Some people have to stop working out for several reasons. It could be an injury that took so long heal, or having babies in just a little bit more than the one-year interval.
Whatever the cause of your long absence from the gym, going back might not be as easy as you think. Starting where you have left off can cause soreness in your body. This is natural because you cannot just put the same pressure on your body a few months ago before you stopped.
Here are some tips on how you can get back to the gym without hurting yourself.
1. Be ready to experience failure.
If you attempt to start where you have left off, brace yourself for failure. Remember that being idle for several weeks or months can cause your strength and your muscles to diminish.
Do not dream about lifting the same weight or running the same number of miles that you did that last day before your long vacation.
Do not be too hard on yourself. You are not perfect and that is why you cannot just begin right where you have left off with your workout. After such a long time, you are as good as a beginner once again.
2. Determine your losses before starting.
Have the good sense of finding out how much strength and muscles you have lost since your last workout. If you are an avid bodybuilder, it will take three months for you to start losing some muscles and strength.
If you have lifted a 200-pound weight easily the last time you spend time in the gym, do not expect to do the same on the first day of your return. But this must not be a cause for worry.
After a few days of training, your muscles will remember their previous strength and you will be able to lift the same weights when you stopped.
Do not panic when the weighing scale tells you that you have gained more than 10 pounds. Some of those pounds may just be water in your body. If you want to go back to the gym again, reduce your caloric intake until you lose some pounds and become fit again.
3. Be thankful for what you have.
Consider yourself lucky to be able to return to your workout again. Many people are not able to have that privilege after they were injured or after they encountered something that made them stop exercising.
Forget about what you have achieved in the past. It will just make you feel bitter about your current situation. Instead, start small and persevere until you are able to get back your usual strength and stamina.
Celebrate every progress that you make. If you started with a 100-pound lift and now you are doing 150, be happy that you improved by 50 pounds today.
4. Make a schedule for your new program.
Even if you have lost some of your past glory, aspire to regain it. Dreaming of those days without doing something will take you nowhere. Show your eagerness by committing yourself to a new program.
See to it that it is not as demanding as your last workout. Little by little, you will regain your strength and your muscles. Keep on moving forward but with small steps.
Before you know it, you are already performing as good as your last days prior to your leaving and perhaps, you are even doing better.
Include a list of what things you must achieve and religiously follow what is in your list. After a few weeks, you will realise that you have already established the routine. At this point, it will be easy for you to tone your muscles and increase your strength.
5. Exceed your previous performance.
Once you are back on your feet again, you can now start aiming higher. It is time to run more miles or lift more weights than your previous record.
Your muscles and joints are now getting used to the demands that you make on them. Add a few miles or a few pounds every week and you will feel victory as you break your previous record.
After your muscles remember how it is to work out, you will be able to do more without worrying about failure.