Many of us have reasons why we’ve cut back from the gym. After a long hiatus or layoff, there will come a day when you will get back to your favorite workout place and you will be tempted to try the hardest training programs possible.
However, is it the right type of workout to do after not working out for so long? In this guide, we’ll help you get back to the gym smoothly and safely without hiccups. After all, a long break is no joke since your body won’t be used to weights that much anymore.
How to Getting Back into the Gym after a Long Break
Going back to the gym after a long time feels overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Here are some tips on what you should do when you go back to your favorite workout place:
The first workout tip for a gym comeback is that you start slow. Don’t just go out there and do the most complex and grueling workouts possible! That kind of program will only lead to a quick burnout, which you don’t want when you go back to the gym.
Inevitably, many people feel the urge to try a very difficult exercise or routine when they step back into the gym, which is not a good idea. That’s akin to working out without doing any warm-up of any sort – you’re only risking your body to fatigue or injury.
Do easier routines
If you’ve just gotten back to the gym, don’t do your usual maximum number of sets because that will only lead to fatigue! Start easily and give yourself a little bit of room to do away with only a few sets of exercises and their corresponding reps.
Don’t feel discouraged or think that you’re weak if you’re doing only a few sets/reps at the moment – you will get better again, soon! It’s called “conditioning your body” – nearly everyone who’s been on a hiatus from going to the gym will go back to beginner programs at first.
When you go back to the gym after a long break, you will feel more tired from a workout that you used to not get too tired with before – that’s okay and normal!
Make your workouts shorter
If you are used to 30 to 40-minute workouts at the gym, why not make it 15 to 20 minutes instead? This will help you to feel less fatigued so you don’t get overwhelmed and burnt out after a day of workouts. Don’t be afraid to become more forgiving to yourself when it comes to comeback workout time!
Aside from keeping the workouts easier than before, making them shorter at first takes away a lot of tension that will likely exhaust you too much. After all, this is akin to going to the gym for the first time so your muscles and endurance won’t be the same as before – but it will take time and effort to get back.
Assess your current work capacity
Don’t be ashamed that you couldn’t do more reps or sets than before – know your limits and don’t be afraid to stay there until you’ve finally mastered it again. After going for the easy and short programs, assess your current work capacity until you can hit the next level.
When you’ve just returned from a hiatus, going to the gym shouldn’t include intense workouts on day 1 – it will only injure you and make you feel like you want to quit again. Instead, start slow and then reassess your skills much later on. You’ll be ready when your mind and body tell you so.
If you want to be able to do the kind of workouts that you used to do before, start building that work capacity by training bit by bit. It’s okay if you don’t reach your ideal stamina or power in 2 to 3 days or so – recovery takes time, effort, and patience!
Keep your training basic
When we say “basic training”, we mean that you shouldn’t do intensifiers on a set (or on reps). Keep your training as basic as possible – do not add tremendous challenges to your current workout. Don’t be tempted to make your routine complex at first!
If you start with a complex workout or routine, you will end up exhausting yourself a lot – and maybe even getting injured! Again, working out at the gym needs to be akin to stepping on a ladder – start with the bottom levels first and work your way up.
You don’t need to give your 200% when you are just starting workouts again – just the basic training routine will do the trick. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to accomplish the feats you did before. Be forgiving to your body – it needs to adjust further because you’ve been on hiatus for quite a while.
Ensure that you’re having fun
Gym time should be something that you love – not just a daily chore that you “have to do”. Make your gym time worth it by playing your favorite music or going out with your gym buddies or friends – anything is possible! As long as you are having fun, your gym workouts will be consistent.
If you’re tired of repetitive workouts that bore you, why not try other routines that get you pumped up? Variety is the spice of life – the same should be true with your workouts so you don’t feel sluggish the next time you hit the gym.
Don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to identify your weaknesses because that will help you become better when you head to the gym next time. It’s okay to start again with some hiccups – take note of what you are weak at doing and work on it.
If you don’t know what you are doing wrong, why not get help from your gym buddy or trainer? Who knows, you can find better tips to improve yourself and your workouts, which will lead to you being on track towards your fitness goal again.