Eight weeks is a long time with only minimal resistance training sessions. Many of us will struggle to get back into our gym routines in more ways than one and that's ok! It's important to make the process achievable and manageable. Check out my tips below:
START BY SETTING GOALS
Both long term and short term goals are necessary to keep you on track and help you to achieve your goals faster.
- Make them detailed and achievable
- Tell someone about them so that you are accountable
- Write them down and review them weekly
Without goals you will lack direction and motivation in your training. Goals are the key to success. Begin your goal setting with small achievable goals that can be progressed to work towards that end goal.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WEIGHT TRAINING
Weight training is just as important, if not more, than cardio training. Depending on your goals, you should aim to incorporate some form of weight training into most of your gym sessions to reap all the benefits.
- Improves muscle, bone and joint strength and function
- Improves muscle tone
- Weight management benefits
- Increases muscle to fat ratio
- Improved physical and mental health
- Increase in flexibility/balance
- Injury prevention
- Increase in energy
- Greater stamina
- Improves mood
MASTER YOUR MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION (MMC)
In simple terms MMC is the movement controlled by the brain to signal your muscles to work or contract. By increasing your MMC you are increasing the amount of muscle fibres that you are recruiting when lifting a weight.
MMC is so important in order to build a quality well-balanced physique. When doing a compound lift you have primary and secondary movers. Squat, for example, the primary movers are your Glute Maximus and quadricep muscles, and your secondary movers being the hamstrings and adductors. These secondary movers are the supporting muscles during that specific lift. If your MMC is not strong you will never reach your full training potential. You will be recruiting too many different muscles and will not see as much growth or result because of this. It’s not all about the weight that you are lifting but how you are lifting it. There is absolutely no point in working hard in the gym if you cannot master the mind muscle connection.
Through relevant goal setting and learning good mind muscle connection with your exercises, you will be at a good starting point to get back into weight and resistance training at the gym. Don't try and set PBs in the first few weeks, this is when your recovery will take a lot longer and you will be more prone to injury - be kind to yourself and your expectations! Set up a basic gym training split and work on that for 4-6 weeks as you ease back into the gym life.
Train hard, train smart and have fun!
Jess Coate-Campus (BSpExSci) has over 12 years experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and competition prep coach. She is a Fitness Model and Professional Athlete and is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals - no matter how big or small!