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Gyms Have Reopened - Training Update

Here in NY, gyms reopened on Monday, August 24th. If you were like me and didn’t have the opportunity to do any resistance training during quarantine, you are feeling all of that detraining. While gyms were closed, I mostly did bodyweight exercises, some exercises with resistance bands, and sprints at the local track. Based on the type of training i was doing, and the demands I was placing on my body, my grip, back, and vertical pulling strength, along with overall conditioning, would experience the greatest detriments in performance.

After being back in the gym for about 1.5 weeks, my hunches were correct. Pull-ups, deadlifts, and any conditioning activity have been challenging. Forget about even wearing a mask, these tasks are still difficult for now. I planned my training program where I predicted the greatest decreases in performance would occur.

For Week 1, all of my workouts had rest periods of 30 seconds. This was incredibly challenging, but after one week my conditioning levels feel better. Odds are I probably didn’t experience any significant amount of adaptations during that one week, but it felt good to challenge myself and to be holding weights again.

Knowing my overall goals are to build strength and muscle mass while decreasing body fat (dug, what guy doesn’t have this goal), I was eager to start lifting heavier weights. For lower body, I’m focusing on my deadlift and barbell front squat. Dumbbell bench press and pull-ups are my upper body priority lifts. After only going through half of this week’s workouts, I am pleasantly surprised with how my strength was holding up. I will admit that I did use chalk for my deadlifts in week 2, and it was great!

We will see how the remainder of week 2 goes and decide how I want to adjust reps, sets intensities. I am already leaning towards higher intensities while trying to maintain volume, and allowing rest periods to be as needed.

How are your workouts going upon returning to the gym? What areas you in excelling in, and which areas are currently a struggle?

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