Getting back to regular lifting, without snapping yourself.
In light of our previous posts and the fact that gyms are looking to reopen, here’s a free block of training designed for reintroduction. It should also be very doable without too much time investment upfront, whilst gyms juggle maintaining cleanliness within the guidelines, and access may be reduced from pre-COVID times.
With that said, let’s cover some FAQs that might come up and some general guidelines for using it.
First up, training frequency changes. We see sessions per week go from x3/week to x4. That is intentional not only to allow for the decrease in session availability under new opening guidelines for gyms but also because if you’ve had significant time off from lifting weights your recovery may not be up to what it used to be.
Next, in all likelihood, YOU WILL FIND THESE SESSIONS VERY EASY! That is almost the entire point. After a reasonable amount of detraining has occurred jumping back in at anything close to what you were last doing is a recipe for negative outcomes. This is designed to get you back into the groove of lifting weights, going to a gym again, and the very low loading should give you plenty of time to work on your technique.
‘Can’t I just go back in and see where I’m at?’ You’re a grown-up, you can do whatever you want, however going back into the gym with little to minimum training through the lockdown and maxing out is a bad idea, here’s why:
‘Oh my god everything just feels so heavy.’ Yes, it will. You aren’t adapted to loads you were adapted to pre lockdown. I’ve run variants of this block with clients that have been training with us since we were allowed to coach folk outside, and we’re lucky enough to have the ability to get kit outside easily. So far the theme has followed a decently consistent trend where people will work to a weight in week 1, it’ll feel heavy but move fine. Week 2 they take that weight for their sets again, and it feels fine and moves great. Week 3 more of the same, and week 4 it’s pretty much back to feeling how that weight used to feel. This holds less true for people at a higher level of training/are stronger since they have a bigger hill to climb. However, after closer to 7-8 weeks, they are also starting to feel normal around those weights.
Lightning Round FAQs:
‘Can I swap X for Y?’ If it’s not the main lift, sure.
‘This is super easy, can I just go heavier?’ No, just do it as written, and enjoy the easy times after all the horrors of 2020.
‘X lift now hurts, or I can’t do X lift what can I do instead?’ If you have a regular substitute for one of the lifts for working around an injury or movement impairment then please sub them out.
‘I can’t get in the gym that many times a week due to availability’ In these times that’s totally understandable. Putting the main lift from 1 session into another is a reasonable workaround if your gym is turbo full.
‘I’ve never used RPE based ratings before, what do they mean?’ No worries, here’s a handy chart explaining what to aim for with each RPE. We also wrote another blog post on the subject here if you would like to learn even more on the subject.
‘I’m struggling to recover between session, what should I do?’ That’s okay, firstly space out the training more so you have two rest days between session. Then make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and have a decent amount of protein in your diet.
I hope you found some use for this programme. If you enjoyed it the full reintroduction programme extends for another three months and includes an appropriate re-testing phase, once you’ve racked up some training again. If that’s something you’d be interested in, free of charge, please sign up to our newsletter. You can do that here.
If you have any questions about the programme or training in general, or just want to see pictures of my cute dog please feel free to reach out to me on social media or by phone on 07843024606.