To the joy of fitness freaks everywhere, gyms and fitness centers across Maharashtra have re-opened after over seven months. If you’re demotivated from having lost all your gains or are unsure about how to hit the gym after such a long time, we’ve got some good advice for you.

“Now that the gyms are opening, people are super excited and eagerly looking forward to hitting the gym and continue with their usual weight training routine. There are a couple of things they would need to watch for before they go all out and do something which they shouldn’t. The body has good muscle memory but it has been out of touch with training and the intensity. I would suggest that people start slow for a week, to begin with, and do all the body parts on the same day. They should also choose one to two movements from each body part and do one to two sets of these. Again, 12 to 15 reps at a lightweight should be good, to begin with. My advice is: do not overreach in this week. You will be sore but that is nothing new to you so don’t be alarmed. Continue for the whole week with different exercises mixing it up with barbell and dumbells. Add some cardio to finish off your routine and do abs and core on every alternate day. And yes, don’t go over 45-60 minutes including warm-up and stretching,” says celebrity fitness coach, Shivoham, referring to those who may not have worked out at all during the lockdown.

“At this point, you are more driven so it will be easy to achieve those goals. Eat well, rest well, and push yourself at the gym. Start logging your routine in the gym. This is almost like second life, so make complete use of it and do the things that you wanted to and couldn’t do before. You clearly have watched a lot of workout and fitness routines and done some reading in this period. You should be more clear about what you want to achieve, so go ahead, plan and act on it now,” he adds for those who have been regular with their workouts during the lockdown and are on their way to transitioning back to using the gym.

For Aadil Khan, a celebrity choreographer and social media influencer, the lockdown gave his body an “unwanted break” after 2011. It made him realize that his regular morning workouts were acting as ways to wake his body up and with that gone, lethargy and unwanted weight had started to show up.

He hit a rut and couldn’t get out of it for three months, like many fitness enthusiasts affected due to the lockdown. However, he began cycling in his building’s compound and as the restrictions began lifting, he ordered a few home equipments and started managing his diet.

“I just have one piece of advice for people who are feeling demotivated to start again – if you could do it then, you can do it now! And you never know, this time around, the process may be faster. But yes, take it slow and steady, it took eight months to wipe that body off its shape, do give it the same time to get back,” he says.

Fitness trainer and sports nutritionist, Karran Kharas keeps it simple with his advice. Here’s what he suggests you should follow:

1) Go light. Preferably practice compound movements with the bar again.
2) Get someone to spot you to check your form.
3) Overload slowly.
4) Keep the first few weeks only for relearning the proper recruitment of muscles.
5) If you’ve been doing bodyweight exercises regularly, it’ll be much easier to get back.