Getting Back To the Gym after a Break

We’re almost two weeks into the new year – and the initial motivation and energy based around getting back into training can start to wane here.  If you haven’t gotten back into your training regime or kick-started that New Year’s resolution then there’s a few things to keep in mind for the first few weeks.

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Realistic Expectations

If you’ve had more than 2 weeks away from the gym on holiday, or maybe you’ve been indulging in the yummies a bit too much?  You’re gonna have to face the fact that you won’t be at the level you were previously.  You won’t have lost a whole lot, but cardio in particular is going to be a bit of a kick in the stomach when you start breathing really heavily in a shorter time-frame than expected.  You will also find that you may not be able to execute the same number of repetitions of weights.  If you’ve only had a week or two off, the odds are your ability to lift the same weight may not have diminished, but the number of reps, or muscular endurance will have dropped off slightly.  The good news is that it’s going to return quite quickly, usually inside a week or 2 – if you’ve only had a short break and binge on the Christmas sauce.

 

Don’t Come Back Too Hard Too Fast

kettlebell-2052765__340This is one we see quite often.  One of the biggest reasons people often give up on their training schedules is they remember what they used to be able to do, and come storming into a workout designed on that previous ability – and promptly burn out.  The workouts may still be achievable but they’re going to make you incredibly exhausted, sore, and mentally strapped.  All of this then impacts the other aspects of your life like family and work and it all builds into this huge negative space centered around your fitness – which should be the stress relief to all of that.

So – ease back into it!  You’ll be back to running like a boss and throwing small cars around the weight room within a few weeks.  Enjoy the journey back and use it to understand the progress you made!  It can be easy to take your success for granted, these short backward steps are great reminders of the progress you are capable of.

 

You’re Gonna Be Sore

Yeah….just…..yeah.  Even with just a two week break, your muscles get very used to not exerting themselves very quickly.  As we mentioned above, muscle memory is fabulous and will enable you to get back to previous standards quickly, but it’s definitely going to give you some pretty epic Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) in the process.  We’re quite cardio based in our own training and even running at a fast pace again is going to give the hamstrings and quads some aches the following days.  Its humbling.  It’s a great reminder. It’s a good motivator.

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Train With A Mate or Trainer

Buddy.jpgSo there’s going to be a bit of challenge getting back into the workout schedule hey?  But you knew that.  We love exercise and the odds are, if you’re reading this, you do too.  We’ve had breaks before, and we’ve started again before.  Don’t let this one be the one that breaks you.  Set the mind, prepare your expectations, utilise your motivation and push for your new goals and targets with patience.  And you know what helps with all that?  A training buddy.  Or a trainer.  And there’s several ways of doing that.  Train with someone who is equally or more motivated than yourself.  The perfect world is to train with someone who is actually better than you at whatever it is you want to train.  They will give you a constant goal to help motivate.  Other options include going to a group fitness scenario with a great instructor.  You know – that one that actually walks the talk and is an source of energy for when you’re not feeling it yourself.  And finally – consider a trainer.  It doesn’t even need to be a recurring things – sometimes just having a once off check-in with a fitness professional, to set goals and make sure all your planning is headed in the right direction, is enough to get you focused and set.

 

Happy workouts crew – bring on 2019!

Cheers – Pete.

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