1: Use the first 2-4 weeks to let the body adapt and come back slowly
If you’re following a weights program make sure you aren’t going for 1RM’s, go back to 50% of your 1RM for lifting weights or an RPE of 5-6 (rating of perceived exertion) which should feel light to moderate (more on the light side)
Each week slowly add to the percentage, around 5% to your lifts but always prioritize your form first, if your form is suffering then drop the weights down
When it comes to conditioning if you’re a CrossFitter or you do H.I.I.T or something similar DO NOT just start by doing a 30-40 min session with bulk reps, all you will be asking for is severe DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and overloading muscle tissues and fibers that aren’t ready for that amount of load, which can lead to niggles which can lead to injury (which you DON’T want) Yes it’s going to hurt your ego a little not being able to do what you could before, but trust me, your mind will tell you can but your body will tell you the opposite, listen to your body because if you haven’t been training much they won’t be in sync.
2: Get a Coach
Get a coach, if you’re virtual or in-person speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about and have plenty of experience with training. They will be the best person to keep you in check and be your guide especially when you’re getting back to your training. Chances are they have been through it themselves and know what to expect when coming back to training so they can pass on their knowledge to you. They will pull you back when they think you’re doing too much, advise you on the weights to lift, what to expect and how it should feel and of coarse making sure you’re moving correctly!
3: Do not forget the basics
Chances are we all been sitting for way too long, especially working from home and utilizing technology more often than not. And when we sit too long we are in a closed position, hips get tight, back gets tight and everything shortens (that’s been me for sure) so probably not a great idea to smash out heavy deadlifts when you get back to the gym. Focus on your posture and mobility. Integrate some specific mobility drills into your warmup, some triggering for tight muscle groups, and make sure you’re fully primed before hitting your workout. If you’re in a fitness class this stuff “should” be covered anyway. Remember a proper cool-down while you’re still warm, elongate those tight muscles and bring the heart rate back to normal, this should only take you 5-10 mins.
4: Don’t follow an elite program
You don’t need to be following an “elite” program which heaps and heaps of volume. It’s about maximizing your time that you have, unless you’re an endurance athlete more does not equal more, less equals more. Focus on quality movement over quantity. Doing 30-40mins workouts day in day out with high reps and a multitude of movements will be asking for mass DOMS and injury and as well there is no real intensity involved. Make sure your program (depending on what you do) has a good mix between muscle groups, a mix between short, medium and occasional long workouts, accessory work, strength and mobility.
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