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It was great news as gyms and fitness studios reopened last week, although this has since been tempered in some unfortunate postcodes!
Hopefully in the downtime you have been able to maintain some level of fitness and are ready to explode back into the gym. For those of you returning to training, or those just starting out here are some of our top tips to help you stay motivated whilst preventing injuries along your way.
Set yourself a target
Take this seriously. Having a goal or a focus improves motivation and your chance of remaining a member beyond the honeymoon period. The best goals are SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. It is as simple as setting a time goal for a runner, or perhaps a specific number of correct reps, a target weight to lift, or maybe it’s a weight loss goal. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!
Don’t expect to be at the same strength/fitness/speed as you were before lockdown.
Start small and build up. Working out at 50-70% intensity is a good base point. When lifting weights leave some reps in the tank. Do this for 2-4 weeks to build a foundation. When you are ready to progress bump up the intensity by 10% the following week. Remember that getting injured is a greater setback than a slowly building program.
Using the correct exercise technique is key to successful outcomes. You may be able to lift heavier by ‘cheating the exercise’, however you will increase your injury risk and you will not see the same through movement muscle gains.
Expect to be sore
DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness will follow for up to 72 hours. DOMS is muscle pain that is completely normal to experience. This will improve as your muscles become more accustomed to the exercise. Call me crazy but I enjoy the feeling…..knowing you have pushed yourself and that your body will repair and become stronger, is a buzz.
Rest equals reward
Adopt the mindset that you get stronger on your rest days. This is when your body is repairing itself from the previous days training. Non weight bearing exercises like swimming or cycling as well as functional mobility (stretching and foam rolling) can offer an alternative to rest days.
Listen to your body
New niggles may arise due to exercise technique, muscle imbalances or overuse. If they do persist or you need help with an exercise program please contact our team. Pure Physio is happy to help.
As always keep your distance, follow hand hygiene and stay safe!