“Welcome to the new normal” might be a familiar refrain as we emerge, blinking, into our changing, lockdown-lite world, but it’s far from comforting when you head in for your first 2021 training session. The problem? With gyms busy, social distancing in force and equipment-sharing basically impossible, it’s tougher than ever to do the workout you want – unless you plan ahead.
That’s where the below comes in: we’ve created workout suggestions that are simple to manage in even the most crammed gyms, with a single bit of kit and a mat-sized space on the floor. Stop putting it off – and do clean up after yourself.
Best gym workout plans…
If… you’ve been lying on the couch for a year
It’s understandable if fitness took a back seat during the stress of homeschooling, furloughs and uncertain times – but with lockdowns leeching everyday activity from your life (commuting, climbing stairs, and shopping all add up), getting back into good habits is probably a good idea.
Don’t beat yourself up: instead, start simple, with a foolproof mini-plan that’s easy to stick to and difficult to derail. Kettlebell swings are easy to get into: grab a bell that’s fairly light for your abilities, and aim to do 10 every minute, for 10 minutes. Throw in an easy mobility routine at the start of your workout and perhaps a quick plank at the end, and call it a day. At this stage, you’re building the habit of actually making it to the gym, so even if all you do is go there, shower and leave, it’s still kind of a win.
If… you’ve worked out half a dozen times
Maybe you started strong with a few Joe Wicks sessions, or took advantage of your one-hour exercise slots for the first few weeks of lockdown, but then life got in the way. The important thing is, you’ve already got an idea of what you liked… and what you didn’t. Did you respond to Wicks’ boundless enthusiasm and sense of camaraderie? You’ll probably do well in a HIIT class, now available again at most gyms.
Got into Yoga With Adriene? You might find the focus and feedback of a live class nudges your Asanas to the next level. Do better at outdoor cardio? Support your running with some simple strength work: if all you can nab at the gym is a dumbbell and a mat, do a few supersets of goblet lunges (see video below) paired with stir-the-pots to address imbalances and stave off injury.