The more challenging the lift, the more fun it is. Yes, training can be fun. Although, fun is probably subjective. Training legs, for example, is always the session I find the most fun. It’s the one I enjoy most because I find it the most challenging. The exercises involved, even just the squats, are challenging exercises. But now, it’s a whole different ball game of challenge for me.
I found exercising from home was good for a while. With it, I was saving almost two hours a day by not going to the gym with disciplined training times in my living room. But there is only so many jump squats, push up variations and bodyweight exercises I could do. Thousands of reps just got me wanting to change it up again and get back into the challenge which I enjoy most.
After six months of home workouts, I’m back in the gym, and I missed it. I missed it all. I missed the equipment. I missed the full on training with the ability to push myself further everyday with access to the right equipment. I missed the people. And probably most of all, I missed the higher calorie intake.
While I managed to keep my fitness levels up and my physical health in a good way and most of my mental health intact, I did drop in strength and volume endurance as well as muscle mass. Everything felt heavy at the restart, and doing the usual simple exercises was pretty rough. It almost felt like my first year of training all over again. It was a strange sensation that would have been daunting if it wasn’t so predictable. A week is the longest break I have taken in the last fifteen years and even that I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve taken one.
I realized that should the gym have to close again, it may be another while before I’m able to do all the exercises I loved again. So I decided it was time to go back and at least have a few weeks, a month or however long I could get before I had to exercise at home again if the virus spiked again.
I wanted to be in a good position should this happen again as unfortunately the virus hasn’t gone away and may cause more closures and lockdown.
Of course I had to do a leg day for my first day back. Friends asked me what I was training. Most of them were surprised that I chose legs and seemed to favour the idea that I would do a chest session after not having the equipment to train properly for six months. But it just had to be legs. I had to start with a good squat session. I couldn’t think of a better way to jump back into training.
It was important to stay disciplined and not push too hard which is something I have a tendency to do. A big part of training for me, what I work on in my training, is personal discipline. It would have been easy to jump back in and just keep adding weight, but it was important to do things measuredly and with discipline.
The hard part is after so long out is that you just want to go all out and continue where you left off, even though you actually physically can’t. But it’s key to keep in mind that with a long interruption even a small amount of training is a lot for the body and should be performed with caution.
It’s great to be back though. Things are a bit different. For one, my gym has finally started providing hand sanitizer, sanitizing spray, and paper towel for the equipment. The gym limits the amount of members who can attend at any one time. There are also markings that have been put down around the gym for where the equipment should remain and people should stay within as they train, which funnily enough is something I said should happen a couple of years ago.
However it is that this new normal will start to take its shape, it’s good to see people back in the gym and safely working on their health, wellness, and fitness again. I do hope that the gyms can remain open and hope that everyone continues to do their part to keep them open safely.