Welcome to this week’s three things, I hope your week has been good!
Returning to the gym
The gyms opened up here in Scotland last Monday, and I got back in for my first session on Tuesday. Monday I spend with Katie and not even the gym gets in the way of that! Here are a few thought on my experience going back in after 6 months.
- The gym I go to has done a fantastic job of making space around equipment and throughout the club to ensure social distancing where they can.
- They want to see this work more than anyone, so they are going the extra mile, and I’m sure that other gyms will be the same.
- At no point did I feel that I shouldn’t be there. It felt safe, everyone was mindful of spacing and took care to wipe down equipment well after use.
- The DOMS wasn’t as bad as I feared it might be. It did hit me mostly in my mid and upper back more than anywhere else. With hindsight, that makes perfect sense since home workouts tend to miss a lot in pulling movements thanks to lighter loads and set up difficulties.
- It felt freakin awesome to get some heavy-ish weight in my hands again!
If you do choose to get back in the gym soon, pay attention to the guidelines and enjoy it!
Carbs won’t make you fat*
*Unless eating them pushes you consistently over your daily calorie needs for an extended period of time.
There seems to be a resurgence of the idea that carbs, and carbs alone, cause you to gain weight. And I thought that that idea had been put to bed for good already. It seems that I was wrong.
Carbs are super tasty, and when combined with a fat source ie in a doughnut, they become what is commonly referred to as hyperpalateable. Meaning they are almost designed to make you want more and more of them.
But, that in itself does not mean they are inherently fattening.
Fat storage is a pretty slow process. Going over your daily calories by a couple of hundred calories each day adds up over time. But it’s slow. And the only way carbs can be at fault is if your consumption of carbs pushes you over your calorie needs each day.
So if you feel that your weight and waistline aren’t going in the direction you want, you may want to cut your carb intake down a bit, but you don’t need to cut carbs out of your life altogether.
The repeated bout effect.
If you did get back into the gym this week, or are planning to do so soon, then you’ll be glad that the repeated bout effect is a thing.
Most of you will have been doing home workouts with bodyweight and minimal loading over the last 6 months. So getting back into the gym offers a load of opportunity to do, what is, effectively, new stuff. And with more load. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Inevitably you’re going to get sore thanks to the new stimulus from exercise selection (goodbye split squats and pushups, hello front squats and db presses!) and the increase in loading you get from going from bands and body weight to dumbbells, bars and plates. And you’ll probably love it, you masochistic little devil.
But with great muscle pain comes a greater chance of injury and less progress, so hopefully, you moderated your return at least a little. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But in week one, you’re going to get sore. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Then in week 2, the stimuli aren’t so new and unusual, so if you don’t ramp volume way up, you’re going to be less sore and recover quicker.
Week 3 and pain isn’t a worry, loading starts to climb a bit and recovery is easier. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Week 4 and you’re good to go.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Your body has adapted due to the consistent exposure to what was new in week 1 and, assuming you’ve taken care of your recovery, you’re making progress.
So be smart with your initial loading and volume, and gradually ramp it up over the course of weeks rather than days.
Have a great week,
If you need some help getting back to training, then my online training option might be right for you! You can find out more about it, as well as what my clients love about it, by hitting the link.