The pandemic impacted our lives in more ways than we can imagine. And the new normal is going to take some getting used to. Many states still haven’t allowed the re-opening of gyms. With that being said, have you ever thought about how your workouts are going to look like once you go back to the gym?
It depends on where we were when the pandemic hit the world. If you are into bodybuilding, surely, weightlifting would have been part of your routine. Once we stop lifting, we begin to lose both muscle and strength two to five months later. And if you have lifted for two months only, and was successful in making some gains, you will quickly lose what you have built.
However, no matter how long you have been training for, since forever or a newbie of six months, we can help you regain much of your strength and muscles with just a few weeks of being consistent and dedicated. Thanks a bunch to muscle memory. Let’s discuss that a little bit:
We are going to discuss this in two parts. The first part talks about the neutral paths which are formed when we are learning new motor skills. When we practice new motor skills such as the deadlift, squat, etc. we are thinking about each step that we are going to perform. Gradually, we are successful in executing them automatically without really thinking. The longer we practice, the more ingrained it becomes.
So, because of the lockdown, those who have been practicing the deadlift for five months are going to be a lot more awkward when they get back to the gym than someone who has been practicing for a decade. The skill has become deeper. The skill returns quickly one the neural pathway is set.
Then comes the rebuilding muscles part. It is a different process. When we do strength training and develop muscles, more nuclei are transferred to the muscle fibers through satellite cells. Weight training stimulates the satellite cells. These added nuclei control the protein which helps with muscle growth. They exist even after we stop training. They speed up the nuclei building process when the training is resumed.
See If your Body is Ready
How you have spent the time cooped up at home is going to determine how quickly you can build yourself back to the standards held at the gym. If you did not quit exercise entirely and continued with slow and controlled bodyweight exercises, your soft tissues (joints and ligaments) are going to be ready to handle some heavy lifting once you go back to the gym.
If you spent the quarantine being lazy, you would have to condition your body. The soft tissues need to be stressed appropriately. This way, they can become tough. This is a prerequisite of weight training or else you increase your risk of injuries. You could be harming yourself more than doing good. You may not get hurt necessarily, but you would have to take some backs eventually. It is better to do upper and lower body weight exercises with slow controlled tempos. This way, you won’t have to spend a lot of time conditioning your body when you get back to the gym and you can go to work lifting weights.
Create Phases for Yourself
If you want to achieve your fitness goals and reach the same goal where you were at pre-COVID times, you should plan strategically. This way, you can reach your goal sooner. For that, you should create phases for training and each of them should emphasize one to two aspects and strength and fitness.
Go for two phases. The firsts one should focus on general exercise, muscle building, and your stress handling ability. Lunges and single-leg RDLs help with building muscles, general strength, and stability. For being able to bench press heavily, try overhead dumbbell press to get strong and muscular shoulders. See that you spend two to four weeks with this main focus.
Then, you can shift to more focused strength training focusing on practicing and adding weight to the exercises you want to improve. Again, slowly but steadily, spend another two to four weeks. The first phase helps in building a foundation. By the time the second phase ends, you would be able to handle the weight you want.
Polish Each Skill
To be confident in lifting weights like before, one has to build his base again. Then, get to work. Every exercise we do in the gym is a motor skill. If you brush up on each of the components of skills like balance, stability, and fluidity, you would soon be pushing or picking heavyweights.
For example, while doing a barbell squat, one can polish his balancing and tension skills that are needed to squat heavy. This can be done by doing a goblet squat where a kettlebell and dumbbell is held in front of the body. Even if you are holding a lightweight, it is going to retrain in maintaining needed tension in the upper backs and trunk. Moreover, we can focus on the balance and pressure points on our feet. When we hold out weights at chest height in front of us helps track our knees and hips properly as we go in and out of squats.
Avoiding Falls and Injuries
When we do workouts that help us gain general strength and build muscles, the body gets back on track to lifting shape rather quickly. However, we must ensure that we don’t face any setbacks. There are a couple of things we could do to prevent injuries in the first two phases.
- The first thing is using our previous warm-up weights as working weight sets. It is easier in the general strength and fitness phase. One might feel that it isn’t much but pushing ourselves too far in the early stages could get us hurt.
- Spend as much time as you can for warming up the same way we do with work sets. Both the joints and muscles become resilient with time. Even though you are doing bodyweight exercise. When you head back to the gym, spend half of your workout time getting the body with general movement and bodyweight movement. Do this in the initial weeks after getting back.
- See that you keep the volume low. The sets and reps you have decided for the initial weeks cut them in half. It is unwise to go heavy early. Many people understand this fact but believe that it is fine to do a bunch of sets with 10-12 reps on the first day of exercise. Three sets of five reps are enough.
You are going to become sore with too much volume. Your body will be so stiff that even if you do decide to come back later in the same week, you would find a drastic downfall in your movement quality. Doing it excessively can lead to potential injuries.
Bodybuilding is a tough feat that takes a lot of effort, time, dedication, and consistency. It is common to feel dejected and hopeless that your hard work was for nothing. This isn’t true. Muscle memory is an interesting phenomenon. The body has recorded all the patterns, strength, and the ability to regain muscles. It will all come back quite quickly to you only if you focus on the right things.
And one of them is relying on something more than workouts to build your body. Once you see that you have gotten back in shape and doing well, you could take it to the next level. Supplements and steroids could help you with that immensely. Speaking of steroids, one must always buy from reliable and authentic sources or you could be in for trouble. We recommend Buy Steroids Online, an online seller for genuine supplements, steroids, testosterone boosters, fat burners, and other weight loss and strength-boosting products.
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