TECHNOGYM’S TIPS FOR SUCCESSFULLY RETURNING TO THE GYM
Here in the UK, where Mahindra Racing are based, we are incredibly happy that the gyms and sports areas have finally reopened following a lockdown. Whilst people are excited about this return to normality, after a long break away it is important to adapt safely back in your new exercise program and environment.
Many have struggled to exercise to the same intensity they normally would in the gym through a lack of access to resistance training equipment. As muscle strength decreases over the course of several months due to lack of activity there is potential you may overload, which could lead to injuries. Returning to the gym after a long break can also be quite overwhelming and it’s important to understand some health and safety guidance when getting back into your fitness routine.
We spoke to Luke Townsend, Education Manager and Format Specialist at Technogym and asked for his best advice, tips, and guidance on returning to the gym. Here’s what he had to say…
Q: Where is the best place to start when thinking about returning to exercise and the gym?
A: Planning is key, sitting down and working out what you want to achieve when at the gym is vital, Even reaching out to a fitness professional to get some expert advice can really help to a successful return to exercise.
Your fitness professional can remotely prescribe you a programme based on your current fitness levels and goals such as via the Technogym Mywellness app.
Planning or being prescribed a workout will help avoid spending too much time on one machine or area of your body and thus reduces chances of injury.
Q: As well as having a structured plan what would be a MUST in your return to gym programme?
A: Depending on your goals there are many things you could focus on but a key to any exercise workout is to make sure you complete a target warm-up focused on mobility and activation.
A functional 5-10 min warm up can be used before any session, but it is particularly important before a workout when activity levels have dropped off and we have often been sedentary for some time or during the day (i.e sitting a lot).
The warmup could include things like a light walk, run or cycle…plus some functional stretches using the Technogym SKILLTOOLS flexibility pole or resistance bands to help mobilise, activate and get you ready for your workout.
Diving straight into HIIT or weights may in fact lead to injury…so it’s worth spending a few minutes at the start of your workout to prevent any injuries.
Q: What advice can you give for after your workout session?
A: It’s all about rest and recovery, especially in the first couple of weeks of getting into your new post lockdown routine. Limit yourself to 3 days a week of increased exercise for the first 2 weeks of returning to the gym. This will give you plenty of time for your tissue to adapt to the higher load and resistance you are putting your muscles through.
It’s also important to keep well hydrated and ensure you are eating the right foods to compliment your exercise frequency and intensity. If you are heading back to the office after working from home, it can be easy to forget to plan your meals and drinks pre and post gym…so ensure you have this in place the night before.
Q: And finally, do you have any other advice?
A: Yes, Enjoy the process and your exercise!
For some people over the last 12 months exercise has become a chore and in some cases the feeling of exercise has been demotivating. Maybe use this as an opportunity to switch your training routine around or try something different. Look at classes or groups that may be available (reduced numbers of course) or enlist the help of a PT for some motivation.
You may even want to try cross training to avoid spending lengths of time on the same cardio machine or add in some strength training.
Luke’s Ladder Workout:
Great for keeping your heart rate high!
First, choose a Kettlebell, dumb bell or anything weighted in your home.
Set a timer and complete 10 reps of each exercise, then 9,8,7 and so on until you get to 1 as fast as you can.
1. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
2. Kettlebell Overhead Lunge
3. Kettlebell Ground to Overhead
4. Body Weight Push Up
Remember to maintain form and take breaks when you need to!
For more workout suggestions, follow Luke on Instagram: @luketownsend_tg
Images reproduced with kind permission of Technogym