Did you take some time off this holiday season? Maybe it’s been a bit longer than that, and you know what? It’s okay! Moving is so important for your body, but you don’t need to beat yourself up if you’ve been out of practice. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is physical activity, so no matter where you are, here are some tips to get back into it!
Don’t expect to be exactly where you were:
You may have started to see muscle loss in just two weeks without lifting weights. Don’t worry, this is normal. As you get back into the gym, don’t expect to be lifting the same heavy weights that you were using before gyms shut down. I promise this will not go well and you may injure yourself. It can also be discouraging. This extended time away from weight training will have decreased muscle and more importantly the timing/igniting of your nervous system.
It will definitely be frustrating as you get back, but be patient! As you get back to the gym, train like you are beginning your fitness journey. Spend a couple of weeks performing exercises from each muscle group at 50-60%. This will help you awaken/retrain your nervous system before getting back to where you were with your heavy lifts. Be patient and be kind to yourself and your body. You will get back to where you were, as it won’t take as long to rebuild that muscle as it was to build it originally.
Remember to Stretch:
It’s no secret that as you get back to weight lifting, even at a low weight, you will be sore. Stretching will be more important than ever as you get back to weight training. Even if you hate stretching like I do, your body will reward you for taking that 15 minutes to stretch it out. This will help reduce muscle soreness and get you back to being THE HULK.
Written by GUADS staff member Patrick with contributions from www.menshealth.com and GUADS staff member Kate