Just taking a week away can leave us sore and tired on the first session back. So, coming back to the gym after an extended break will be a struggle for most. Especially if you haven’t been keeping up with your fitness regime at home.
So how do we make this transition period easier? Well I have prepared three tips for you, which will aid the process and make for a smoother time.
1. Just go
Overthinking it and getting worried about not knowing your way around the gym or fearing how hard it will all be, will not help you. Instead, just get in there and worry about the rest when you get there. Familiarising yourself with the equipment and protocol will help you to become comfortable in those surroundings again. Don’t worry about it being the most efficient or intense session ever, just relish being allowed back at the gym again and enjoy yourself!
Putting pressure on yourself will make it harder to get back to what you were doing before your break and may even persuade you not to go back. In fact, studies show that overthinking and the fear of an event can lead to a decrease in performance. Remember, the goal is to get back to the gym. If you’re there, then that’s a win.
2. Keep the intensity low
Go easy on yourself. Going too hard, too early, can lead to muscle and other tissue damage. Start at about 50% of the weight or speed you were using before your time off and gradually increase over several weeks, until you reach your previous level. Practice the functional movement patterns and don’t push yourself too much initially. You don’t want to push yourself so much that it puts you off going back again! Either do fewer reps, lighter weights, or have longer rest periods
3. Do what you like the most!
Ask yourself, what did I think about, mostly? Which exercise did I miss before I took a break? Then, go to the gym and do that! The gym should be fun and rewarding. Therefore, doing exercises you enjoy will make you happy. Make a beeline for that piece of equipment or that area and do your thing. Remember, studies show that anything you enjoy doing will be easier to stick to
The gym is a place to become stronger, fitter and grow into what you want to be! Enjoy yourself and don’t overthink or worry about anything. Having fun is the most important thing.