DISTRICT – GETTING BACK ON TRACK
We. Are. Back.. and returning with 4months worth of built up energy! We’ve spent 4months longing to touch a barbell, jump over boxes, sprint on assault bikes and throw some dumbbells overhead.
A lot of us have managed to continue training through lockdown, and although we have managed to maintain a good level of fitness through this, you’re limited on weight or space. You will also never work as hard as you do in a full class thanks to the pure adrenaline from everyone else around you.
Like many, you may have gone in quite ‘hot’, despite warnings to ‘manage expectations and ease yourself in”.. I know, the excitement was too much.. However, this has resulted in a lot of us finding ourselves burnt out, sore and struggling with recovery more than they remember they did. This can be down to a number of reasons, some obvious, and some not so much.. Check below for some changes in your lifestyle and training you may have encountered, and our solution to getting back on track
- Increased Training Intensity
An obvious one first, you’re lifting more weight, more often. This will put more demand on your body and take more time for your body to repair + rebuild itself after. We’re quickly gone from no or limited weights to every kind of DB/KB/Barbell we have ever dreamt of, jumping from 20% to 80% of usual load on your body. This aggressive increase will take its toll pretty quickly!
Wanting to test the waters and see what you can still do is to be expected, but train smart. If you want to go super heavy/big volume in one session, make sure you counter it the next day with lighter load/work to give your body time to adapt and recover. Make sure to factor in some proper stretch, mobility and down time. Check the ego at the door and train with purpose, rather than a ‘smash and dash’ attitude…
- Change in Work + Training hours
Re-opening of gyms has also signalled in people coming out of furlough, perhaps being required to go back to the office or increase work hours to what they used to be. This may mean you are training at different times than you’re used to, perhaps earlier or later than usual, throwing your body, sleep and fuelling out of whack.
Try to establish your new routine in the next week or so, before May 17th would be ideal as then you can hit the ground running & at maximising potential! Be honest with yourself, your availability and your social life.. It’s all good saying you can train every weekday evening now, but if you know drinks tend to happen on a Thursday/Friday night, then allow for that! It’s ok to have a night off.. or maybe train in the morning instead?
Similarly, if you know you tend to reach Friday and you’re knackered, make that a rest day, then come early Saturday and have Sunday as a rest also – ready to hit a new week fresh!
Sitting side-by-side with change of work and training hours, is sleep patterns! Along with days being longer, being able to go out for a few beverages in the evening again, our sleep tends to be the first thing to go. We get to bed later, have poor quality sleep due to alcohol in our system and/or some poor eating choices, but still rising early to train/get to work. In simple terms, the less quality sleep you have then the less chance your body has to replenish, restock and recover!
Similar to above, be smart and honest with yourself! If you know you usually drink or have a late night on a Thursday, don’t book in for a Friday morning workout, do the evening instead! Or have it as a rest and hit the gym at the weekend instead.
Try to bring in some good bedtime routines too, such as not looking at your phone after 9pm, or putting it on charge in another room. If you phone is your alarm, then put it on airplane mode!
With us being a bit more sedentary than usual, the amount of food we have, and what we are eating, would have changed to fit the change of lifestyle. Now we are back in the gyms, what your body needs will have increased but your intake may have not caught up yet. What and how much you eat isn’t the only thing that may have changed, but when you eat! All of this has a big impact on our training, as it will determine the kind of fuel (and therefore energy) we have at our disposal when we’re at the gym.
First, it’s important to note that what works for you may not work for someone else. Some work better off a big feed before training, some can’t even begin to stomach the idea of porridge before power cleans. It is suggested you eat between 30mins – 3hrs before working out, and then to re-fuel within about 1hr of training.
Your pre-workout snack/light meal should be higher in carbs as this will top up your glucose and give you extra energy at your disposal. If weight training, you’ll want some good protein in there too, ready to repair the micro-tears made, rebuilding our muscles to be bigger and stronger than before!
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have breakfast before your 6am class. Although, If you are able to have a light snack, such as a banana, some yoghurt & peanut butter or a handful of granola, then this will help wake up your digestive system and ensure you can push that bit more in your session.
When it comes to lunch or evening workouts, then you should definitely be able to have some food in you. Play around with what time works best for you, it will differ with everyone. If you have a class at 12pm for example, I would aim to have a light meal around 10.30-11am, and similarly if your class is it 6pm, aim for food at about 4-4.30pm This will give the food time to digest, whilst also ensuring you harness it’s energy.
Again, you’re going to want to get glycogen and protein in you pretty quick to replenish what’s lost and help the repair & rebuild process begin. If you can’t even begin to think about eating after your workout, try to at least get water in you and perhaps drop an electrolyte tablet in with it! You’ve lost a lot of sweat and want to replenish that ASAP!