I’ve been fortunate to work with a great deal of educators, coaches and mentors over the years within the realm of strength and conditioning. Learning from different minds, getting different perspectives and dissecting their knowledge has allowed me to formulate my own ideas and methodologies.
One of my biggest ‘take homes’ from these masters has been learning how to ‘pull in the reigns’. Learning when to hold back and when to go in guns blazing.
We are living in an era of instant gratification, drive through restaurants, online shopping, fibre, lipo, nips and tucks. If you want it, you can have it, and you can have it now.
In 2020, Covid-19 arrived without much forewarning and stopped us in our tracks. Suddenly we were forced into a situation where we couldn’t have much, our resources were limited, our freedom was taken away and our beloved gym became the promised land.
Now that the iron curtain has been raised, we expect to just pick up exactly where we left off.
It is only normal that the thought process from ‘pre-corona’ would spread into the ‘new world’. Albeit some changes around our local gyms, we intent on “klapping it’ with the same intent and purpose that we did on that fateful day of March 27th
We trained hard, we trained daily, we limited our rest, we went full throttle day in and day out so now we must make up for lost time. Perhaps even work twice as hard, with twice as much resolve.
If I can offer you a splinter of advice, there are a couple key factors you might want to consider, by dialing in on the things that really matter in your training, it’s possible to put things right with your world.
Here are a couple really important fundamentals that I like to keep in my back pocket that I have picked up from some great minds over the years.
When making your grand return to training, you want to choose to train on your feet. Machines have their place but to reconnect, get bang for your buck and have the biggest carry over to your sport and lifestyle you want to train your body through compound movements.
Less is more. Don’t expect to tackle a high number of exercises, at high volume with a high intensity. Think of tomorrow, you want to get back in the gym – if you annihilate yourself today you can write off tomorrow. Reduce your rep range, reduce your volume and reduce the intensity you accustomed to. Ease your way into it, avoid the early onset of DOMS and give yourself the best chance of recovery.
Always consider quality over quantity. Always. A simple overload of movements and intensity can almost guarantee you diminishing returns whereas high quality reps with the highest quality effort will just keep giving and giving.
Now that you’ve reduced your volume and reduced your intensity, you may feel like you have reduced your effort. I encourage you to count your tempo, by increasing the amount of time you do the reps, you improve the quality of the rep, you avoid technical breakdown and you are now stimulating the muscles the way you intend without the excessive neurosis.
Injuries are rife in the gym, now more so than ever as we are unconditioned to the loads after spending months on ‘the influencers home workout plan 1000’
Here are a couple tips to help you get back on track without destroying yourself on the way up:
Remember it’s not the weights, the cardio or the exercise that will injure you it’s the inability to move efficiently and train intelligently.
Learn to move well
Warm up. To many people seem to be either too good or in too much of a hurry for this commandment. You are not Chuck Norris, get mobile, get your nervous system firing and condition your body for what lies ahead.
Stop grinding out ugly reps. The only thing getting stronger on your body is your ego. Scale your weight down, get the movement right.
Recover, take time off. A day of active recovery and a day of a passive recovery every week is highly recommended. The only thing you are going to get better at when training twice a day, seven days a week, is being average. Your body changes in recovery, let nature take its course.
If you keep these principles in your back pocket, you will have the ammunition you need to get back in the game the right way.