28 Jun Weights and Brains
As we start to prepare to lift weights again we need to take a few things into consideration. As an athlete you should be approaching this with a plan. How often did you strength train during quarantine? What is your goal coming out of quarantine?
For the sake of this article we are going to assume that little to no weight training was done. When Industry Athletics was open we were lifting heavy things 2-3 times per week. We have endurance days, gymnastics days, but lifting heavy is a major difference between IA and bootcamp. Lifting heavy provides so many benefits, but one that is often overlooked is the effect it can have on the brain. Some studies have shown that it improves brain function and we obviously know it builds muscle and makes us look jacked and tan.
These benefits have escaped us over the last few weeks. Hopefully it provides a new appreciation for a heavy barbell. PRs might not mean as much because the simple fact that you get to lift the weight will be a successful day! It is easy to say you will be careful, but coming back into strength training with a calculated approach will be imperative to maintaining your health and not getting injured.
“Take it slow” is easy advice. The hard advice involves actual thinking. What is your current goal? What will make you happy? What is 50-60% of your previous lift? How can you have fun, stay injury free and make progress? A simple checklist of a few things that you can refer back to is a great idea. Did you hit those markers at the gym this week? Maybe showing up is one of them. Some of this will definitely be a hit to the ego. Hopefully your ego is always left on the other side of the door when you walk inside Industry Athletics. Now more than ever that will be true.
Strength training can help improve brain function, but the thoughts in our head can lead to injury if we do not prepare to keep them at bay. Get ready to lift relatively heavy and have fun.