After a month or more of quarantine, how far are you off from your fitness? Due to the global crisis, almost all the shows needed to be postponed or cancelled during this difficult time. It is hard for people to decide to continue or not for their planned competitions when everything is so uncertain. This is especially a challenge for our mindsets when you are not sure if you actually should be on a prep or not.
In mid- March, most of the gyms in the province were forced to close their doors. Some of you might be lucky enough to still have a home gym to work out in, however, for most of us without gym access, you may find your physique have some or dramatic changes after this long break. Home training with bands and dumbbells may still help you to keep your muscles and training on track, but needless to say, weight training at the gym undoubtedly makes your body feel different. It enhances your muscle growth progressively.
As Governments have started discussing gradually reopening the economy, we are expecting the gyms to reopen soon. No matter if you made some maintenance or lost gains, there are some ways to set yourself up for getting back to the gym.
Do Not do Excessive Cardio
As much as you want to shred your weight gained fast after this quarantine, rushing back to the gym with a large amount of cardio may not be good for longevity. After a long break from fitness, the first thing you want to start with should be gaining your energy back and building up your cardiovascular endurance day by day. If you restart your fitness with excessive cardio all at once, it might bring your body back to adaptation too quickly. Also, you should really focus on re-building your muscle mass first after a long break from weight training. Too much cardio will probably set you back in long term or lead to a plateau too soon. Instead of having two hours per day cardio once you get back to the gym, full body circuit training may actually help overall.
Make A Graduate Training Plan
Just like when you restart lifting weights after a travelling trip or injury break, you do not want to start right back to your original weights. This might put you at risk of injury/ re-injury when your strength is not as much as before. Your muscles were not constantly trained hard during the break period. You might probably want to rush back to getting strong or gain back what you lost FAST. But this is not ideal, as your body needs time to adapt and retrain. The good news is you WILL get back to where you were as your muscles have procedural memory. It might take a few weeks but this is the process of reorganizing and rewiring our nerves to make the brain/ body connection in order to regain lost muscle. It’s also important to supplement your diet with nutritional rich greens, vitamins, and other natural health products.
Stick Back to your Meal Plan
Let’s be honest here. Right at the moment knowing your show is delayed or cancelled, you have been relaxed on your diet you had planned for your prep. Other than that, with all the financial and mental stress putting on, the first thing you may go to is comfort food. Understanding during the time of quarantine, there is some limitation with certain prep food for your groceries. Now you should have no more excuses in eating healthy again. Meanwhile, you really do not want to go to a crush diet to get a quick bounce back. Especially if you need the right nutrition for re-establishing your weight training. You can simply eliminate the “healthy snacks” and junk food that you indulge yourself during the lockdown. Mark down your daily food and calories intake carefully to replenish your body with nourishing food is the key.
Reset your mindset
It is normal to feel unmotivated and setback emotionally during the pandemic time. You may feel you are forced to take a step back with your prep and your fitness goals. Instead of keeping yourself drilling in the downtime, or even with the thoughts that you have missed some time, you should prepare a post-quarantine mindset. Think about this quarantine time is simply a deload period, you are going to be back stronger than ever and nothing can stop you from that since then.
“New Normal” Workout Environment
Given the advice from the public health, there will be some time that we will have to adapt to a “new normal” life. Gym is a highly concerned environment when all these social distancing restrictions are still being put on. We were so used to working out with others side by side, taking turns with sharing the same equipment. But now our reality and responsibility is to not only to protect yourself but also your community. For example, you may want to take a spare cardio machine in between with another gym member; sanitize the equipment before and after use; wear non-medical or cloth masks while working out. It may be as uncomfortable as it sounds, but let’s face the “new normal” gym environment, and you definitely do not want the gym to be reclosed again from lifting our guards down.
Looking forward to getting back to the gym, it is better to start slow and rebuild gradually. It is the same as when you get back to the gym after a long break. To prepare getting back to prep, you should still keep your body weight/ bands/ dumbbells workout at home. By the time you get back to the gym, try not to lift too much and force your body too harsh at first. Yet make a plan for longevity. Find a coach or trainer if you need. Be smart. Be safe. Stay patient. And Stay Focus.
Written by: Eve Chan (Instagram)