It’s the New Year which means many people will be getting back in the gym for the first time in a long time (or ever). Not knowing what to do when restarting a fitness routine may be a barrier for some. It’s important to practice patience at the beginning. Doing too much too soon may lead to injuries. I’m going to introduce some tips about what to do your first week back in the gym after a long break.
Start slow. Your body needs time to adjust to the new workload. Your first week back in the gym after a long break, commit to going to the gym two to three days. The following weeks you can slowly increase the number of days.
Type of activity
Begin your workout with some dynamic stretching or light cardio.You want to be sure your body is warmed up before beginning the main part of your workout.
If weight training, use light weights. Repetition range should be between 10-20 per exercise. High repetitions will help retrain your body for the movement. Body weight training is a good option when reentering the gym because your risk of injury is low. Try push ups, squats, inverted rows, lunges, or planks.
I recommend starting slowly your first week back in the gym after a long break to avoid injuries and excessive soreness.
Soreness and recovery
Recovery is always important. Your first week back in the gym you’re more likely to experience soreness. Reduce soreness by including a proper cool down with some stretching or foam rolling at the end of your workouts.
Some soreness is expected the day following your first workout in a while, but you should still be able to move without issue. As your body adapts, your soreness will decrease. Soreness is not a sign of a good workout. You can still have a good workout without being sore after!
It can take a few weeks before you start seeing improvements. Listen to your body and stay consistent with your workout schedule. Gradually work to increase the weight and/or reps of each exercise. Try sticking with a program for 6-8 weeks before switching it up. Fit Focus’ personal trainers are always here to help if you’re still unsure of what to do.