As daily temperatures in the Middle East barge their way into the 40s, only the most foolhardy would consider staying outdoors for a daily workout – it’s a sweat-fest just thinking about it. But here’s the thing: the gyms might well be open, but people are still hesitant to return, preferring a socially-distanced spot of exercise instead. So, as we all gradually get used to the idea of spending time in the gym again, it’s not the worst idea to make sure your body is ready to hit the ground running once you’re there. That’s where Rob Sharpe comes in.
From competing in physique competitions in Las Vegas to appearing on the cover of Men’s Health, starting his own fitness consultancy to the next logical step… a premium lifestyle and performance clothing brand called VITAE, Sharpe has 13 years in the fitness industry and has helped countless men transform their health, fitness and lifestyle in the process.
“The real reason I’m in this industry is to make a difference in peoples’ day-to-day lives,” says Sharpe. “Whether that’s through motivation, goal-setting, nutritional advice, achieving life-changing results or simply improving their lifestyle. This is what I strive for and guarantee to everybody I work with.”
Now, as you ready yourself to step back into the gym, follow Sharpe’s plan below to ensure that you’re back to pre-Coronavirus training levels as quickly as possible.
How important is it to get back into reasonable shape ahead of returning to the gym?
Obviously it would be more beneficial to use the gym to improve fitness, but not all gyms are open worldwide at the moment. Before they do, set yourself a routine. Make sure you’re walking and tracking 10k steps a day to keep you active. On top of that, three bodyweight workouts a week would be ideal to keep your health and fitness levels up, too.
How difficult is it to get back into working out after three months of a slightly more sedentary lifestyle?
I think the biggest issues are mental. Most people have gotten used to a routine of working from home, with no gym equipment and likely not eating too healthily, either.
What are the biggest mistakes people make when returning to exercise after some time away?
People are so eager to get back to training hard. Just remember: you cannot go back into the gym and start where you left off. Give yourself time to recover. Set all the weights you were previously working with to 70 percent and train one day on, one day off. Train, recover and don’t lift to failure for the first few weeks. This is exactly what I’ve based my 21-Day Strength Regain Plan on.
Once back in the gym, how do you recommend making the most of your workouts?
Really focus on your form and executing the plan you’re following accurately, rather than aiming for intensity, heavy weight and training volume.
How will bodyweight exercises help as we work our way back to full fitness?
The full-body session focuses on big compound movements, raising the heart rate and working the bigger muscle groups, which leads to more calories burned. The session is designed for you to work from lower body to upper body, giving you a full-body workout to efficiently make the most of a 35-minute timeframe.”
Give us a workout we can try from home
OK, this one’s called 10x10x10=Tough. It’s a circuit workout, so complete 10 reps of each exercise in the specified order. Once you’ve completed the final exercise, start another round. Work for 10 rounds (you’ll have amassed 1000 reps by the time you’re done!). If you need a rest, take it after you’ve finished the final exercise of the round.
To make sure your form is right, head to Sharpe’s Vimeo channel. Each exercise has its own video.
For more health and fitness advice, follow @robjsharpe on Instagram. Those looking for a plan to really get moving can download his free 21-Day Strength Regain Kit here.