Minutes to read

Whether you love or hate going to the gym, this year has made establishing consistency with exercise extremely challenging. Apart from a few initial months and a brief re-opening mid-year, gyms have essentially been shut for all of 2020.  So, if you’re returning to the gym this week after an exercise hiatus or you have managed to get some training done during lockdown, here are 5 things to consider as we take another step towards normality.

1. Don’t compare yourself to what you used to be able to do, focus realistically on what you can do and what to work towards

Although it would be nice to return to the gym and pick up exactly where we left off, sadly after a prolonged break this may not be the case. We know this can be disheartening, potentially adding to the stress of returning to the gym. Our advice is evaluating what you realistically expect your body to be able to do and what you’d like to work on. You can set goals if you find this will help you, you can read how to here.

2. Don’t worry, it comes back pretty quick.

After over 100 days in lockdown with or without access to exercise equipment, it’s not a surprise if you feel some reduction in strength. The good news is that your body maintains some strength if you’ve had a drop off in activity (1), which means you’re not necessarily starting from zero again. Your body can also build strength again reasonably quickly (2).

We suggest starting at a weight, intensity or level that you feel comfortable with and build from there in small increments.

3. Come with curiosity and an open mind to try new things

With change comes opportunity, and we now have a chance to explore moving again and to try new things. So far 2020 has forced us to break habits and rituals – but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, perhaps a door has now opened for you to try doing things a little differently.

4. Take a second to say hi to those around you, you clearly have something in common

We’ve all felt the pinch of social isolation. Gym’s don’t have to be scary, they can be a source of community and support and there’s a pretty good chance that others at the gym are feeling the same way you are.

5. You don’t have to do it alone

Feeling overwhelmed about returning to the gym? You’re not alone. Maybe there is someone you could bring with you for emotional support and motivation? Alternatively, if your concern lies in not knowing how to get started again, an exercise professional such as an exercise physiologist or personal trainer may be able to help you get back on track again and be held accountable. Look for someone who listens to you and finds ways to make exercising a part of your lifestyle again and most importantly, seek help from someone that makes moving fun.

If you’d like some help moving again, we offer allied health led personal and small group training. Click below or call 1300 920 520 to learn more.



1.)  Blocquiaux S, Gorski T, Van Roie E, Ramaekers M, Van Thienen R, Nielens H, Delecluse C, De Bock K, Thomis M. The effect of resistance training, detraining and retraining on muscle strength and power, myofibre size, satellite cells and myonuclei in older men. Exp Gerontol. 2020 May;133:110860. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.110860. Epub 2020 Feb 1. Erratum in: Exp Gerontol. 2020 Jun;134:110897. PMID: 32017951.

2.)  Staron RS, Leonardi MJ, Karapondo DL, Malicky ES, Falkel JE, Hagerman FC, Hikida RS. Strength and skeletal muscle adaptations in heavy-resistance-trained women after detraining and retraining. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1991 Feb;70(2):631-40. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1991.70.2.631. PMID: 1827108.

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