By Kaci Noble

We have been away from the gym for just shy of 3 months. Maybe during the Corona
Virus hiatus you stayed active, or maybe too many changes were happening at one
time so the workouts went to the wayside. Either way getting back into the gym is going
to look different for you than what you are currently doing.

The best advice I can give you is to come back differently than you left off. It is
important to come back slowly. Easing your body into certain movements and programs
is the safest way to come back after a hiatus from the gym. The easiest way to get an
injury from exercise is going too hard too fast when your body wasn’t prepared for it. So
with that being said, come at it with a solid mindset, a plan, and listen to your body.

Your body is a bit deconditioned, but muscle memory is a real thing and you will get
back into the shape you were in rather quickly if you do it correctly, you just need to be
patient. Work on building momentum and consistency in your workouts if you go too
hard too fast it is a good way to derail you from the gym once again due to injury. Don’t
rush. Your muscles and joints are no longer accustomed to what you were doing. Ease
into it. Get a good workout routine going again then overhaul the dietary changes
necessary to reach your goals. You don’t have to do everything at once.

This is a good time to shift the mindset. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t
do. Don’t force it. You may feel like you are starting from scratch again and the build up
will be just as difficult as it was when you did it last, but now you have the knowledge.
You have a fresh slate, you can do it with so much more quality versus just a quantity
(sets, reps, weights) of a workout. Don’t worry so much about weight and focus on the
quality of each rep, focus on your recovery so you can get back into the gym sooner
and sooner between each workout and what you feel like you have lost will be back and
then some in no time.

It is important to note, you haven’t lost everything you ever worked for but you are
detrained a little bit.

Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of the first few weeks back into the

1.) Training should be easy- what does that mean? It means for example if you’re
doing a move for 10 reps, you should probably choose a weight you can perform
15 or so reps and still not reach failure. Not doing a ton of working sets, gradually
getting back into it. Your muscles will still be forced to adapt while not requiring
days and days of recovery.

2.) Training should be shorter 20-30 min of work after a good quality warm up. The
reason behind this is that you don’t have the energy reserves or the adaptive
reserves to put in a long workout just yet. Slowly increase that time by about 5-10
minutes each week as you build your stamina and endurance.
3.) Build your work capacity- know that getting back into working out is a phase to
get you into shape for the harder training down the road. You have to lay a
foundation and build up a work capacity.

4.) No intensifiers- There is no reason at this point to do drop sets, clusters, taking
sets to failure…forget about that for the first few weeks while getting back into it.
You don’t want to make your workout too difficult to recover from.

Lastly, ENJOY IT! The hiatus may have seemed like the worst thing that could’ve
happened to your training but it wasn’t. You now have a new found love and respect for
your gym, your body may have needed that break because you were on the verge of an
injury or overtraining. It maybe helped you realize how much of a priority training is to
you. It was a good opportunity to focus on something else besides training, perhaps,
health, nutrition, being outside… a ton of different options. If you were working out it
forced you to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you picked up a
fun activity to do each day with the family and you don’t even realize it. All in all it was
an interesting experience and I am sure most of us gained something from it.

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