Coming Back to the Gym after (or in the midst of) a Pandemic, by Coach Chris
Gyms around the US are open for business again, after about 3 months of closed doors due to COVID-19. Some folks were fortunate enough to have home gym setups, and were able to continue with a relatively normal workout routine. Others worked out with limited or no equipment, or not at all. Regardless of the situation, change is always hard.
If you’re getting started up with workouts again, or just getting used to working out in a physical gym for the first time in many months, here are three important tips to help you be successful!
- Just keep showing up. You may get frustrated with how “out of shape” you feel, or “how much you’ve lost” since before the pandemic. Those are very normal feelings. The most important thing is to just keep showing up, even after a discouraging workout. Things will get better, but only if you work at it. It’s just like when you started — the first habit we need to work on is consistency. Don’t give up on yourself!
- Avoid comparison. If you fixate on where your fitness used to be — how much you used to lift, how fast you could run, how many pull ups you can do — you’re in for a rough time. Your mindset is the single biggest thing you can work on to make your transition back to the gym run smoothly. Be honest about where your fitness is. Avoid comparing your current self to your past self. Your past self had a very different set of circumstances. You might even be working out in a mask, or outdoors, or at very different class times, or with different equipment. Give yourself a clean slate. Set some new baselines for yourself. Celebrate every small victory and ride those little bits of momentum as much as you can.
- Scale your workouts. Don’t let our ego get in the way, when it comes to scaling workout weights or movements. Give yourself patience and understanding, and TIME! It won’t take as long as you think to recover your fitness. If you go too hard or too heavy too soon, it’s a great way to start off the second half of 2020 with an injury and even more time away from the gym. Focusing on quality, not quantity, is going to help you get there faster.
Remember friends, this pandemic was, and still is, a big deal. A life changing event, much like a new child, a new job, or a tough breakup. Of course your fitness has changed. Of course your motivation feels harder. Your brain has been in fight or flight mode more in the last three months than ever before! Give yourself patience and understanding. Your fitness is a journey, not a destination. This is just another weird detour, that might have cost us some time, but in the long run can help us appreciate what we do have even more.