Rebuilding Strength post Lockdown
As the UK eases out of Lockdown 3.0, many of us are itching to get back into a gym and starting a fresh routine to rebuild strength, boost performance and improve our physiques.
Before stepping foot back into the gym there are a number of factors to consider to help to rebuild strength which has been lost through reduced training intensity, volume and overall lack of exposure to the weights room!
Before we get into the finer details, here’s 3 tips from EFECTIV Athlete and Britain’s Strongest Man 2019, Graham Hicks:
Graham's 3 Tips
"Patience is required at any point in training as standard, but it’s especially important after an extended time out. Don't rush to get back into the shape you were in, allow yourself time and do it properly."
"Try to make sure you can get into a good routine as best as you can. It helps with training, your diet and even recovery. Being organised has never been a bad thing!"
"Don’t just give up if things are hard at first. Nothing ever came easy so don't quit at the first signs of struggles... Stick with it and you will make progress!"
As Graham mentioned, patience is required. You can’t expect to lift the weights you were previously lifting, this is unrealistic and actually quite dangerous. Understand that any strength lost can quickly be regained if you follow the correct methods.
Don’t Go HAM early on!
To regain your lost strength you need to be in the weights room regularly, following a plan focussed on progressive overload. You can’t expect to be training at a high intensity with quality technique if your muscles are aching too much from your previous session.
This is especially important if you haven’t been training at all during the lockdown.What do we recommend?
Start lighter and leave your ego at the door. For the first month or so you should allow yourself to build momentum with your training and perfect your technique before building up to the heavier weights you were throwing around pre-lockdown.
Week 1 – Choose your favourite compound exercises which are going to be included in your training program and follow the sets and rep ranges you’ll be using for the next 6-8 weeks. Your warm up should be consistent each session (depending on any injuries or niggles you pick up along the way), warm up with the same intensity you would for a heavier session.
Start with weights which you can comfortably move with perfect lifting technique. You don’t want to be going crazy during week 1. Enjoy lifting and recover well.
Leading Strength Coach Sebastian Oreb recommends taking the weights you lifted during the last week of training before lockdown, and halving them for week 1.
Weeks 2 & 3 – No major changes here, except you will be increasing the weight from week 1 and building momentum going into week 4.
Week 4 – Now you are training regularly and following a high protein, performance focused diet, the training intensity will start to pick up and the weights should be moving like you never left the gym!
Week 5 & Beyond – Continue to progressively overload in the weights room and be consistent, but most of all – lift safely and enjoy your training!
Can any supplements help to rebuild strength?
Although food should always be priority, supplementation can help to support your strength gains.
Creatine Monohydrate is the king of supplements and has been shown time and time again to support strength training and physical exercise. Creatine is the most effective supplement for building muscle mass and strength (1).
Creatine Monohydrate can be loaded, to quickly saturate your muscle creatine stores if this is what you’d prefer. This is achieved by taking 5g, 4 times daily for 7 days.
If you’d prefer not to go through a loading phase you can simply take a 5g serving oncer per day.
100% Whey Isolate
A high protein diet is key to supporting recovery following intense exercise. An adequate intake and appropriate timing of protein ingestion has been shown to be beneficial in multiple exercise modes, including endurance, anaerobic, and strength exercise (2).
EFECTIV 100% Whey Isolate is a premium quality, highly bioavailable source of protein which is rich in Amino Acids. We recommend using 100% Whey Isolate to support your recovery by taking 1-2 servings per day, post exercise.Final Thoughts
Strength training is a passion for millions of people around the world. Strength Training can increase muscle mass and bone density, improve balance and combat depression (3).
Wherever you are in the world, stay safe and #BeEFECTIV!