For some of us, gyms are opening back up. And according to some very in depth research (if you consider Twitter and memes in depth), there will be two types of people.
The first will be those that are at the door of their local gym an hour before it opens waiting to get in, banging on the door so they can get on the leg press.
The second will be those that are a bit more apprehensive. Kind of scared to train and face the reality of the gains that have been lost.
If you’re the first type of person, go you. Enjoy that squat rack that isn't a DIY one for all it’s worth. But if you’re the second type of person, who's a bit more anxious, lost, or struggling to find the motivation, you are not alone!
COVID-19 has certainly placed some challenges on our everyday routine and priorities, and with life slowly going back to how it once was, getting back into it can sometimes be harder than it looks.
So we rallied up our favourite tips and tricks to get excited for the gym again.
Patience and Acceptance
Easier said than done.
However it’s important to realise and establish that you won't be where you left off when the gyms closed — and that's okay!
A comforting thought is that everyone is going to be in the same boat. Your gym junkie inspo is probably not as strong as they once were, but take that as motivation. The lifter you look up to is probably going to grind it out no matter how much their program has stalled, and the same should go for you!
Most importantly, don't look at what your friends do, or what someone on Instagram does. Follow your program and do you!
If you’re concerned and anxious about all your hard work being lost, your body will actually adapt really quickly compared to if you were starting from scratch. It will all come back quite quickly. Don't be daunted, your journey back might not be as long as what you think.
And the best bit is, returning to the gym is a powerful thing that takes a lot of mental strength. Don’t underestimate the action of simply turning up.
Listen to your mental tiredness
Your first few weeks at the gym are going to feel strange. One session you might be able to smash it with ease, other sessions you’ll feel lactic acid so deep in your quads, you’ll feel like a newbie again. Not only will you feel physically, you’ll feel it mentally too. No matter how hard you try, it might just not feel the same for the first bit. There’s two important aspects to this.
Firstly, your brain knows what’s up. If you are feeling the fatigue more so than usual, that’s completely normal. Listen to your mental tiredness, the brain fog, or the inability to get the clarity you once had. You might need to tone it down for a bit and build back up what you had. Secondly, this is only temporary. Sure the first few weeks might not be as brutal as what you’re used to, but the body is pretty amazing at adapting. You’ll be powering through deadlifts in no time.
This is a big one. We spoke about the importance of physical recovery, but this applies to mental. They go hand in hand, so make sure your recovery is on point. And don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on the importance of recovery here.
It can be a bit of drag trying to get through those first few sessions, so make sure you give yourself the time you need to recover.
Find Your ‘Zone’ And Motivation
Put on your headphones. Eliminating all distractions and creating your own little world at the gym can help you focus a lot. Getting your head into the game is a great start.
Make sure you have a strict session plan, so when you get to the gym you can be confident in what you’re doing. Ryderwear athlete Jacqueline Polec (@jc_fit_) is a big believer in planning ahead. Scheduling your workout into your day and writing a detailed plan for what you’re going to train makes all the difference! “Plan the time you’re going to train, get up and make it happen! You’ll feel INCREDIBLE afterwards.”
If you’re still struggling, try doing an extended warm up to switch on mentally, put on your favourite playlist or podcast, and work up to getting into the thick of your workout.
You might also find it helpful to go back to why you were going to the gym in the first place. Why did you start training? What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve with the gym? Revisit those and revive your motivation.
And if you’re still struggling, our girl Qimmah Russo (@qimmahrusso) gave us some advice for motivation. “When all else seems like it's failed in life, the one thing you can always use to decompress that you have control of, is how actively you motivate yourself to be each day. No matter where you are you can choose to keep the blood flowing and feel alive. It's a choice, how do you choose?! Are you ready to put in work?”.
Get your threads on to get head strong
And finally, to get into the best frame of mind for getting up and about in the gym, wearing your favourite gym outfit can play a massive role in this. Look your best while feeling your best is so underrated and Ryderwear athlete Jacqueline Polec knows that better than anyone, “Pick your fave Ryderwear outfit because we all know an amazing outfit makes for an amazing workout!”
So if you’re looking for a fresh new fit, gals you need to get around the brand new Lauren Simpson x Ryderwear range. It’s strong, powerful, with a dash of sexy, and will get you up and motivated to get back into the gym. Check out the range here!
And for the guys, the BLOCK range is all you need for a freshen up. It's functional, reliable, and ready for you to smash out your PB’s again. Have a look here!