Re-Enter Armor Safely
The time has finally come to return to the gym! So now what? Many of you will be coming back to training with a much wider selection of equipment and heavier weights. You will likely be eager to get back to it and try to make up for the last 2-3 months within 1-2 weeks. However, this can lead to some serious setbacks! Re-entry over-excitement is a real thing.
What can we do to build back into training safely, get back to where you were, and improve on your previous level of fitness? Even if you have been moving during quarantine, unless you had access to a fully equipped gym, there are some specific considerations at you return to the gym. Luckily the programming is going to reflect many things we have already considered for you. Here are some points to consider:
1. Increase Your Prep Work and Recovery Efforts
Your warm-ups will include more prehab (injury prevention) movements that will allow you to get more out of training. Don’t skip them, and don’t overlook them. Always give your full efforts during warm-ups, prioritizing movement quality. Even something as simple as a Cossack squat should be executed with intentional movement perfection. Follow up your training sessions with adequate recovery efforts such as 3-5 minutes of cool down and mobility. Think about your previous training sessions. How much thought and effort did you put into your execution of the warm-up and cool-down, compared to the actual strength and metcon workouts?
2. Build strength Without Using Max Loads
Your strength work will come in the form of tempos and time under tension. We are going to be asking you to own the range of motion you are working in. Longer tempos will keep you under the barbell longer without having to using maximal loads.
This will do 3 things for you:
- Strengthen tendons and connective tissue. The cross-sectional area of the musculotendinous junction will increase. This makes that tendon more resilient, preventing things such as tendonitis.
- Improve joint stability. Working the smaller muscles and building connective tissue around the joints improves will allow you to improve the stability of the joint
- Increase metabolism. More time under tension not only builds more muscle and strength but also burns a ton of calories.
“Keep it simple and don’t overlook the basics. As we mentioned, a lot of the groundwork has already been done for you. However, you need to be OK with accepting the reduction in intensity and load.”
3. Be Okay Reducing Weights and Intensity During the Metabolic Conditioning Workouts
We recommend starting with 60-70% of your previous typical working weight. For example, if you usually perform thrusters with 95 lbs, be OK with reducing that weight to 65 lbs during your workouts. Another example is on the rower. Say you typically maintain a 1:50 pace on the rower during a conditioning workout. Intentionally dial that back to a 2:00 to 2:10 pace. There is a widely accepted concept of linear progression in the world of exercise science. By adding 3-5% in weight from week to week, you can safely build a ton of strength over the course of a relatively short time. We will be recommending reduced working weights and reduced pace/intensity in conditioning workouts. Most of this work is already done for you, we are simply saying be OK with it.
4. Continue to Prioritize Nutrition and Sleep
Following Quarantine Clean-Up recommendations is a great place to start. It is simple, yet very effective. Aim to drink water throughout each day, eat your clean protein, eat your veggies. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep per day. On your off days, don’t just sit around. Go for longer brisk walks. Movement will help you reduce muscle soreness and reperfuse tissue to bring nutrients and repair damaged muscle fibers. Keep it simple and don’t overlook the basics. As we mentioned, a lot of the groundwork has already been done for you. However, you need to be OK with accepting the reduction in intensity and load. We are excited to get back into the gym with the community we love! Our own re-entry overexcitement is a real thing.