Getting back into the gym

Getting back into the gym

Ok, so you took a good, long look in the mirror this morning and didn’t like what you saw? Your belly is slowly becoming a beer barrel rather than the average beer gut you could just about live with and your pecs have lost definition. The way those moobs are growing you’ll need to borrow your girlfriend’s bikini on the beach this summer. Tick tock, the clock has struck and it’s time to get your lazy butt back to the gym!


We’ve all got busy lives; you’re not on your own. Yes, you have to work long hours and visit your parents, take your girlfriend out and meet your mates after work for a catch up at the pub. There’s a family crisis, the cat’s sick and you’ve lost your gym membership card. BUT, what about those guys you know who do manage to make it to the gym 3 or 4 times a week? Don’t they have commitments too? You need to really think about what you want and make the changes you need to make to get yourself back to the gym. Look at your regular week and schedule in some time for yourself at the gym and stick to it – the first hurdle is actually getting yourself there so just DO IT!


I guess this feature has started off a bit ‘sergeant major’ in tone, but to be honest, it was just to shake you out of your lazy rut. You probably feel bad enough about staying away from the gym without anyone else ramming the truth down your throat. Think about it: the wasted membership, the pounds piling on, feeling stressed and run down…You’re not on your own. But, if you do one thing for yourself TODAY that will lift your spirits and get you on that road to feeling good about yourself and your body, that’s going down to the gym…or at least firing yourself up for your big comeback!


Girls aren’t the only ones who can cut out pictures in magazines of great bodies that inspire them. Have a look at those celebrities that have the sort of body you would like to have – ask your female friends or girlfriend what kind of male body hits the spot for them and you can bet most of them would go for the lean, muscular shape and the ‘looking good without trying too hard’ physique of male perfection like David Beckham or Ryan Reynolds. Seriously pumped up bodies aren’t that attractive to most women, so keep that in mind when you’re working out with the weights. So, now you’ve got the picture in your mind of how you’d like to look that’s the first step to helping you visualise your new gym toned body.

Check out your old gym kit – is it up to scratch? We’re not saying you should go out and spend a fortune on designer gear, just make sure that your gym outfit looks and feels comfortable. If it’s too tight or makes you feel uneasy, give it to the charity shop. Look through Men’s fitness magazines for some ideas and go get yourself something that will make you feel confident. It may sound girly, but wearing the wrong gym outfit will only give you an excuse not to go.


When you’ve been away from the gym for a while, don’t try and take up where you left off or else you could cause yourself injuries. You’ll need to get back in gently by starting off with a long warm up to get the blood pumping and those muscles and ligaments ready and used to working out again. Head to the treadmill for a 5-10 minute walk, starting at a gentle pace and then recline a few steps for a further 5-10 minutes. Go on to the bikes and again, take it gently and cycle for 10-15 minutes. After this, stretch all the major muscle groups for a good 10 minutes – quads, glutes, hamstrings, back, chest, etc before going onto weights. Don’t go back to lifting the same weight as you were previously as your body won’t be ready for this so use a lighter weight and fewer reps. Once you’ve finished your first gentle work out, you can start feeling good about yourself – you’re back!


Part of the reason many of us quit going to the gym is because we’re not 100% sure of how to use the machines properly and we drift from one piece of exercise equipment to the next without knowing whether we are working out as effectively as we could be. Doing this means it’s easy to lose focus and give up – and means we might not be pushing ourselves as much as we can either. If you do just one thing to help keep you a regular in the gym, it is to enlist the help of a personal trainer. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you book a trainer just for an induction – he’ll be able to show you the correct use of the equipment, work out what’s the right level for you to be working at and give you a workout programme that will make sure you get the results you’re looking for in the time frame you’re working with. Feeling confident at the gym is the best way of keeping you going – so what are you waiting for?


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