Getting Ready to Return to the Gym
Living Well...together, while apart
Are you – like me – drooling in anticipation of loading heavy plates onto a Deadlift Bar? Jumping on a spin bike and going all out while your crazy instructor hurls motivational sayings at you? Playing 40 minutes of squash, followed by 40 minutes of HIIT strength circuits followed by – oops no time to stretch cause it’s time to grab a beer…?
It’s going to be awesome. Full of energy, interesting opportunities, and challenges. Including the fact that many of us may have lost certain aspects of our strength and fitness.
So, while tempting, try to remember that jumping right back in, where you left off March 2020, might not be the wisest ideas
We’ve got a few ideas for how to ease back in safely and effectively. We’ll share those a little closer to opening time!
More relevant this moment, we’ve got a few ideas for how to prepare your body a little better over the next 8 weeks.
Here are a few simple things you could focus on…
Increase your mobility:
We’ve talked about this notion of mobility before – but let me begin by reminding you how we explain this vital pillar: Flexibility refers to the ability of a muscle to be lengthened. And while mobility incorporates flexibility – better flexibility can support better mobility – mobility refers to the degree to which you can control a movement through its range. It requires joint mobility, soft tissue extensibility and sufficient stability or motor control supporting the entire range.
From a practical perspective, it involves repetition of a movement or several where you progressively and slightly increase the length of your muscles and range of your joints.
If you want some guidance, join Lauren Neal for a full body mobility routine:
Strengthen your end ranges:
The end or outside of a movement is often mechanically and neurologically the most challenging. End ranges are also typically ones we don’t visit as often. And that can mean weakening or even losing that range completely over time. Best done right after a little mobility work to increase range of motion, you can subsequently strengthen this extra bit of range and can be accomplished using light weights, resistance bands, or even no weight at all (aka body weight) provided you are mindful when you move. Be deliberate as you nudge your body, limb, or joint to the end of its comfortable range. Hold contractions with force (this requires the BRAIN to work more than it requires heavy weights). If you’re training using bands, the end of the movement also happens to be when the elastic is stretched the most. So, holding that end position for a few seconds, resisting the mechanical energy pulling you back is so tough! And so effective!
Here's one of our favourite full body workouts that challenges end ranges of a number of joints and muscles using isometrics:
Increase your speed, power, and tolerance for intensity:
If you’ve been enjoying more long, slow distance and moderate type workouts it might be time to incorporate a few high intensity intervals into a few of your workouts. These fun, short bursts optimize your brain and nervous system as you recruit different muscle fibers, enhance nerve firing speed, and optimize your coordination. Also pushing hard, even for just a few seconds, increases confidence and resilience. Intervals can involve weight lifting exercises; running, cycling or rowing sprints; full body movements including mountain climbers or jumping jacks. Be sure to choose an activity you’ve done before and are comfortable executing. Keep the intervals between 5 to 90 seconds. Push as hard as you can for the interval. And give yourself at least twice the time to recover, with the shorter intervals typically requiring more recovery. Try 4-5 intervals to start. Potentially build to 8 or 10. Add this type of training to your routine once or twice a week.
Here are a few 90 second full body intervals to get you started!
Keep what’s working. I’ve lost a few healthful habits. And a few specific aspects of my fitness. But I’ve gained some new ones too. Reflect on the maybe unexpected heath gains you have experienced. What new health habits did COVID facilitate? As you head back downtown, … what might you be at risk of losing? What can you do to protect and maintain the things that are now serving you well? Intentions are often not enough. Once you’ve identified what habit or activity you want to keep, develop a clear, precise, realistic strategy and determine exactly and when you’re going to put your plan into place.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
Today’s Live Workouts
Happy Monday! Ready to get moving to start your week off right? We’ve got TWO classes on the schedule for today!
TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING WITH ROBERT S
Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.
No equipment needed today.
Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
YOGA FUSION WITH ROBERT Y
Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)
No equipment needed today.
Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Click here to view our weekly schedule.
If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.
Today’s Trainer Moves
Before your next workout, or after a few too many hours at your desk, try these two mobility moves to open up the hips and shoulders.
Walking hip openers:
Your hip joint is a ball and socket that moves in all directions. It’s important to warm up the hip and surrounding muscles before any workout, since they’re key contributors to balance and stability.
Equipment needed: none
Muscles worked: glutes, hip flexors, hip extensors, hip abductors, hip adductors
- Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground and lift your left knee to your chest.
- Make a circle with your left knee, bringing it up and across your body and then out to the side and down.
- Place your left foot on the floor and repeat on the right side.
- Repeat 10 times, then repeat sequence moving your legs in the opposite direction by bringing your leg out to the side first and then across your body.
Thoracic spine windmills on floor:
Your thoracic spine is in the middle of your back, from the base of the neck down to where your rib cage ends.
Good mobility in the thoracic spine allows you to move your arms freely over your head and turn side to side. Poor mobility can lead to shoulder pain and problems, poor posture, and upper back pain.
Equipment needed: towel or foam roller
Muscles worked: core muscles, upper back, spine stabilizing muscles, and obliques
- Lie on the floor on your side.
- Bend your knees and hips to just past 90 degrees, resting your knees beside you on the floor.
- Straighten your bottom leg and rest your top leg on a foam roller or a towel without changing its position.
- Extend both your arms together along the floor, straight out in front of your body. They should be stacked, palms together, at shoulder height.
- Slowly lift your top arm and rotate it away from you, opening up your chest to the ceiling. Rotate your head and trunk until your hand is on the other side of your body, if possible.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and slowly bring it back to touch your other hand.
- Repeat 5 times on each side.
2-Ingredient Blueberry Nice Cream
Are you looking for the perfect, healthy sweet treat to help you beat the heat this summer? This 2-ingredient blueberry nice cream is simple to make and absolutely delicious! We guarantee that your whole family will love it!
Click here to download the recipe.
Check out our Spice of Life recipe book here.
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 medium frozen ripe bananas
- Optional toppings: granola, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut
- Add frozen blueberries and frozen bananas to your food processor and process until creamy, scraping down the edges as needed. If you like to eat it like soft-serve ice cream, simply enjoy it as is. Otherwise, transfer to a small container or loaf pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1-2 hours. The longer you freeze, the harder it will get, so just know you may have to thaw it out a bit before you are able to scoop.
- Scoop into two bowls, add your favourite toppings and enjoy.
Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.