• Returning to the Gym After Lockdown
  • Fitness Evolution Burnley

Post-Lockdown Guide to Returning to the Gym in Burnley

2020 & 2021 … the two years we are going to remember for the rest of our lives!

Now, you are thinking of returning to the gym to restart your fitness journey.

Here at Fitness Evolution, we are back in full swing taking the safety of our members and staff as our highest priority with all the necessary procedures in place. Throughout lockdown, we have continuously supported our members’ health, fitness and wellbeing through our virtual online platform but we are so excited to have our buzzing atmosphere back!

We want to continuously support everyone as they make their return to the gym or anyone who is thinking of joining our Fitness Evolution family. Lockdown has been a different experience for every individual person; physically, mentally and emotionally. When it comes to exercising, everyone has their different preferences; whether that be fitness classes, gym workouts or one-to-one personal training sessions. Even if this isn’t your first time in the gym, coming back to the gym after this lockdown period can be daunting as you begin to set your new fitness goals and introduce structure back into your daily routine, in line with the government physical activity guidelines [1].

We are going to make this an easy transition for you here at Fitness Evolution. It is normal to feel a lack of motivation to get back into the swing of things, or you may feel so excited to get back, you risk overloading yourself. These top five tips will help ease you back on the path towards your health and fitness goals.

  • #1

    Setting Expectations

    Inevitably, without a regular gym routine, our bodies will look and feel different post-lockdown. It is perfectly normal to have lost some strength, endurance, and muscle mass; plus gained a little extra fat mass….not everyone has a fully kitted out home gym and avoided the sweet treats! However, don’t beat yourself up and feel worried about starting to exercise again; it is just about managing your expectations and treating it as an exciting new start to reach your fitness goals whilst looking after yourself.

    Despite many maintaining their active lifestyle over the lockdown, some preliminary data from sources, such as Fitbit, show there has been an average 12% drop in activity levels in their users over the lockdown period [2]. As you reintroduce a regular workout routine back into your lifestyle, it is important to remember our bodies require reconditioning. You might crave the endorphin rush, but jumping back in at your previous intensity or volume probably isn’t the best idea. Physical reconditioning should provide a training program containing postural, stretching, core stability and balance exercises. Then, exercises should be introduced for increasing muscle tone and a program of resistance activities should be implemented in order to improve aerobic capacity [3].

    Don’t be surprised when after your first few workouts back you experience an increase in post-workout DOMS – delayed onset of muscle soreness [4]. This stiffness and muscle soreness can last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours later so avoid going too hard too soon as you will have to reduce your training frequency and spend a few days walking slightly funny!

  • #2

    Familiarise yourself with New Equipment & Technology

    If you are a returning or new member, the gym is kitted out with state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength training equipment powered by Life Fitness and Techno Gym, to allow you to meet your health and fitness needs. However, we understand this can be daunting when trying new equipment or looking to change up your workout routine. At Fitness Evolution we have qualified gym instructors available to provide gym inductions and answer any queries you may have to reduce any gym anxieties and reduce the risk of injury when trying out new gym equipment. Gaining support through one-to-one personal training sessions is the perfect way to not only keep you accountable but will also provide familiarity and reduce stress surrounding your workout routine.

    Take advantage of new equipment & technology by mixing up your workout routine to add variability, improve your confidence and gain immediate in-depth feedback to track your progress by synchronising your workouts with LF connect app. Research has shown apps have a variety of features designed to target specific barriers, resulting in an increase in self-efficacy and subsequently improves exercise behaviour and health outcomes [5].


  • #3

    What are your Health and Fitness Goals?

    Setting yourself realistic goals will start to give your training focus. It helps us form new behaviours, change our outlook, create urgency and greater success. Elson and Ginis, (2004) [6] propose that for beginner exercisers, it is valuable to use a motivational tool of assigned goals. Bruijn and Rhodes (2002) [7] found that the use of action planning strengthens peoples intention and habit strength. It is important to remember that for goal setting to become an effective process, the goals have to be kept relevant and achievable.

    Goals can come in many forms, but it’s generally agreed upon that the SMART acronym is a good place to start – a goal that’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. Whether you want to run a marathon, lose weight, gain muscle or improve your movement and flexibility, having some structure back in a supportive gym environment with our class provision and personal trainers will help you reach your personal fitness goals. Additionally, having someone to share your goals with and even train alongside can mean up to a 95% success rate when it comes to tackling your targets [8].

  • #4

    Pick a Workout you Enjoy

    Whether you prefer to clean and jerk, pump it up with energetic aerobic routines or want to create an inner sense of calm, it is important to find workouts you enjoy so you remain committed, motivated and have fun!. People are far more likely to stick with a programme of exercise if they actually enjoy doing it.

    In a population-based survey of 1,332 adults, ‘respondents reporting high enjoyment and preference for physical activity were more likely to report high levels of activity’ [9]. It’s much easier to invest precious time and energy into something that makes us feel happy. There is evidence to suggest that enjoyment is a factor in the motivation behind physical activity [10], with one study suggesting enjoyment as the largest motivating factor for exercise, with the ‘social aspect of physical activity’ also being a significant motivator [11].

    Not really a gym person? No problem! We pride ourselves at Fitness Evolution with our vast range of exercise classes from Hiitstep, to Hybrid X, to Yoga Flows plus many more. Alternatively, try out something new with our Dance Evolution, Rock Climbing and 3G pitch facilities.

    Check out our class timetable here

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  • #4

    Smile, Sanitise and Stay Safe!

    There is no point in starting your workouts if you end up getting yourself or others sick, so make sure to use your common sense when you’re in the facilities while staying safe and having fun. That means if you or someone you live with feels ill, it’s probably better to stay home.

    As you ease yourself back into your workout routine, remember to do a sufficient warm-up, reduce your loads and stay patient. Performing a warm-up gently prepares your body for exercise by slowly increasing your heart rate and circulation which helps to loosen your joints and increase blood flow to your muscles. Ensuring that your muscles are warm before starting will help to prevent acute injuries such as hamstring strains and will reduce the incidence of overuse injuries too. The last thing you would want is to be out for another 4 months with an injury.

    Despite the increased rules and safety precautions in place, the Fitness Evolution family will continue to keep smiling, sanitising and staying safe.

Returning to the Gym Guide

Written by:

Hayley Vincent is a Hybrid Sports & Fitness Coordinator at Burnley College/Fitness Evolution.

Experienced world traveller, flow rider & rock climbing instructor, runner, netball player and swimmer. Head of the Netball Academy at Burnley College.  A Certified Wellness Coach, 500HR Certified Yoga Teacher & Meditation teacher. Published her MSc by Research researching biomechanics in Netball Players and gained a 1st in her BSc (Hons) in Sports Science. At 22 she was already contributing author of 12 published academic papers in Sports Biomechanics.


  1. UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines. (2019) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832868/uk-chief-medical-officers-physical-activity-guidelines.pdf
  2. Fitbit-Staff. (2020) The Impact Of Coronavirus On Global Activity. https://blog.fitbit.com/covid-19-global-activity/
  3. Ravalli, S and Musumeci, G. (2020) Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy: Physiological Benefits of Home-Based Exercise During Pandemic. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology. 5, 31; doi:10.3390/jfmk5020031
  4. Cheung, K, Hume, P and Maxwell, L. (2003) “Delayed onset muscle soreness.” Sports medicine 33.2: pp.145-164. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12617692/
  5. Litman, L., Rosen, Z., Spierer, D., Weinberger-Litman, S., Goldschein, A., & Robinson, J. (2015). Mobile Exercise Apps and Increased Leisure Time Exercise Activity: A Moderated Mediation Analysis of the Role of Self-Efficacy and Barriers. Journal of medical Internet research, 17(8), e195. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.4142
  6. Elston, T.-L. and Ginis, K.A.M. (2004) ‘The effects of self-set versus assigned goals on Exercisers’ self-efficacy for an unfamiliar task’, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26(3), pp. 500–504. doi: 10.1123/jsep.26.3.500.
  7. de Bruijn, G.-J. and Rhodes, R.E. (2011) ‘Does action planning moderate the intention-habit interaction in the exercise domain? A three-way interaction analysis investigation’, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(5), pp. 509–519. doi: 10.1007/s10865-011-9380-2.
  8. American Society of Training and Development (ASTD). “Measuring and Evaluating Training”. (2010). https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ASTD_Handbook_for_Measuring_and_Evaluati.html?id=mHTEkvyjaLwC&redir_esc=y
  9. Salmon J, Owen N, Crawford D, Bauman A, Sallis JF. (2003) Physical activity and sedentary behavior: a population-based study of barriers, enjoyment, and preference. Health Psychol. 22(2):pp.178-188. doi:10.1037//0278-6133.22.2.178.
  10. Rhodes R.E, Kates A. (2015) Can the Affective Response to Exercise Predict Future Motives and Physical Activity Behavior? A Systematic Review of Published Evidence. Ann Behav Med. 49(5):pp.715-731.https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-015-9704-57.
  11. Aaltonen S, Rottensteiner M, Kaprio J, Kujala UM. (2014) Motives for physical activity among active and inactive persons in their mid-30s. Scand J Med Sci Sport. 24(4):pp. 727-735.https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12040