If you’re like most people, then you’re probably slowly considering going back to the gym. After all, training facilities across the globe are re-opening their doors with the easing restrictions concerning the coronavirus.
But, before you go back to your favorite squat rack or treadmill, there are some things you need to keep in mind. As you transition from home workouts to gym training, you might want to consider two things: how to keep yourself safe from the virus and how to avoid overtraining.
In this post, we will go over both considerations. Let us have a look…
Take the necessary safety precautions
The most apparent consideration has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most owners of gyms have taken some precautions, they had to due to government requirements and regulations. But, to ensure your safety (and minimize the risk of spreading the virus), you should also be prepared yourself:
- Bring your own hand sanitizer
- Wear a mask at least when you use the changing room, or even better when doing your workout
- Always wash your hands once you enter the gym and before you leave
- Keep a healthy distance from other gym-goers.
But, aside from the obvious danger of the corona virus, it’s essential to consider other factors like muscle soreness, overtraining, and injuries as you most likely trained differently back home or outdoors during the last six months.
Ease back into your old training routine
So long as we train regularly, the body is perfectly capable of maintaining its adaptations — muscle mass, strength, athletic performance, stress tolerance, work capacity, and such.
But, as we stop exposing the body to that stress, it loses its ability to handle it. In other words, taking time off from the gym brings about deconditioning. Over time, we lose our muscle, strength, and recoverability. All of this is entirely normal and to be expected.
So, when you get back to the gym, it’s important to pace yourself and ease back into your old training routine. Sure, it’s tempting to jump the gun and try to pick off where you left. But, what you will probably notice is that you are not nearly as athletic as before and that you cannot handle the same work volumes as before.
If you push yourself and try to match your old performance, you will increase your risks of overtraining, injuring yourself, and suffering from debilitating delayed-onset muscle soreness.
So, what you could do is this:
- Start with three weekly workouts of 30 to 60 minutes each. In the first week, keep your workouts incredibly light and mostly focus on proper exercise form, rather than lifting heavier weights.
- Slowly progress your way up each week. Add a bit more work, an extra exercise, a bit more weight on the bar, or something else.
At the same time, pay attention to how well you’re recovering between workouts and how sore you feel.
plan. travel. workout.
If you are intro tracking as I am, you should not pay too much attention on the numbers the first week. If you keep going, you will be back to your previous level very soon again. Tracking might be interesting also to measure how long this really takes. I use the “Strong” app and find this very helpful to keep my trainings units documented.
We are also working on integrating (selected) fitness apps with HotelGyms.com. The next release will bring some very cool features. Stay tuned!