Returning to training after months or even a year of lockdown can be quite a shock to the body with the extended downtime where you were off your natural rhythm. It’s quite like professional athletes returning after the offseason; you’re going to feel a bit rusty, and your body will take some time before it can handle previous training intensity.
Since the COVID-19 restrictions began and people can’t go to the gym anymore, many people found themselves at home having the itch to work out but without a gym to work out. For most people who don’t have personal workout equipment at home, it has been a struggle.
When people stop working out, they are forced to “de-train” or get out of their long-term workout routine. Of course, after some time, the human body will experience some effects and issues with detraining as the effects of continuous training start to disappear, resulting in regression or reset. Here are a couple of the most common effects of detraining:
- Endurance – Endurance is built on repetition. As you work hard to complete your workout plan each day, your endurance continues to develop, but what happens when you suddenly stop working? Of course, your endurance will stop building, and in extended times of detraining, your endurance will start to go down. You may not notice it, but once you try working out for a bit after a period of detraining, you’ll notice that you can’t work out with the same intensity as before.
- Weight changes – Many people go to the gym to increase or lose weight, and once they get to their desired weight, the key to maintaining it is a consistent diet and workout. However, when detraining, the workout part is compromised. So, if you haven’t trained for a time, you may experience your weight going up or down, especially if you also stop your diet and you don’t do light exercises from time to time.
For someone to start working out again after, there are still various factors that these people with their gym trainers and fitness coaches need to consider before they can do it. Remember, your body has gone from consistent training to detraining, and you can’t just walk straight into the fire and work out at full intensity. Everything needs consideration, such as:
- Detraining activities – During the lockdown, did you completely stop working out, or did you do some exercises from time to time? Furthermore, are there habits you developed that might influence how you need to work out again? Did you watch movies all day? The activities you did during the lockdown can affect your next step, so make sure to consult with your trainer.
- Diet – Your diet is also important as it influences your weight. Furthermore, it’s also key for you to consider which foods to add and avoid in your diet plan, depending on your previous eating habits.
- Motivation – So, the lockdown’s just finished, and you can start going to the gym to work out again. You may be so motivated right now, and you feel like you wasted a lot of months locked inside your home, time which could have been used to attain your fitness goals. However, even with much motivation, you should avoid trying to make up for the lost time and working out too much. Take it slowly because overtraining won’t help you achieve results faster. Instead, it can cause injuries that will make you miss working out even more.
To make sure you get the results you want and at the right pace as you begin to start working out again, here are some tips that can help you get started:
- If you’re an athlete returning to training, don’t try to do everything at once, as it might cause you too much fatigue for someone who hasn’t been having intense workouts for months. Instead, try choosing one part of your game that you want to focus on each day. Plan exactly how you want to do it and motivate yourself by understanding how it can make you a better athlete and improve your performance.
- Since you missed working out for a few months, make sure to prepare and warm-up well even if you’re not going full intensity yet. It’s to make sure that your body will be in the right condition for exercise. Warming up also decreases your chance of injuring yourself over the course of your workout.
- Try to work out with other people. It makes working out more fun, and it provides you with people with whom you can share fitness stories and thoughts, so you can help each other be more motivated. Furthermore, it will allow you to have communication with other people and learn more things that can be useful for your workout.
- Recognize the things you did well after every session. It can help you know that all the hard work you’re putting in contributes to achieving your fitness goals.
Going back from months of lockdown without exercise to slowly working hard to attain your fitness goals again isn’t easy. As Carnegie’s best personal trainer, our advice is to be patient and be ready for all the challenges that can come along the way. Furthermore, achieving fitness goals is a process that takes a lot of planning and consideration of relevant factors.
Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You will get the results you want; you just need to keep working hard and working in the right way.