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Freedom day. A guide to getting back into a gym routine post lockdown

Freedom day. A guide to getting back into a gym routine post lockdown

Posted by Bulk Nutrients on Sep 28, 2021

Estimated reading time: 6 mins

NSW Freedom Day

With freedom day fast approaching in New South Wales, many people are dusting off their gym shoes and eager to get back into training! A gym routine post lockdown, however, needs to be started slowly.

You can’t just jump right back in where you were months back, but we can help you get back into a routine.

By the end of this article, you'll have a strategy to start your training again, so you can get back on track with your fitness goals.


Freedom day and post lockdown workouts

New South Wales is eagerly awaiting a final date for freedom day to be announced, which will happen once 70% of the state is double vaccinated, with more freedoms given once the 80% double vaccination rate is reached.

And it may be sooner than we think!

The New South Wales state government had been planning freedom day for Monday, October 18, however, with single vaccination rates currently at 80%, Monday, October 11 is now looking like a promising option. "COVID Live" shows a live countdown of NSW second doses, so you can keep yourself updated exactly when NSW plans on lifting restrictions.

Part of the "freedom day" benefits for the double vaccinated will be the ability to travel, visit family and friends, dine out, go to sporting events, go to the hairdresser, and go to the gym!


Planning your post-COVID gym workouts

It's critical to make sure you ease back into your training. We can't go back into the gym and just go all out - we'll wake up very sore and likely get injured!

So what's the best way to attack it? Let's use the example of Bulk Nutrients customer Linda.

Before Lockdown, Linda's looking at doing the below workout:

  • 3 x leg extensions (25 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps)
  • 5 x squats (12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 6 reps)
  • 5 x leg press (12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 8 reps, 8 reps)
  • 3 x lunges (12 reps, 12 reps, 15 reps)

There's a lot of that workout where Linda is working at 80% of her one-rep max. But walking back into that is a challenge.

We would recommend Linda reduce the number of sets she does for the first week by 30%. So Linda's pre-COVID workout consisted of 16 sets, and now we suggest it become 11 sets, which is still a tough workout.

After Lockdown, Linda's looking at doing the below workout:

  • 3 x leg extensions (25 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps)
  • 3 x squats (12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps)
  • 3 x leg press (12 reps, 10 reps, 15 reps)
  • 2 x lunges (12 reps, 15 reps)

And only ~40% of these sets (5 sets) should be at muscle failure, as outlined with "MF" below:

  • 3 x leg extensions (25 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps MF)
  • 3 x squats (12 reps, 10 reps MF, 8 reps MF)
  • 3 x leg press (12 reps, 10 reps MF, 15 reps)
  • 2 x lunges (12 reps, 15 reps)

Training too hard can lead to muscle soreness which can lead to injury. For example, training your chest at maximum intensity can cause serious soreness, which leads to a lesser ability to stretch your arms wide enough for a squat.

Stretching muscles before training and warming up is absolutely critical for your gym routine post lockdown, to avoid injury. None of us needs any more time on the sidelines!


Getting back into the gym after lockdown means taking it slow.
Getting back into the gym after lockdown means taking it slow.


The Rundown:

  • Week 2 should involve reducing the total number of sets by 20% compared to before the lockdowns, with 50% of those sets to muscle failure. After that, returning to pre-lockdown training might be easier.
  • Ease yourself back into it. There's no prizes for reaching previous personal bests soonest and the slightly slower but more consistent approach will help reduce injury.
  • Choosing the right supplements to help you back into an active gym-going lifestyle has never been more important. Read on to see our recommended supplements to support you in the gym.

Muscle Recovery & Returning To The Gym

Supplements to support your gym routine post lockdown

Recovery is also critical to lessen the chances of injury. And one supplement that is showing much promise in this area is Citrulline Malate.

This study examined 41 men who did two consecutive chest sessions, totalling 8 sets per workout (16 sets in total). And the research was well set up; randomised, double-blind, 2-period crossover design. There was little room for error!

And in one of the sessions, they gave the subjects 8 grams of Citrulline Malate and a placebo in the other. So what did they find? They reported:

"A significant decrease of 40% in muscle soreness at 24 hours and 48 hours after the pectoral training session...was achieved with Citrulline Malate supplementation. The only side effect reported was a feeling of stomach discomfort in 14.63% of the subjects."


Fight muscle soreness with Bulk Nutrients Citrulline Malate.
Fight muscle soreness with Bulk Nutrients' Citrulline Malate.


And of course, the other supplement not to be without is your whey protein.

Whey protein helps you build and repair muscle, which is important to the recovery process. We need all the help we can get from supplements when we're getting back into the gym, and this is a cost-effective and convenient supplement that assists greatly.

And we've got plenty of flavours for you to chose from too.


Help build and repair your muscles with the Bulk Nutrients WPC range.
Help build and repair your muscles with the Bulk Nutrients WPC range.


Ease back into training after lockdowns end

The bottom line is we can't just dive back into the gym at the same intensity before lockdowns. We recommend starting by reducing your pre-lockdown sets by 30% for the first week and do only ~40% of these sets to muscle failure. In week two, reduce the total number of sets by 20% compared to before the lockdowns, with 50% of those sets to muscle failure. After that, returning to pre-lockdown training might be easier.

Supplementing with Citrulline Malate will, according to scientific research, reduce muscle soreness, which may help us reduce injury. Moreover, a whey protein supplement can help us build and repair muscle too, and should be considered to help us get back to pre-lockdown function and condition.

Good luck and enjoy getting back into training!


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References

  1. Page P. Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012;7(1):109-119.

  2. Woods K, Bishop P, Jones E. Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Sports Med. 2007;37(12):1089-99. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200737120-00006. PMID: 18027995.

  3. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline Malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0. PMID: 20386132.

  4. Pasiakos SM, Lieberman HR, McLellan TM. Effects of protein supplements on muscle damage, soreness and recovery of muscle function and physical performance: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2014 May;44(5):655-70. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0137-7. PMID: 24435468.


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