Did you know that your risk of injury after a period of detraining is high?
When returning to the gym, the best way you can progress back to your old strength & physical abilities is to follow a principle known as “SAID” (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands). During this period of detraining and quarantine while we have stayed home to “stop the spread” the requirements you’ve been able to impose on your strength and physical abilities has been limited compared to your regular gym program hence the detraining effect. By following the “SAID” principle upon returning to the gym, you’ll be able to reduce your risk of injury by not overexposing your physical abilities to loads and movements that you haven’t been able to do for some months now.
In context what this means is you want to begin with base movements that don’t challenge or threaten your abilities and then, progressively introduce, increased volume, frequency and intensity. When returning to the gym, your primary focus should be on optimizing performance and minimizing recovery time, therefore not aiming to overload your tissues and nervous systems ability to recover in a short time frame. Having a higher frequency of training sessions will yield more significant results during this reentry period to the gym than overloading volume in a single session. While you may still possess the ability to perform the workout physically, you may no longer have the accumulated work capacity to recover from the workload.
It’s important through this time as we’re returning to the gym, you gradually increase the demands placed on your physical and strength abilities. A sample program graded exposure workout plan would look something like this:
Train every second day, alternating workout A & B.
Workout A: Horizontal press, Vertical Pull, Deadlift
Workout B: Vertical Press, Horizontal Pull, Squat
Three working sets of each movement with 60-120 secs rest between sets, making sure to have an extended warm-up. Sample week would look like: Mon: A, Tues: Off, Wed: B, Thurs: off, Fri: A, Sat: Off, Sun: B (continue pattern) program duration ideally 3-4 weeks. After which you could safely return to your preferred training program having successfully transitioned back into the gym.