How to get the most out of getting back to the gym
It's seemed like this lockdown has lasted forever – but gyms are finally reopening on Monday. Here’s how to get the most of being back in the gym once you start training again
1. Fuel correctly
The whole fasted training fad still seems to stick in people’s minds, but the reality is it’s not all that it’s made out to be – and it certainly isn’t going to get you results faster. Going into a training session without eating any food does not make you burn more body fat, and it certainly won’t help you to grow any muscle or perform at your best.
You really want to eat a carb and protein-based meal/snack between 30-60 minutes before your training session so that you have enough energy to push yourself during the session, lift more, perform better and therefore get better results. What’s more, the protein will start getting into your muscles during the training session – meaning you’ll be starting the muscle repair process before you even walk out of the gym. If you still can’t get your head around this, why not book a chat with one of our coaches and we’ll take you through it in more detail and set you up a personalised nutrition plan.
2. Make sure you are properly hydrated.
This is important for everyone. Not drinking enough water can be the fastest way to getting an injury. Underhydrating means your body doesn’t work optimally – your joints have more friction in them, you will be more prone to cartilage wear and tear, and your muscles won’t contract as well. On top of this – a whole host of body processes rely on you drinking enough water. Being well hydrated improves circulation, regulates body temperature, helps to control cholesterol levels, improves brain function, supplies nutrients and oxygen to your cells, promotes proper digestion and absorption of nutrients and aids weight management. If that little lot doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
3. Think about your goals.
What do you want to work on? Fat loss, muscle gain, sports performance, or general health? Thinking about your goals will help to keep you accountable – and will almost certainly have an impact on what your gym session and nutrition needs to look like. Getting started again can seem daunting – but using a personal trainer and a nutrition coach will help get you back on the right track quickly and efficiently - meaning you will get where you want to be much sooner than you think.
4. Take a sensible approach and monitor your progress.
Monitoring your progress means you are more likely to stick to your plan and achieve your goals. Be proud of what you are achieving and the changes that you are making – and make them lifelong healthy habits. People that take a long-term approach to exercise and nutrition build healthy habits that they can sustain – meaning they achieve what they set out to achieve and maintain their results rather than yo-yoing back and forwards. If you know that you need someone to help you stay accountable employ a coach to help you – whether that is a personal trainer or a nutrition coach. Having someone that you have to check in with each week or go and train with means that you will often make faster progress, and you are more likely to stay motivated. If you are going it alone, make sure that you monitor your starting point and track progress with weight loss/measurements and how training is going each week. If you don’t keep track it’s easy to let several weeks go by where you’re not really moving forward towards your goals at all. If you’re not sure where to start, the coaches at NBE Nutrition Coaching and Pinnacle Performance (where we’re based) are here to help.