Return to Gym and Weight Training

In fitness by adminsports

With gyms reopening across the country for public use on April 12th, the prospect of returning to a training program involving weights can seem quite daunting. For many, such an extended time with minimal access to gym equipment, a simple kettlebell or nothing at all, has resulted in a mental handicap to weightlifting, let alone a physical one.

Whilst expansive and creative methods of maintaining fitness levels at home have been enjoyable to carry out, there can be fewer substitutes better suited to fitness than returning to the gym with a proper routine. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training into your fitness regime at least two times a week. With such a focus within the fitness world shifting to home workouts with minimal equipment, is it even worth paying the monthly subscription to return to the gym?

Benefits of Weight Training

When training with weights, you develop and build lean muscle. As a result, your metabolism works faster, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the course of a day. As a result, this contributes to improved weight loss and a reduction in body fat with each pound of muscle gained contributing to burning 30 to 50 more calories every day.

Whilst not necessarily a prerequisite for using the gym, weight training has been proven to improve sporting performance. Studies have shown an increase in a football players’ sprinting ability after just 6 weeks of training whilst 25 weeks of heavy lifting increased the power output of cyclists whilst pedalling. The practical benefits to making everyday tasks far easier to complete due to a stronger base of muscular efficiency and fitness cannot be overstated whilst increased balance and supporting of healthy bone growth during younger years provides further benefits to your physiological structure.

Asides from the physical benefits associated with strength training, the World Health Organisation (WHO) state that strength training can help reduce the risk of diabetes, characterised by high blood sugar. In addition, weight training has been proven to have links to increasing mental health, with studies having shown decreased symptoms of depression in people with depression.

Considerations when returning to Weight Training

Despite the physical and mental benefits associated with strength training, such an extended period of time away from a consistent regime can create some issues upon resumption. As a result, ensuring a safe return to training is paramount to minimising the risk of injury. We have therefore established these core principles for you to guide yourself back into strength training;

1 – Warm-Up

2 – Technique

3 – Weight

4 – Rest

Is it worth returning to the gym?

For many people, the new form of physical training enforced by the Coronavirus pandemic has rejuvenated their levels of physical activity. Home training workouts, without fear of judgement and with the confidence to perform them in the safety of your own home has brought into question whether a return to the gym is really necessary. Whilst the search for “When will gyms reopen” was one of the most popular UK search trends of 2020, the impact of working out from home has had a profound impact on many.

Membership fees and crowding, in a time where social distancing looks set to stay for a considerable period of time, all contribute to an uphill battle for gyms to overcome now their doors are open once more. PureGym, one of the most recognisable gym brands in the UK, saw a 24% decline in active memberships in December 2020 compared to a year prior. Whilst it is true that not everybody has the space or capability to facilitate a home workout program sufficient enough to meet their physical and mental requirements, significant numbers appear to be transitioning to more familiar surroundings for their fitness journey.

Identifying your individual goals and assessing the practical elements of how you can achieve them is paramount to giving yourself the platform from which you can succeed. In the same way that it was a unique experience to adapt to working out from home, a transition back to the gym can carry similar levels of uncertainty and trepidation. Identifying the style of workouts, equipment and time required will allow you to see the strengths and weaknesses of each location to allow you to make the decision best suite to your own fitness journey.