fit woman lifting weights, biceps, gym

Tips for Getting Back in the Gym

We’re all guilty of skipping the gym, and it seems to get more and more frequent as we get older. Our responsibilities change, we start our careers, we get married, have kids and plan for the future, not leaving a lot room for gym time. As these responsibilities take over, we may get a little unhappy with our bodies, but adding back the gym doesn’t have to create a large change in our schedules. Being over 25 doesn’t have to affect our time at the gym either. Here are just a few tips to help you get back into the gym spirit.

Make a Plan. And Stick to It.

It can be extremely helpful to sit down and create a month-long plan for the gym. Even just a first day back plan can help you get back into the spirit. What workouts did you used to do that you loved? What did you hate? I mean not everyone loves doing a full workout, but was there any workout that you did that was just miserable and not worth it? You should probably scratch that one.

Here is an example of a week-long, 30 minutes a day, workout outline that you can fill in with exercises that you love.

Monday: Cardio/Stretch

Tuesday: Strength Exercises. Ex. Weights

Wednesday: Core Strength

Thursday: Cardio/Stretch

Friday: Strength Legs/Lower Body Ex. Weights

Saturday: Core Strength or Substitute Yoga

Sunday: Rest Day

Now this may seem like a lot for your first week back in the gym, but trust me, this is will hit a full body routine. Make sure that you are following a schedule that will fit your needs and what you want for your body. Also remember that although we all hate cardio, it is great for losing weight, and it doesn’t have to be done in the gym. If you hate using a treadmill, you can go on bike rides, or long walks with your dog or children. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore, you can like it, and yourself again.

When You Finally Make It…

Once you are finally hitting the gym full time again, remember that cardio is a good place to start each workout. It can help to get your heart rate up and will make your workouts easier in the end. We all hate cardio, and even if weight loss isn’t your first priority, it is essential to your workout regimen. It helps to strengthen your cardiovascular fitness and make your workouts more productive and successful.

Try Classes.

gym class, squats, crossfitThis might sound like something your wife or girlfriend should be doing, but there are many men who join classes that are offered through their gym. These classes can help you to stay on track and continue coming to the gym. Your first time in the class might be very hard to get into, but don’t get discouraged, we were all beginners at one point. These classes can help you meet a lot of people and even help you to form a solid fitness plan as you talk to and get to know the instructor.

Look into a list of classes offered by your gym. These lists get longer every year as they continue to gain popularity with the gym crowd. If you find one that you may want to join, you can usually just show up at the time and place and join. If not, it is very easy to talk to your gym and join one of these classes.

Remember things like p90X are considered classes too! Its not just Zumba or yoga classes.

Multitask in the Gym

It’s hard to make time for the gym, especially if you are looking to get your body back into shape. Many people tend to only work on part of their body or a certain muscle group each visit. If you start to combine exercises you can cut your gym time down to half. This can help you spend less time at the gym but still get all the exercise that you want to do done.

By doing multiple exercises it will confuse your muscles. When your body is used to only working out one muscle group at a time, it can become used to the workout faster. If you start combining your workouts, your muscles will be less likely to get used to the workouts and in turn burn more calories.

Lift, Lift, Lift

man doing bench press in gym, lifting weightsEven if you are only going for weight loss, building muscle is essential to a healthy body. So, how do you build lasting muscles? Weight lifting of course! If you have been in the gym before, you probably already have a weight lifting routine in mind. Remember, that if you haven’t been in a while, you will need to, essentially, start over. You don’t want to tear muscles or create sprains because you start off with too much too soon.

If you have never done a weight lifting routine before, you can talk to trainers, or other people, at your gym, or even simply look up some regular weight lifting workouts. Either way, you will successfully be able to find something that works for you. Weight lifting builds up strength, and who doesn’t want to be strong?

Be Kind to Yourself

You’re just getting back into the gym, it takes time to rebuild the muscles that you had before. It is going to be a long, hard journey. You won’t be able to walk into the gym and be able to lift the same amount that you did in college, or even run as long. No matter what, overtime, you will begin to love what you are doing and the results that you are getting.

Make sure that are stretching regularly so that your muscles are able to stay loose. It will help you to progress further and faster than if you weren’t stretching at all. It will also help you to not get that terrible soreness that comes with working out again.