In the past month or so many of the gyms we have been missing have begun to open again. My gym of choice only opened again on April Fools Day. Many of us who have been working out but did not have access to barbells are back pursuing heavy lifting.
The last thing any of us wants is to get injured and slow our reconditioning training. The next to last thing we want is anything that slows down our return to full workouts.
I have found the three things discussed briefly below to be extremely helpful as I return to power training.
- Patience is usually rewarded.
Getting back into heavy training can be frustrating if you find the first few times in the gym that your warm up weights are crushing you.
Remember, building your strength back means getting your central nervous system to put out full power in ways that it may not have been doing for months. Your muscles may be in decent shape from your training at home. Your CNS will catch up now that you can push harder.
IMHO you can do some isometric pulls with barbells and some static poses that will speed the process along.
Just add a isometric exercises in your routine for each of the power lifts. Hold at about 80-90% tension for 5 seconds. Remember this is to wake your CNS from slumber, not push for new limit lifts.
The reconditioning phase of your training should be shorter than you think. Just do not force it too fast.
- Individuals moves and stretches done outside of workouts.
Most of us appear to think that every bit of physical training we do must be done when we are in gym clothes, and in our workout venue.
We can do some movements and stretches during the day while in civilian clothes that will enhance our regular workouts.
Some of my favorite stretches that can be done at any convenient time are:
- Deep squat
- Overhead squat with broom handle
- Toe touch (just easy)
Doing movements such as this will give you more flexibility during your workouts.
You can also do isometric poses and full body tension. You only need to do about 80% of your max tension. Hold for 5 seconds. This helps get your CNS activated (see #1) and can also build muscle.
You can do these any time no one else is watching. In your office, talking on Zoom while out of sight, or discreetly hidden behind a drape somewhere.
According to some data I have seen, the average person in the US put on anywhere from 10-80 extra pounds during the Covid epidemic. I admit to adding a few myself.
A popular way to fast is to confine all eating to a 4-5 hour period during the day. That means 20 hours without food. Black coffee and water are permitted on this fast. This can help to reestablish your disciplined eating pattern that kept you at competition weight. Generally known as intermittent fasting.
Another commonly used fast is no food and only water or tea for 2-3 days. This fast is often called a cleansing fast.
Fasting can also have a spiritual dimension. As many of you know we are currently in the Moslem holy month of Ramadan. Devout Moslems will not eat or drink anything (including water) from sunrise to sunset. After local sundown they are permitted to eat and drink as they choose.
Unfortunately too many of us are unable to suffer even the modest discomfort of going without a Latte or a sports drink whenever we want it. Try being abstinent from sunrise to sunset and you may come to appreciate how quickly many of us give in to the littlest urge.
Bottom line: Fasting can help get you back into the training zone.