Whenever you take time off from the gym, there are a few things to consider before picking up where you left off.
Your body is a resilient organism, it will adapt to its current environment and any stimulus applied to it (or lack thereof). Depending on how much time you’ve taken away from your normal routine, you may have a different starting point upon return.
- After a few weeks off, strength won’t be affected much and your aerobic capacity may only have been slightly dented.
- After a few months off, strength will decline slightly and aerobic capacity will diminish even more.
3 Ways to get back on track
- Check your ego at the door. No one needs an injury in the first few weeks of training by going too hard too quickly. Back off the weight or speed and allow your body time to get used to moving again. It may take several weeks to months to get back to where you were but your joints, muscles and long term gains will thank you.
- Continue to make good nutrition choices and hydrate. Recovery between workouts will be very important to returning to your baseline and making long-term improvements.
- Build Your Workouts Around Your Life. Some breaks can’t be avoided, but planning your workouts around your life will help you prioritize and keep you progressing (or maintaining) without quitting. The plan will help you find solutions instead of excuses.
After a few months of consistency, you should start to see improvements past where you were before your break. If this isn’t happening for you or your goals have changed, it may be a good opportunity to consult a certified personal trainer to make sure your workouts are challenging enough and match your goals.
Author: Gini Grimsley, Director of Personal Training Programming and Specialty Programs