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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

3 Things About Heading Back To The Gym

The day is coming! We still don’t know when, but it is coming!

If you know what this is from, you are awesome.

What am I talking about?

Gyms opening back up, of course!

In preparation for this I just wanted to give you a few hints on how to restart your fitness program. Even if you’ve been doing home workouts it may not be the same.

There are three things I think can help. Let’s go over them.

1 – Understand that you are not the same person you were three-and-a-half months ago. 

Again, even if you’ve been doing home workouts and doing them pretty hard, give yourself just a little bit of leeway when you come back. We have all been under a tremendous amount of stress and that has an effect.

This is going to have the greatest impact on your strength with your main lifts, especially if you are used to using a barbell and haven’t had access to one.

The only downside to taking it easy is that you’ll find you can go harder. The upside is that you’ll be better at avoiding an injury and you won’t be incredibly sore the next few days.

Don’t worry too much about your strength long-term though. Once you get used to the gym again your strength will return faster than you might think.

My general advice here is just drop the weight you are lifting and do fewer overall sets as you ease back in.

2 – Understand that you’re not completely starting over, either. 

As I said above, you want to start back a little on the easier side, but remember to do that with the intention of ramping back up. Don’t use this as an excuse to baby yourself. You know the difference between starting back in a prudent fashion and just not trying very hard.

You have a foundation of fitness you’ve built up over time and the body will remember where you were if you ask it to.

3 – Just start showing back up.

I’ve said before that the worst part about an injury isn’t the injury itself but the injured person’s reaction to it. This is the same thing.

If you were in a good exercise groove before all this started but you haven’t done much in the last few months, don’t worry about it. You can’t go back and change it. Just head back to the gym. Don’t put expectations on it. Just show up knowing that it’s the right thing to do for yourself.

If it was the right thing to do before, that hasn’t changed. Don’t put expectations on your return, just go back in and do what you can do. You know it will be good in the long run.

Overall, this isn’t all that complicated and shouldn’t be a cause for worry. This time has shown us how important our health really is, both physically and mentally.

Don’t forget that.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, Pn2, PAS, FMS Castro Valley Fitness 2861 Grove Way 510-755-9191

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