We get it. Returning to the gym right now can be intimidating. You might be wondering what it’s like to work out in a mask, how to transition your workout from the outdoors to the club or simply how to start exercising again after some time away from the club

Here at FFC, we want you to succeed and we’re committed to helping you formulate a plan so you can achieve your personal health and fitness goals. That’s why we created a brand new ebook that is specifically designed to help you make the most of your time while keeping a safe social distance from fellow gym-goers.

Ad to download FFC ebook

When FFC reopened in July 2020, FFC Senior Fitness Director Sarah Ashenden found that she had to adjust the structure of her personal workout program in order to have a more efficient and effective session.

“It’s very time consuming to use a ton of equipment because you need to make sure everything is clean before and after you use it,” she said. “I’ve found that my own workouts have become more simplified, and I’m choosing to use just one set of dumbbells or equipment that is close to each other so I’m not walking all around the gym.” 

Using her own experience and the feedback she received from members as they returned to the gym, Ashenden created three workouts that allow you to choose a spot in the club that is a safe social distance from others and use minimal equipment to have a great workout session. 

Each of the workouts is paired with a fitness goal to help you choose which is the best fit for you: Get Lean, Improve Endurance and Build Muscle. While each workout can be adjusted based on experience level, Ashenden suggests taking a look at what you’ve been doing throughout quarantine or while at home to choose a starting point for these workouts. 

“If you’ve been running or doing cardio outside all summer, maybe start with the Get Lean program to slowly get back into strength training because it uses lighter weights,” she said. “If you’ve been lucky enough to have heavier dumbbells at home, maybe it’s time to switch up the program by working with even heavier weight with the Build Muscle program. And if you’ve been avoiding all exercise, start with the Improve Endurance and the Get Lean programs to ease your way back into exercise.” 

If you’re in a place where you feel comfortable with your level of training over the past few months, these workouts can also be used in conjunction with one another as a weekly program. Should you decide to complete these three workouts on a weekly basis, Ashenden notes that it’s important to keep track of the weights you are using and the number of reps you are completing on a weekly basis. 

“If by the end of four weeks you’re feeling that the workouts don’t feel as hard anymore, then it’s time to increase your weights, increase your reps or decrease your rest time to progress the program,” Ashenden said.

These workouts are an excellent resource to help you get back into the swing of things and structure your time at the club efficiently. If you have specific goals in mind or are looking for something tailored to your abilities, Ashenden recommends reaching out to the Fitness Director at your club for more information on personal training. 

Ad for free personal training session at FFC.

“Hiring a personal trainer is going to take you to the next level beyond what these workouts can do for you,” Ashenden said. “The Fitness Director at each club can best pair you with a personal trainer that will create a program that you really love and that will help you hit any goals that you may not be accomplishing during your workouts.” 

Because training is only part of the equation for a healthy lifestyle, Ashenden asked FFC Registered Dietitian Alicia Huggler to include some recipes in our ebook. Even if weight loss is not part of your goal, proper nutrition can give you more energy, decrease pain and inflammation, help with sleep, improve your mood and so much more. 

Ad for nutrition services at FFC.

“What we really see at every club is someone who is seeing a registered dietitian to focus on their diet and then getting three to four days of exercise in is going to see results 10 times faster than someone who is just exercising,” Ashenden said. 

Ready to take the first step toward a healthier you? Download our ebook today. If you have any questions about the exercises in the ebook or need assistance, please contact Sarah at sashenden@ffc.com or stop by the Fitness Desk at the club to speak with a member of our fitness team who will be happy to assist. 

Post written by FFC Contributor Natalie Casper.