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How to ease back to the gym: What to avoid and how to set new habits
August is usually a dead month for the City, with so many people travelling away for the month. But this year it’s a real ghost town. Thankfully, every week I write these articles, it gets a little busier. And now that office life is starting up again, it’s time to get back in the gym. Here are my top tips to ease back in safely and effectively.
The hardest part is getting through the door. With everybody’s schedules being torn up over the last few months, it’s difficult for people to break out of their comfort zones. Understand that you will meet some resistance. The dreaded aches and pains, the thought of getting up early, the anticipation of the rowing machine. This is all normal, so try think about the rewards instead. More energy, less fat, more confidence, better sleep.
Your body is not what it used to be
When returning to your fitness regime, it’s important to remember that the person who went to the gym a few months ago is not the same as the person you are right now. Take it easy and gradually build up. Drop your weight selection right down, lower the intensity, and go for a full body approach rather than hammering one muscle group. Look on the bright side: no leg day.
Your body simply won’t be used to the stresses of a heavy weights workout, and pushing too hard too fast is sure to result in pulled muscles, demotivating fatigue and days-long aches.
Be patient, get your body moving and do at least three sessions before starting to crank up the intensity. It’s been five months since most of us last visited a gym, just enjoy the endorphins for a while.
Avoid these exercises
An extension of the last point: leave some sets out of your routine altogether. Avoid heavy deadlifts, squats and any sort of clean and press.
These exercises are very taxing on the body, involving lots of rhythm and timing, and if you haven’t been training for a while, it’s easy to get something slightly off, leading to injury.
Start with lighter weights or dumbbells with higher reps – anything above 12 will be enough to refamiliarise your body with these movements.
Source: How to ease back to the gym: What to avoid and how to set new habits - City A.M.