Getting back to the gym

Jatin Vij
Jatin Vij

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science
This was something we have been looking forward to for a long time. We can now finally get back to the gym! (Depends on your location)

It’s been around 4-5 months now and either people have not been working out at all or they’ve been doing some body-weight exercises or using some other form of resistance. It might become a little difficult to decide the right approach to your workout when heading back to the gym after so long – should you directly jump into regaining the lost muscle or do you take it slow? If you take it slow, how slow and how should you ease into your workouts? Let’s look at this and other pertinent questions. What was your training volume? Assess your training volume for the past 4-5 months (lock-down period) and start your training with a similar volume. For example, if you were training chest 2 times a week doing 3 sets of flat push-ups and 3 sets of incline push-ups during each session, then your weekly volume of chest is 12 (6 sets total * 2 times a week). During the first week back at the gym, start with something similar and aim to hit around the same volume. If you have not trained at all in the past 2 months, start slow with lower weights. Also, starting with a weekly volume of 6-8 sets would be a good range. You can change this depending on how you feel in the coming weeks. I know you are excited to get into the gym after ages, but if you suddenly increase your overall training volume, there is a good chance you may injure yourself – a risk you wouldn’t want to take. Exercise Selection When you enter the gym and see all those dumbbells and machines, it’ll be like meeting your childhood friends after ages. But should you use all of them? Well, for the proper development of your muscles, you just need to select 2-4 exercises and ensure that you hit your target volume. If you were using resistance bands at home, then it would be nice to use dumbbells or barbells now and push-ups could be replaced with a bench press. Introducing a new exercise after 4 months of home workout would definitely help you get back in shape faster. It would also be psychologically more satisfying, as it would break the monotony of doing similar workouts every day. Select exercises which are comfortable for you. Also, don’t forget to note down your weights since this will come in handy while tracking your volume later. Week 1 done, what next? As you enter week 2 and perform the same exercises as you did earlier, you will notice that you are now able to lift slightly heavier weights. Yet, you may not want to lift as heavy as you previously could. Use the next couple of weeks to gradually load the bar and increase the training volume. It is always a challenge to put on more muscle than you ever had. However, your muscle memory is your best friend. So, regaining your lost muscle in a few weeks’ time and getting into shape again is surely possible. Hope this helps. Happy lifting 😊
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