Back in the Gym

Friday, June19th. After 90 days of not going to the gym, I finished my first week working out indoors in the New Normal. March 12thwas my last training session before the lockdown. Thankfully in Berlin there was not a complete closure. I managed to run everyday in the streets and the local parks. 

Weigh In 

I did the dreaded a weigh in after 3 months. Facing a firing squad would have been less frightening. The scale read 84.6 kilos. The previous one came in at 83.5 kilos. A small gain. Considering I visited South Germany for a week living on Bavarian Cuisine and drinking, a minor relief

I belong to a gym chain with multiple locations in the city, walking to the nearest branch or biking to the bigger one 15 minutes away. On the website the new protocols included: no shower, no changing of clothes, 3 meter distancing, and disinfecting equipment. Also, going to the gym, I have to walk through the mall, making a mask the new requirement instead of a gym bag.

Check First 

Before going, I have to check online for gym crowd member status:



Red=No More People allowed inside.

Walking in, there are arrows to guide me to the check in. The same trainers stand at the desk. We greet each other but they are behind plexiglass. Hands in the sanitizer spritz. Skip the locker room, head to the cardio area. The distancing rules translates to every 2 machines taped off.

My past routine was A muscle, then B muscle: A Muscle 12 reps times 4 sets, for B, 12 reps, 3 sets- Sometimes I would double rep or jump from one machine to another. Today, that is not possible. New protocols mean taped off workout areas for each piece of equipment, all spaced apart and moved. I was lost in a place I visited 5 days a week for the past 3 years.

No classes, no work out mats, no steps. The free weight zone only allows 8 people at a time. The trainer is now a room monitor. The atmosphere has that “New Normal Feeling”: little conversation, no laughing, suspicion in the air. 


Initially, on my gym return, it was grab a space or machine that became available. I had trouble putting together a program, biceps, triceps, lats. Chest mixed with shoulders, not today! Out with old ways! I am at 60% were I left off in March.  My legs and stamina benefited from the outdoor running routines. 

Devising a new way forward required visits to the larger gym with more space, more equipment. Forging a new routine, one based on practical situation, focusing on one muscle group at a time: 4 to 5 sets, 15 reps. I have to forget about a chance to move to another machine in between also, the hygiene rules, wipe down the equipment after each use.

After 5 days, I am getting the hang of it, making progress, feeling the difference with a more focused program.

The goal is drop 3 kilos in a few weeks.

Stay Tuned for more details.