With the gyms looking like they are reopening a little earlier than expected, I thought now would be the time to give you my thoughts on how to approach your first few sessions back.
Do I Do The Same Weights As Before?
Absolutely not. If we have been working with resistance bands, body weight and loads far less than what we were doing 3 months ago, then our acute:chronic ratio is all off. This will result in a much higher chance of injury (Gabbett, 2019).
So what would I advise? When we are talking about load – I advise working at 70% of your previous logbook for your first week back. An example would be if you are doing a leg press for 3 sets of 8 reps at 100kg, scale that down to 70kg for the first week. Following that, 85kg (85%) for the second week and then try 100kg (100%) the third week.
Now, you may need another week in there (e.g. 70%, 80%, 90% and then 100%). However, this is for you to decide and evaluate your fatigue. Take your time building back up, it will stand to you in the long run.
How Many Times A Week Should I Go?
As many times as you can recover from. It’s a simple age old saying “you can only train as hard as you recover”. Start off with 2/3 times a week. Run full body workouts with 1/2/3 days in between. Your body will be sore the following days. Don’t expect it to be like it was before. Take your recovery seriously and only train when you know you can maintain/ improve performance.
Do I Bulk Or Do I Cut?
You need to evaluate your physique more than ever now. Are you in the position to enter a growing phase? Are you carrying excess body fat? What is your current utilisation of food like? How does your body react to higher food intakes right now? If you are not in the right place to enter a gaining phase, then you will need to either enter a recomposition phase or a longer dieting phase.
My advice would be to get yourself a good coach. Someone who can guide you through this journey as your sensitivity to load will be higher than ever. Now is the time to nail down the foundations and achieve the physique you are after.
If you are interested, book into a no obligation relaxed online consultation for coaching below. I’d love to have you on board the team!