Hi guys and welcome to the Strong Dollar fitness team! This week we will be looking into the best ways to make your return to the gym a safe and effective one. I know after being locked up for the last few months you are probably ecstatic to see that your gym is opening again. You’re probably dreaming of all the PRs that you will be hitting and want to stack as much weight on the bar as possible. However, before you go for that back breaking squat personal best take a step back and use these workout tips to make sure you enter the gym with the proper mindset to set yourself up for success.
1. Warm up!!!!
I know this sounds basic, but it is very important. The amount of people that I see jump right into vigorous workouts with little to no warmup is astonishing. A proper warm up can reduce the risk of injury and if you are someone that doesn’t want to be sidelined from lifting right after getting back to the gym, then you should think of adding thoughtful warmups to your programming. Your warmups should be prep for your main movers during your workout. If you have a squat focused day you need to focus on activating those muscles that you will be using specifically rather than just doing a general warm up.
Ex. Leg Day Warm up
10 RDL w KB (Tempo 3 sec down)
10 Goblet Squat (Tempo 3 sec down)
Push up plank on Rings 30 seconds
I like to use this warm up for a squat day because it activates the muscles that are going to be used during the main portion of the workout. It also gets your heart rate up with the row and helps work on stabilizing your body with the plank. A well thought out warm-up can be just as important as any other part of the training session, so remember to always make it a priority!
2. Utilize Tempo for major lifts
How is a house built? That’s right from the ground up. A house needs a strong foundation if it is going to last and the same goes for you. In order to be as strong as possible you need to be as stable as possible. That’s where tempo comes in. Many people know of “negatives” or controlling the eccentric (lengthening) part of the movement. However, I see very few people controlling the concentric (shortening) part of the movement. I believe tempo is extremely important when trying to build a foundation to grow from. Especially when you are just getting back into the gym after weeks of light weight/body weight workouts. Tempo forces you to keep good form and stabilize the weight for the entirety of the set. The slow contractions will teach the muscles to fire in unison, which in the long run will allow you to produce more force. Here is an example of prescribing tempo.
4 sets 5 reps 4121
1st number= the number of seconds you’ll spend on the eccentric or downward phase of the squat.
2nd = the number of seconds spent at the bottom
3rd= the number of seconds on the concentric or upward phase of squat
4th= the number of seconds spent at top of squat
This idea can be used for all lifts not just the squat, so go out and give it a try!
3. Check your ego at the door
Now that we’re back in the gym it is hard to not just stack weights on the bar and test our strength right off the bat. However, that is not going to be beneficial in the long run at all. Plus, the risk of getting injured goes up exponentially. Remember this is a process and it takes time. Right now, it is time to take it slow and form that solid foundation, so that our fitness has a platform to grow on. Don’t worry the PR’s will come and the heavy weights will be thrown around once again!
Thanks once again for reading these workout tips and I hope you found something useful in this post. We here at Strong Dollar want you to become the best version of yourself and that’s why we preach fitness and finance because we believe that the two go hand in hand when creating an amazing life. I hope you stick around to follow us on this journey, so we can continue to educate the masses. Thanks again and remember Fitness + Finance = Freedom!
FITNESS CHALLENGE WEEK #1
We will be doing challenges each week, so you can apply the information that you learn from us. This week’s challenge is to write out all your workouts for the next week and make sure to include a warm up and at least one tempo piece as shown above, Go get after it! See you guys next week!
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