This post is all about one of my favourite places to be- the gym and no I’m not talking about the Pokeon version.
The place where fat goes to die, and our confident, sassy selves can emerge and make our ass look bangable again in yoga pants and where we become the stronger, healthier and happy versions we long to be.
It all sounds super easy- you did it once before right? But when you have been out of the gym or a fitness regime for a while, it can be pretty scary to get back into it. Especially if you took the time off for an injury or illness and your body isn’t exactly up to the standard it was before.
It’s hard. As hard as it is to start to join a gym and feel happy and comfortable in the first place- if not more. Your body has taken a relaxed and rested period of time off and shocking it back into system can be exhausting- and not in the good way.
But the best thing to remember is it gets easier. Just like riding a bike- your body and mind remembers and after a while you will be squattin’ like a pro again.
I have recently just got back into a gym/fitness regime myself and there’s a few things that I have learnt that will make the process that little bit easier and that transition from coach potato back into gym-fanatic a little smoother. Of course like any of my fitness posts, these are what work for me- but they may not work for other people. Always seek professional help from a doctor or personal trainer if you are unsure.
Take it slow.
As much as you are hating going at a reduced rate, your body isn’t ready to hit those reps as fast or as heavy as before. Your body needs the chance to catch up to the way your mind is working. Set yourself goals, just like before and work up to your normal regime. Don’t take it as a back step. Take it as a side one. Your body will thank you for it.
Listen to your body.
As much as your mind is going to be saying go for it, your bod might be talking a whole different language. If you have had an injury, or a prolonged rest period your muscles, strength and stamina are going to be reduced as well. Listen to your body, the way it is feeling and don’t get angry if you can’t hit that mark just yet. The worst thing you can do is push yourselves when your body isn’t ready- all you are going to do is cause yourself further damage which will result in more time off.
Reduce your %’s.
This was one of the hardest steps for me. By only allowing myself the opportunity to hit a reduced heart rate of 65% (a 20% reduced version of my normal max) it meant that I was sure I wasn’t pushing my body and causing my heart rate to increase too high. This was frustrating as hell as I just wanted to do my normal regime and hit my normal targets, but it meant my body could learn the muscle memory again rather than try and force it to run a race it no longer knew.
Swap it up.
Finding it difficult to be in the gym surrounding by your buds, hitting out your normal routine? Why not try other low-impact sports and regimes while your body is getting used to be used again. Try swapping your HIIT class for swimming, your weight training for a yoga class or your spin session for a light walk? Your mind won’t be getting angry at your reduced mobility and speed, as it’ll be a new experience and no comparisons.
Build yourself back up.
This is mentally and physically. Your body is wonderful at adapting to the situations you throw yourself into. Stick to building yourself back up brick by brick. Take each day as it comes. Grow your targets slowly and enjoy hitting the marks again. See it as a learning process and enjoy getting back into it. Exercise is supposed to be a way of getting healthy, strong and happy. Don’t hinder the building process by bulldozing in too quickly.
Surround yourself with people that can help your journey, fuel your body with the right products and ingredients, get a decent nights sleep and just allow your body and mind to get back into that gym-mindset at it’s own pace. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are we.
Feel free to message me on twitter or drop me a comment below if you want any more tips in getting back into a fitness regime!
gimme my ass back.