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Tash’s top tips for going back to the gym after some time away

Whether you’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things or are just struggling to stick to a regular routine, here are a few handy tips for getting back into the gym.
Tash Curry

We’ve all got busy lives. Work. Friends. Pets. The pub. They take up a lot of time, and sometimes the last thing we want to do after a long week is drag ourselves to the gym or lace up those trainers for a sprint around the block. 

Before you know it, weeks, months, and even years may have passed. But that’s okay! Motivation ebbs and flows for everyone. What’s useful is understanding why you don’t feel like exercising, and then breaking through that barrier in whatever way gets you going. 

So whether you’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things after a couple of years off or are just struggling to stick to a regular routine, we’ve got you covered with a few handy ways to get yourself in the mood. 

Why we (don’t) work out

There are all sorts of reasons why we don’t work out – even when we know we should. But going back to the gym isn’t as simple as just deciding to go and then doing it. 

PureGym has some interesting stats on this. The first barrier they point out is cost, with 40% of people not having a gym membership and 29% saying they don’t think they’d use it often enough even if they did. 

This one makes total sense. Gyms can cost a lot of money, and if you’re already struggling with motivation, it’s tough to keep spending on something you might only use every few months. But there are other options. You don’t need a gym membership to go for a run or a cycle, and investing in a few weights to keep at home will last you for years. You might even feel a bit more motivated if you don’t have to ‘go to the gym’ to ‘go to the gym’. 

Going back to the gym after a long time away? Go with a plan

Of course, there is some equipment that isn’t practical or affordable to have in the house – like larger machines and full sets of weights. If those are the type of workouts you’re interested in, then the gym is where you’ll need to be. But it can still be an intimidating place, especially for women who report experiencing ‘gymtimidation’ much more than men (at 67% compared to 49%). Most tellingly, one out of every four people say they just don’t feel confident at the gym, which stops them from going and pushing themselves to new heights. 

That makes sense. It’s always intimidating to step outside of your comfort zone. But feeling confident at the gym is a lot easier if you go in knowing exactly what you’re doing and what you want to get out of it. 

That’s where a bit of support can come in handy. Most Another Round members want to make their lives work around exercise – not revolve around it. A gym workout plan tailored to where you are right now and where you want to be in a few months’ time can work wonders for your confidence. Because you’ll always know exactly what you should be doing when you work out – whether that’s at the gym or in your living room. 

Best of all, our workout plans are unique to you. They can be designed for beginners, men, women, and for weight loss or strength and conditioning. If you arrive ready to get stuck in, what’s there to be intimidated by? 

Top tips for gym motivation

Even with the right workout plan or equipment at home, there may still be times when your motivation flags. 

When that happens, pushing through is your choice. If you know you can benefit from a bit of activity, then there are plenty of ways to get pumped up and make sure you’re ready for action:

  • Set new goals: A goal is a great way to kickstart motivation, but you have to pick the right one. Performance is usually easier to track than aesthetics, and you should start with smaller milestones to see consistent progress. Instead of aiming to run a marathon right away, break things up into smaller chunks that you can achieve sooner rather than later. 
  • Keep things short: You don’t have to make every workout a 90-minute, full-speed sweat session. If they’re short, fun, and varied, you’ll find it a lot easier to get back into the swing of things when you’re not feeling the fire. 
  • Set a schedule: If you’re finding it hard to exercise impulsively, try the opposite and book fitness into your diary like a meeting. You can do that on a Sunday night and plan a week that lines up with your gym workout plan – so you’ll never need to wing it and waste time deciding what to do. 
  • Give it 10 minutes: Starting is the hardest step. If you’re not in the mood to go to the gym or work out at home, just try it for 10 minutes. If you’re still not motivated, try again tomorrow. But once you’ve warmed up you’ll probably find yourself pushing through and feeling amazing. 

These tips can all help, but if you’re here looking for advice on going back to the gym after being sick or wondering if you should push through with lower back pain, the advice is simple. Let your body heal first, or work closely with an experienced coach who can help you decide when and how is safest to work out. There’s no rush to get back to full intensity, and doing so without the right advice could lead to more serious injury. 

With the right prep and a few little hacks for a motivation boost when you’re not quite bouncing out the door, going back to the gym doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun, energising, and leave you wanting more. So if you haven’t already got a workout plan in place, give us a shout and we’ll help you get started.

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