So the Gyms are Open Again… what next?

How to Restock your Gym Gains

With many high-street gyms reopening you can see and smell the enthusiasm and overindulgence. However, unlike restocking your kitchen supplies, you can’t bulk buy gym gains. 

No amount of extraneous efforts or time in the gym will boost strength, fitness, muscle size but, it sure will leave you walking like a baby giraffe and smelling like a liniments factory.

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What is the best approach to restarting your plan?

If you are totally restarting your regime after a 3 month break, taking your time with a minimal effective dose is going to help you stick to your reinvigorated habit. No point in busting yourself with 2 or 3 exercises for each movement type or body part. Just remind your body of what each movement is. 

The key movements:

  1. A hip hinge – deadlift, pick up and carry, hip bridge
  2. A pushing movement
  3. A squat 
  4. A pulling movement  
  5. An (1) abdominal bracing exercise

Just 5 simple, natural strength movements. 

Effort wise, this is where most go wrong, very wrong. The kind of wrong that’ll keep you away from the gym again for a week at least. 

Here’s a guide to direct you through your average 3 day week at the gym.

Day 1: work up to a 5-6 out of 10 effort. Yes that easy. Trust me.

Day 2: work up to a 6-7 out of 10 effort.

Day 3: work up to  a 7 out of 10 effort.

From here on, work on this basis. 

Day 1: 6/10 effort

Day 2: 8/10 effort

Day 3: 7/10 effort

This waving pattern of effort is proven very effective for gains in strength and fitness. An easier day, a harder day and a medium day. Following this pattern will allow for gains and maintaining gym frequency. 

Now then, for all you home training folks returning to the gym, the same hip hinge, push, squat, pull, abs routine applies as does the effort, but per day, you can focus a bit more on one or two particular moves. 

Day 1, turn up and practice the 5 big movements. Go home, eat, rest and recover. 

Let’s say day 2 you work harder on the squat and rows. You can take a secondary movement that will support those two moves, like for example step ups and active hangs. After these you can simply maintain the other movements (hip hinge, push and abs).

Day 3 maybe focus more on the deadlift backed up with the broad jump or kettlebell swings. If you work harder on pressing, you could back this up with overhead throws or med ball slams. Maintain all other lifts (pull, squat and abs)

Hmmm, this doesn’t perhaps read so easily! 

So here’s a deal. If you want to listen and learn and put this to the test, ask and I shall deliver a nice looking table with each day laid out. Easier on the eye and easy to follow. 

I’ll leave it there, but trust me when I tell you to start back with a simple, sustainable plan. I’ve seen one guy this week who couldn’t even brush his hair because of the soreness in his arms and shoulders after a lengthy gym session. I couldn’t help but laugh – terrible me!