Gym Reopening: 3 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Expectations

Friday 20th March, 2020 – a day that will live long and painfully in the memories of the fitness fanatics of the United Kingdom. The announcement wasn’t quite death, but a crippling halt to our fitness journeys. Gyms in the UK shall be closed due to Covid-19! Some of us adapted and worked on other aspects of fitness, gyms live-streamed sessions that allowed us to train at home and socialize with our workout families, and Instagram was full of amateur videos trying hard to motivate everyone to stay active during the lockdown. Well now that gyms are open again, let’s consider what’s in store for your return to the arena shall we? Read on for Gym Reopening: 3 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Expectations!

We know that during the lockdown some have found it difficult maintain their regime due to a plethora of obstacles, so you can be excused if you’ve taken a couple of steps backwards. But finally, our prayers (and muscles) have been answered. Our havens have now opened up their doors to our work-thirsty bodies for the first time in four months!

You must be aware though, things will be different and once again we’ll have to adapt. I’ve seen lots of positivity, innovation, and creativity come out of this pandemic and it may see us through to a new generation of fitness training! So what does future fitness training look like? Well let’s see what’s in store for your return to the arena.

Don’t Just Try to Literally Pick up where you Left Off!

Hold on eager beavers. I get you’re like a kid in a candy store. Dumbbells to the left, barbells and plates to the right. But forget about your last lift! Except for the minority, you’ve barely lifted in the past four months, so lets leave the ego at home and ease yourself back into it.

The worst thing that can happen is for you to injure yourself on the first day, setting you back another few weeks. The best thing that can happen is you suffer from horrendous DOMS and can’t train properly for the next few days. You need to drop the weight, perfect the technique, and reduce the amount you’re training to begin with.

Everyone’s in the same boat and it’s not a race. After several weeks’ of progressive overload, you’ll soon be back to your pre-lockdown numbers and on your way beyond, whatever your goals entail.

Do You Really Need the Gym?

After the gym closure announcement, I was engulfed by anxiety. The gym was my happy place and it molded my whole routine, how would I cope without it? With the help of my awesome gym livestreaming classes from the off, I quickly got over myself. Four months later, and I find myself overall fitter and closer to my goals.

Of course, I will be camping in the gym all week now they’re back open, I use it to socialize with my pals, but I have found new methods of training that are excellent for improving my neglected fitness components. More importantly I’ve stayed happy, and I have seen people take up all sorts of hobbies during lockdown – fitness related or not. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be restricted to the the gym and you don’t have to train like a madman (or woman!) to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Well at least certainly not as much as the elite athletes who might inspire you.

You should be happy going to the gym, and if you’re not, stick with your new hobby or form of exercise. Never let gym life become your whole life! Allow your new hobbies to flourish. With this new era of exercise, expect to see lots more classes available online so those of you struggling for ‘time’, or wishing to squeeze in a quick workout, it’s very possible without the need for a trip to the iron jungle!

Staying Clean, Healthy, & Happy

It’s important to note, the coronavirus hasn’t disappeared and we must abide by some rules. Gyms are doing their bit and they’ll make the changes well known to you, but they need your cooperation to maintain standards.

To go a step further, you can implement your own procedures that will release you from any of your anxieties. Pack your own hygiene and cleaning items for a start. This should include a towel, wipes, and hand sanitizer. To be extra safe, wipe down any equipment before and after you use it. Now, it shouldn’t need to be said, BUT STAY AT HOME IF YOU’RE NOT WELL!

Remember, you’re not the only one who’s been itching to get back under a heavy barbell, so be aware there will be reduced capacity, and classes may get booked up quickly. Be conscious of your fellow members by only booking slots you’re 100% certain you’ll attend and if everyone does their bit, we can all enjoy the benefits of being a member at a brilliant gym.

Take Away Points

The world is still a very different place post-Covid and the only way to cope is to adapt. We’ve been given back a sense of normality with the reopening of gyms across the country, but it’s really up to us to maintain that luxury. Remember, ease yourself back in, keep exploring other hobbies; sports; training methods, and respect the guidelines that have been put in place for your safety and benefit.

One last point to make. Every time you put those weights back just remember how down you felt on 20th March. That dumbbell needs a wipe. Welcome to a new age of training, please be considerate of others, and embrace the innovations on the way…How has your experience been if you’ve been back at the gym? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter Instagram

Thomas Higgs

Tom is a 25 year-old health and fitness fanatic, obsessed with food, nutrition, training, and the psychology that it entails. As well as continuously improving his athletic performance in CrossFit, he loves creating content that helps to simplify important scientific health information and engages with everyone so that we can all be better equipped to look after ourselves properly. He has a background in competitive sport, including football and bodybuilding. Having studied Sports Psychology at University he has learned valuable psychological methods for optimum performance, which now gives him a very holistic approach to health & fitness.

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