, or pose in the weights mirror.
6. Be consistent
This is something we all should remind ourselves of: the importance of consistency. How often do you want to go back to the gym per week? It doesn’t need to be the same frequency as before — you can blend your home workouts with your gym ones.
Still write down how much you want to be back at the gym (and a reduced amount is probably a good idea) and remember to be consistent with whatever you do. With some consistency, you'll be back to your old gym-self in no time.
7. Stay safe
There is no point in starting your workouts if you end up getting yourself or others sick, so make sure to use your common sense when you’re out there while staying safe and having fun.
That means if you or someone you live with feels ill, it’s probably better to stay home. We don’t want our gyms to close again.
Staying safe also applies to preventing injury. Remember that you’re probably not going to be able to lift as heavy as you did this time last year. The worst thing you can do is have to take another few months off for injury, so play it safe and gradually you’ll get back to where you were.
Take Home Message
Restarting your gym routine after lockdown might be hard, but remember to be consistent, patient and, most importantly, safe and sensible. We can’t wait to get lifting heavy again.
How are you feeling about heading back to the gym?
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Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.
In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!
Find out more about Evie's experience here.