Returning to training after a long break

Returning to training after a long break

Regular fitness training is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But they can be interrupted for a long time due to illness, fatigue, travel or other reasons. After a break, it is difficult to re-enter the usual fitness rhythm. How to return to training safely?

Pass a fitness test

Independently it is difficult to objectively assess the current physical capabilities and the state of the body as a whole. And even your trainer can make a mistake in the selection of loads. A consultation with a sports doctor and fitness testing will help you accurately determine the degree of endurance, flexibility and muscle strength. This service is available in most major fitness centers. How is everything going?

The examination is carried out by a sports doctor with a medical education. Before taking, it is advisable not to exercise, do not eat, do not smoke, do not drink coffee and energy drinks. Take with you extracts / test results, X-ray protocols, MRI / ultrasound / CT, if any.

The doctor fixes weight, height, determines the body mass index, checks the pulse and pressure. And then runs a series of tests:

  • For endurance, or IPN fitness test, which determines the indicator of maximum oxygen consumption and / or an indicator of relative performance. The test will help you calculate the optimal individual heart rate zone for training . This is important for fat burning.
  • Flexibility test.
  • Muscle strength test, or sit up test.
  • Determines the presence or absence of visceral obesity.
  • In some cases, analyzes the composition of the body (ratio of bones, muscles and fat) on a special apparatus.

Based on the results of a fitness analysis, the doctor makes recommendations on which workouts, at what intensity, are right for you at this stage. This will help you immediately start with a safe load, not to experiment, to soberly assess your capabilities. The test results must be shown to the coach before compiling the program for the correct calculation of weights, repetitions and approaches.

Reduce loads

During a long break, the muscles lose strength. The program on which you stopped with its strength indicators will not be safe for the weaned muscles and ligaments.

You should not run the same at the same pace on the very first workout as before the break. Or engage in power with the same weights and approaches. As much as you don’t want to speed up your return to fitness, the first workouts should be as recommended by the specialist after fitness testing. Realistic expectations and achievable goals will help you get back in shape smoothly and safely.


The volume of physical activity: calculation and planning for the week

Build a safe exercise program

You don’t have to exercise every day. So you will not accelerate the return to performance, but only overstrain the muscles. Without proper recovery, muscle tissue is vulnerable to injury. And this is a new forced break and a rollback in the training process.


Do I need to take a break from training?

Replace part of the high-intensity workouts in the middle of the week (running, strength, HIIT) with low-intensity: yoga, Pilates, swimming. Psychologically, you will be satisfied that you do not disrupt the training process, but at the same time avoid overtraining .

If you were engaged in non-strength fitness before the break, include exercises in the gym in your training process. They help weakened muscles to get stronger. Strong muscles protect the joints, make you stronger and more resilient.

Find motivation

Frustration and anger over lost progress is normal. But don’t let negative emotions get in the way of your goals. Too much zeal can cause injury. Or vice versa, the usual relaxed state will reduce the desire to train. In both cases, you need motivation to move at your own pace, not to rush and not give up on the load.

Ask a trainer to create a varied training program in terms of intensity, frequency, and type of exercise. New movements make the brain work, generating new neural connections. Variety will help you get involved, keep you from getting bored, and reduce the desire to miss a workout.


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If you don’t see the expected results from your new workout regimen right away, it can be disappointing. Another thing is when you initially set achievable goals for yourself: not to reduce weight by 10 kg in 2 weeks, but to establish a regimen, restore muscle tone, and streamline nutrition. Visible results are sure to come. The first step – to turn training into a habitual routine – is the most difficult. For a habit to become pleasurable again, the activity must be enjoyable and enjoyable, not negative.

In anticipation of visible changes, fixing the results helps not to lose motivation. This can be done with fitness devices, mobile applications for tracking progress or good old spreadsheets on paper or on a computer. A competent trainer records the results of each client’s workout in order to see progress and, based on it, adjust the weight or number of sets.


How to Track Your Workout Progress


Whatever the events that caused the long break from fitness, the fact that you decided to return to it is already commendable. Previous experience is an advantage. Your body remembers how to move, remembers technique. But weakened muscles roll you back to smaller loads. A new appropriate training program is needed, and perhaps a new type of exercise.

At first, it is important not to go to extremes:

  • Exhaust yourself and train every day to get back in shape faster. This approach will only increase the risk of injury and lead to a new break.
  • Being lazy and skipping workouts. Yes, the regime has to be reformed. This difficult stage requires willpower and motivation.

The easiest way to restore the training regimen and choose safe loads is after consulting a sports doctor and fitness testing. It is difficult to objectively evaluate your strengths on your own, because you feel experienced because you have trained before, and your body does not agree with this. You need to go to the coach with the test results on hand.

In the process of training, the coach fixes the results, focuses on progress, and does not allow you to overstrain. As a result, you don’t get tired, you don’t exercise through force, but at the same time you see progress that motivates you to continue.

At the start of a new stage, set realistic, easily achievable goals. This will help avoid disappointment and the desire to quit. Not a single university gives a diploma after the first lesson. Achieving a goal is a definite path. It will be possible to pass it if you adequately assess your capabilities, do not push and keep up in the process.

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