We have been living with my partner at the seaside for the past 3 months. Yes, the privilege to have a place to stay away from everyone is huge. However, as we haven’t been guests to any of the nearby hotels who have a gym, I’ve been off training for that time plus the 4 lockdown months. As we’ve returned to the city recently, going back to the gym after 7 months is on my calendar.
Not that I didn’t do some casual workouts with bodyweight when we were on the seaside, but that’s rarely enough for me. I’ve done 5K runs a couple of times, did HIIT and Tabata workouts, found a place for push-ups and dips, but I want more.
Going back to the gym after all that time hurts
It hurts because my body barely remembers the intensity and strength required for what I’ve been doing before March. I remember that back then I’ve started to feel real improvement in mobility and strength. Now I have to re-build all of that and then focus on improving.
I basically started my training last week. Did 4 workouts, nothing heavy but focused on how my body moves and getting a grip of my strength. I’ve paused for 2 days after the first 2 workouts and then continued with the other 2 workouts in 2 consecutive days. What can I say, I’ve lost a significant amount of my pre-COVID gains.
Focusing on mobility and stability
After all of that time off training, I really need to focus on mobility. Ankle mobility for squats and overhead mobility for presses and jerks/cleans. Jerks and cleans haven’t been in my program up until now, but I feel that it’s time to start building them. I feel that with these 2 there’s much strength to be gained.
Going back to the gym after all of that time would require a focus on stability as well. One of my mistakes in my training is that I never focused on front squats. I’ve started to think about them right after I saw them in Obi Vincent’s workout that I bought in May.
One of the things that would help me with my front squat would be the zombie squats and ankle mobility. The zombie squats are told to be significantly improving front squat stability, while the ankle mobility helps in the bottom position. You may refer to Squat University’s How to Keep your Chest Up when Front Squatting video.
Recording training statistics and sessions
Going back to the gym after all this time, I want to do things better than before. Up until now, I haven’t been recording training statistics and pretty much anything. I just remembered my PRs and max efforts for a specific movement/exercise.
This time around I want to change that. I recently found an interesting iOS app called Gravitus. With Gravitus, you may record valuable training data as exercises, PRs, reps, kgs, etc. To me seems like an almost complete package and it’s pretty easy to use even during the workout itself.
I can write down kgs and reps for an exercise in less than 10 seconds, then get myself ready for the next set. There’s probably more to explore about this app, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and take a deeper look. The app has an Apple Health app integration, which I haven’t tested yet but no Garmin Connect integration.
Goals after going back to the gym
In terms of my goals going back to the gym, there’s no surprise – I want to gain strength and burn fat. More precisely, I want to lower my body fat to 10% and achieve a more athletic look. As of strength, I haven’t thought about it that much.
If I reach 2x bodyweight deadlift PR, 1x bodyweight squat and bench PR, I would probably be happy and motivated to push myself even more. With squats and bench, I’m pretty close. However, my deadlift PR is 120kg now, which means I need about 35-40kg more. That would require quite some time for building.
Apart from all of that, I would also like to increase my mobility and stability during the main lifts. That would also help me boost my clean and jerk, which are practically non-existent now due to a lack of overhead mobility. I have lots of work to do, but that motivates me to push harder.
The training program of choice
As I mentioned above, I bought Obi Vincent’s Crossliftr program in May. I gave it a brief try before we went to the seaside and it felt really good. Hard but really good. My plan is to start with it from Week 1 and finish it at least once.
The first week of this training program requires testing of my PRs but I think I might spare myself a bit for the sake of safety. Going back to the gym after all this time would require the body to adjust to all of that physical load.
The program itself focuses on both the main Olympic lifts plus conditioning. I think that would be a good fit for me and will allow me to progress well. As I would need to focus on mobility alongside the training program, I’m not sure how all of that would go, but let’s see.
Are the gyms in your country open now? Did you get back to the gym already? Let us know down in the comments!