Should you feel REEEAALLYY sore after your first session back in the gym?
If like most young blooded males you go staunching in to the gym and slog out an hour session of bench press…then yes…yes you will be.
ANYTHING that is an increase in either LOAD or REPETITION will cause a stress to your muscles which causes micro-damage to the muscle fibres. But like everything else your body adapts and heals itself! The trick is to load in a way initially that your body can tolerate better and not cause you to groan when getting off the toilet seat
DO NOT think that you need to be in alot of pain the following week from your first gym session. So follow these tips to minimise the affects of DOMS (Daily onset of muscle soreness).
Don’t neglect your warm up!
- Spend 5-10 min on the rowing machine (our favourite as it uses your whole body)
- Micro bands for pre-warm up drills (CLICK HERE TO WATCH)
- Perform your key lifts/exercises with a light weight or just your body weight during your warm-up (CLICK HERE TO WATCH)
- Begin with simple/single joint movements and work up to the complex multi-joint exercises.
Listen to your body and ask the trainers in your gym what they think is appropriate for you and your health and fitness level. If they say things like “No pain no gain”, politely nod and walk away and don’t ask them anything again…
Think about how much load you put through each muscle group and for how long.
Think about incorporating these into your first few sessions:
Isometric Holds – These are exercises where you hold a position under tension without moving. For example a wall sit 4 x 20 sec would be a good option if you have a history of knee pain.
Tempo – There are many ways to approach tempo in your lifts. Start simply by controlling the movement smothly through the complete range of the joints you are working. Going slower in the ‘Eccentric’ phase initilly will also cause more DOMS initially so maybe wait until you a re a few sessions in before starting this.
Sets/Reps – There are a few variables to consider when figuring out your set and rep range initially.If during isolation you only have body weight or light weights then we would recommend starting off with lighter weights than you were used to.
12-15 Reps for 3 Sets – WHOLE BODY. Don’t just come back and hit one muscle group e.g. chest. Train your whole body each session
After a couple of weeks developing your movements and discipline sit down with a trainer or friend and develop your first 6-8 week block of training.
What will be the key to your success starting back?
Follow these 2 rules:
- Recover just as well as you train. Without proper sleep and recovery you will find it harder to achieve your goals. Research shows us its impact in weight loss, muscle repair and mental fitness.
- Create Discipline – Don’t just rely on motivation to achieve your goals. Find your reason WHY and develop a plan you WANT to to. This makes it easier to stay disciplined over the long term.
Enjoy the process
Seek help when you need it
Find someone to train with