July 4, 2020


Getting back into your 'new normal' gym routine

MANY INDOOR GYMS, fitness studios and sports clubs reopen from today, with people across the country keen to get back into their fitness routines. For now, your “new normal” workout at your gym is sure to be a little different than it was a few months ago.

All gyms, studios and clubs will have safety measures to ensure things run smoothly and these will more than likely include booking systems, screening forms, temperature checks, cleaning breaks and perhaps limited opening hours. The priority is to keep you and those around you safe and healthy while using the gym, and we can all play our part in helping to do that.

Here is a handy checklist:

  • Don’t go to the gym if you’re unwell (any cold or flu like symptoms)
  • Ensure that you wash your hands or use hand sanitiser upon entering and exiting the gym
  • Ensure that you clean any gym equipment before and after your use
  • Ensure that you avoid touching your face and mouth during your workout
  • Maintain two metres of social distance from others as advised
  • Bring your own sweat towel and water bottle to avoid drinking from fountains
  • Change and shower at home if possible
  • For now, go to the gym during off-peak or quieter times where possible
  • After your workout ,ensure that you clean your training gear properly

As for getting back into your training routine, here are some important tips to consider:

Ease back into it

Your exercise routine over the last months wasn’t the same as it was back in February.

First of all, it’s great that you’re going back into your routine; however, my first tip is to avoid diving back into the deep end which always leads to overdoing the first few workouts.

Simple things like just getting moving again by doing basic mobility work or light aerobic work is what I suggest here. You shouldn’t be aiming to run 10 miles having done little training over the summer, or squat heavy having not done so for a while.

For so many of us, weight or resistance type training is what we really want to get back going again with. Over the last few months we have had limited options with regard to weight training. My advice here is the same: keep it simple for now.You don’t need to be setting new records at this stage as you are getting back into the groove — that rarely ends well.

Measure that first session back

Make no mistake about it, it can be tough to get going again.

My best advice here is to take small steps and give yourself an honest 4-6 weeks of getting back into things, following the plan and just gradually moving forward in the direction you want to take.

Measure your first session back and that will allow you to reassess at the end of the six weeks, providing you with guidance of how much progress you’ve made and where you need to improve.

Reassessing your progress every 4-6 weeks is something I like to do with my clients anyway.

This could be a before and after photo, a bodyfat measurement or even a bench mark workout.

I guarantee if you do look back on those six weeks you will have lots of wins in there which in turn will help you to ignite that fire again and get you back on track to hit your goals.

Make a plan

A plan or programme is something that will help you stay accountable.

A plan is also important to have something to work towards or a goal in mind. Having a journal or even using a vision board is something I’ve found quite useful as it can help you keep track of what your long-term goal is which perhaps you may have set at the start of the year.

If you are totally lost or unsure on the best route to take with regard to reaching your goal, then reach out to a trainer that will assist and guide you in the right direction.

Keep going with some of your current lockdown routine

Over the last few months a lot of us found new ways of exercising or possibly developed new routines. It was great to see people working out from home with Zoom workouts or even getting outside when they could, running, walking and cycling or using local parks to exercise. Keep that up and still train outside while we have the summer months and hopefully the nicer weather around before the winter sets in again.

On the rare occasions when we have some sunshine in Ireland, it is quite important to get outside and get our dose of Vitamin D. We spend enough time indoors throughout the year so now is the time to get outside and use your fitness by doing some activities outside. Here are some full body workouts you can do outside this summer. Not only is getting outside in the sunshine good for boosting our Vitamin D levels but overall it’s great for clearing the head and can only encourage us to keep working on our mental fitness.

The last few months have been challenging for us all and perhaps by now we can look at things differently and see how important our health truly is and how exercise can really play its part by keeping us physically and mentally strong. Let’s hope we can all keep moving forward in the right direction, playing our part and keeping everyone safe.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.
You can also see some of his previous articles here.