As part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, gyms reopened last week on April 12. With Britons having exercised from home or outside for many months, restarting gym visits may be daunting for many.
The expert said: “Thinking that ‘more is better’ when it comes to lifting weights is a really common mistake. The concept of ‘junk volume’ is very real, with people thinking that the more reps and sets they do, the better it must be – this is wrong.
“Past a certain point, it is diminishing returns and doing more weights won’t lead to more strength or muscle. Work with a qualified trainer to find the right training programme for you and your goals.
“Rest is critical to adapt and recover from our training, especially if you are training really hard. The amount of rest you will need will depend on you and your own exercise routine, but sleep and recovery days are so important to avoid burnout and injury. Try to make your rest days ‘active rest’, with some walking and general activity to help promote recovery”.
The expert also shared how pre-workout prep is important to ensure you get the most out of your session.
For those performing high intensity exercise, the nutritionist recommends consuming food around the time of exercise.
Alex went on: “Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred fuel for high intensity exercise. You may want to consider a carbohydrate or electrolyte powder for longer harder sessions.
It is also important to focus on a goal when it comes to hitting the gym, whether that be to maintain weight, build muscle or lose weight.
The expert added: “If your goal is to build muscle, make sure you are consuming sufficient calories and protein. I suggest you aim for at least 1.2g per kg of your bodyweight for protein and ensure you are trying to distribute your intake across the day.”
Protein is extremely important in building muscle because of the amino acids which help to repair and maintain muscle tissue.
After a workout, protein helps the body recover from workouts because muscles slightly tear during exercise.
Protein is also an important macronutrient when it comes to weight loss because it helps to keep you fuller for longer which helps with overeating.