Getting back into training

Realising that you might be a little unfit can be disheartening at the best of times but it is even worse if you know that you used to be in prime physical condition. Having that epiphany that tells you to get back into the gym is a great thing but you have to get back into your training in the right way, otherwise you risk jeopardising your fitness levels in the future. 

We all inevitably take a break at some point. Maybe you suffered a serious injury, maybe you needed to spend a little bit more time with the family, or maybe you just lost interest. Whatever the reason might be, you don’t need to think that everything is ruined and that there is no way back.

Life is made up of a series of habits. Eventually you get so used to doing certain things that they happen automatically without you even having to think about it. The tricky part is being able to start and stop these habits whenever you see fit. So the best way to get back into training is by limiting your breaks. If you keep your time out of the gym to a minimum then you will retain the habit of turning up every evening and you will just get used to it.

If you have let a break from training go on a little longer than you had initially intended then the first thing you need to do is get back in the gym. You won’t find yourself accidentally working out so you need to make the active effort to restart. Get yourself into your gym and the exercising will follow naturally as a result.

If the reason that you packed it all in was because you just lost interest then it seems obvious that what you need to do is make your workouts more fun. Clearly something about your previous regime was boring you. If possible you want to identify what that was and eliminate it as soon as possible. You are far more likely to stick at something in the long term if you are enjoying it.

So is it better to ease yourself back or jump straight in at the deep end? Well being thrown into uncertain waters without your armbands on is unlikely to do much for you in this situation. If you haven’t been training then you can’t expect to perform as well when you return. So you might have to accept that it will be a case of taking a few step backs before you can move forward. Doing something as simple as going to the gym at quieter times of the day will help you ease back into training, without having to deal with unnecessary pressure.

Another thing that you could always try is getting yourself a training partner. That way you aren’t just responsible for your own success but for a friend’s too. You will find that taking breaks and missing crucial workout days will make you feel a lot more guilty if you are letting somebody else down at the same time.

If you really have lost a lot of confidence then you can start with a few simple exercises that you can do in the home. A break from the gym doesn’t have to be the same as a break from exercising. All the equipment in the world might help you eventually but you don’t need it to get back into training.

At the end of the day, how you get back into training will depend on the length of your break. If you have just stopped for a couple of weeks then you will find that you can probably maintain a high training level. However, if you have been absent for a number of months then you need to accept that it might take a little while to get back to the level that you were previously at.


Ollie Lawrence
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