‘Listen to your body’- Trainers’ tips for smooth return the gym

Many Norfolk residents will be looking forward to working out at the gym again after reopen on July 25.

And getting back into a fitness routine should be straightforward as long as a few simple rules are followed, according to personal trainers Carmen Stankowski, 38, and Gavin Scanlan, 35.

The Dereham couple launched a personal training business Pegasus Performance during lockdown.

Mr Scanlan said gym-goers might feel like they have a mountain to climb in returning to form, but it did not have to be that way.

He said: “Gyms being closed for nearly four months has seen our exercise routines change and in some circumstances become non-existent.

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“You might be worried about how this extended time away from the gym has affected your fitness, and what steps you should be taking to resume your fitness and avoid injury.”

Their return-to-gym tips include: Warming up for 10-15 minutes before working out; going to the gym with a plan and not trying heavy weights too soon.

MORE: Charity sports centre to reopen to racket sport fans and gym-goersMr Scanlan, a former British Army paratrooper, said: “Focus on an all-over body approach as opposed to working just one muscle group that could leave you sore for days, or worse cause you an injury.

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“If you have not used free weights or resistance machines over the last few months, do not automatically assume you can begin to use the weights you used before. Start with lower weights and higher repetitions.”

Ms Stankowski said gym-goers should also “listen to their bodies”, and keep positive.

She said: “Listen to what your body is telling you, do not push past your own capabilities or limits as you could end up with an injury that keeps you out of the gym for longer.

“Adjust the frequency of your training to allow rest days and reflect how your body is feeling, muscle soreness is not the sign of a good workout. Do not be disheartened, enjoy being back in the gym and the new challenges it faces.”

The couple run free group training sessions at Dereham Recreation Ground on Saturdays from 9am, as well as one-to-one coaching for fitness, nutrition and mindset, email pegasus.performance2020@gmail.com or find their page on Facebook for more.

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