How to Return to the Gym

America is starting to open back up and if you are lucky your gym is open or is about to open and you are excited to get back into the gym and get those lost gains back. The question is how should you go back into the gym in order for you to make progress again but most importantly not get hurt. Injuries occur when the load is greater than tissue tolerance so we may get back in the gym and still feel pretty strong but does that mean our muscles and tendons are ready for the onslaught. Most likely they are not, now if you have been lifting this whole time then don't skip a beat and get back in the gym and get after it full tilt. If you have been very limited in your equipment then this is the way I would approach things.

Most of your training has been GPP work just without a load so I would recommend staying in a 3-4 week GPP phase but introduce a load. This would look like a lot of DB and KB work with more unilateral work then bilateral work. You would be working in the higher rep range of 12-20 reps with minimal rest to really push your work capacity as well.

After that block, I would go into an introduction high-frequency block of training. This will look like squatting and benching 3-4x a week and deadlifting 2-3x a week with submaximal loads and mid-range volume parameters. If your max recoverable volume is around 16 sets you would just drop that down to 8-10 sets at a lower percent of your 1 rep max. Look to start around 60-70% on those main exercises and spread them out evenly throughout the week. Your accessories will still look a lot like the GPP phase and you can push those closer to failure. This block is all about getting the technique back down on the lifts and getting the patterns back down.

The next block will be the one that looks like a real training block again. The frequency gets reduced and the intensity will go up and this will be done be to increase the total sets and training percents or RPE's whatever style you prefer. The idea is to start the block off lighter and progressively overload each week in a wave up fashion.

These 10-12 weeks will put you in a great position to make it back into the gym without getting injured and setting you up for a big finish to the 2020 competitive season. Don't rush back into a meet and heavy weights, take your time and build back up.

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