The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster. After months of waiting patiently for the world to re-open, it feels like it’s all happening at once. We’re finally reunited with our ‘gym friends’ and booking into classes at the crack of dawn. But we’re also trying out new restaurants, paying our dues to old pubs and finding reasons to stay up after 9pm. So, now that we’ve seemingly got everything we ever wanted, how can we also stay on track with our fitness goals?

And who better to answer this question than co-owner of F45 Oxford Circus and F45 Soho, as well as host of the Inspiration Space Podcast (and all round fitness guru), Haydn Elliot.

Haydn, what impact did lockdown have on your fitness routine?

Working in fitness means that training is a huge part of my life.  From a young age I’ve had the habit of consistent exercise ingrained in me. If I am being honest, I would say that lockdown caused me to overtrain. I became much more productive in my work life which meant I had plenty more time to train to fill the hours of the day.

Did you develop any new habits that you want to hang on to? What were they?

For me it was more about returning to old positive habits. Opening two gyms in 18 months meant living life at a very fast pace. Over time I neglected habits that I knew were good for me. Through the lockdowns I became relentless with sleeping a quality 7-9 hours a night, reading a minimum of 30 minutes a day and saying ‘no’ a lot more. These are the key habits that are now playing a hugely positive impact on my life again.

What did you miss most about the gym and classes?

The energy and rush of training around people. We are social mammals – nothing will ever beat that feeling of training around like-minded people. The social aspect of training is arguably the most powerful component we have as a business, as it makes the process for the member that much more enjoyable. Making fitness enjoyable should always be the number one objective for a gym owner.

Where does your motivation come from?  

Staying physically fit does so much for my mental headspace. I’ve had a lot of injuries this year and it has certainly had a toll on my mental health. The pure love of what training does for you and teaches you about yourself is what keeps me motivated on a daily basis to get the most out of myself physically. 

What are your three top tips for people who want to stay on track with their fitness goals as the world starts to re-open?

1. Get some skin in the game – I know it sounds ‘out there’, and I promise that I’m not just saying this because I co-own a gym, but financially investing yourself into a gym membership that holds some weight is a great way of keeping yourself accountable. You are less likely to cancel or disregard something that you’ve bought into! 

2. Be self-aware – Just have a gauge on how you are feeling.  Alcohol and binge eating over prolonged periods can start to take a toll on mental and physical health. Be conscious of where you are at on the physiological and psychological equilibriums. 

3. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ – It’s so easy to get wrapped up in endless plans. Yes we have been stuck inside for nearly a year but don’t feel like you need to say yes to absolutely every event, dinner or night out. Maintain control on keeping a more balanced lifestyle and schedule. 

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone getting into fitness for the first time?

Leave your pride at the door and find what makes it enjoyable for you. The starting point is throwing yourself into it. If you overthink it the chances are you will always find excuses not to begin your journey. Get stuck in – the best fitness professionals love to see people start their journey and help them grow.

Think about the environment you would enjoy and go about finding it. Your chances of making something a habit are significantly heightened if you find a way of making it enjoyable.  

We’re big fans of training at F45, so whether you need a high energy community environment to keep you accountable or you’re starting out for the first time, they’ve got you covered. Book in with Haydn and his incredible team at @f45_oxfordcircus and @f45_soho, and see what he’s up to himself @haydn.elliot