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Almost every fitness enthusiast has gone through long breaks due to various reasons. Studies, family commitments, hectic jobs, injuries, etc are a few of the common reasons that push us to discontinue the training.
Additionally, the recent COVID-19 pandemic had forced people to discontinue their physical activities and locked us within the boundaries of our homes. The shutdown of schools, gyms, and parks, made it even more difficult to stay active.
I have been in your shoes, and I know what it feels like to get back on track after a long workout.
Before we talk about the tips to start training again, it's important to understand why it's so hard to get back to the training routine.
Why Is It Hard To Workout After A Break?
To understand this question, we need to get into the fundamentals of bodybuilding and its development.
Why does the human body gain muscles? Your body does not develop new muscle just because you want it, instead, it facilitates the training routine and strengthens itself to adapt to the heavier payload.
So you went on a long break and now wondering why it is so hard to get back in shape? It's because your body has adapted to your sedentary lifestyle and lost its strength and coordination to lift heavy weights or run longer.
After a long break, your body needs extra time to regain that muscle coordination and strength to train like before.
1. Start with something easy
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This is for anyone who is struggling to restart the process again.
Start with something easy to adapt your body to a new work schedule.
It's always difficult to wake up early and go for the weight training session, it's too many socks for the body.
Instead, get into the habit of waking up early and going for a walk or a slow jog. This will help your brain get accustomed to the new routine.
Once your body starts to accommodate the new training routine, you can start to add some pushups, pull-ups, or squats to the routine. This is how a smooth transition into fitness works.
2- Take it easy
Progressing too fast too soon is only going to have adverse effects. You may experience muscle soreness like never before.
Whenever I get a new client who is just starting out his/her fitness journey, I suggest the following routine.
- 10 minutes of warmup drills to get the joints moving.
- 20 minutes of light strength training: I usually focus on isolation movements to regain muscle coordination and strength.
- 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio: Cardio not only helps in burning extra calories but also reduces the lactic buildup and aids in faster recovery.
- 10 minutes of stretching– Stretching is an important aspect of physical training and you should not be skipping it at any cost. Use dynamic stretching, foam rollers, and a massage gun to relieve stress and stiffness.
Don't try to catch up with your previous fitness levels on the first day, doing too much too soon will create too much stress on the body.
Always start with low-intensity exercises and allow your body sufficient time to recover fast.
3- Find your motivation
It's time to remind yourself how it feels to have a strong and healthy body.
It's time to reconnect with old training buddies who used to push you through those intense training sessions.
Instead of subscribing to a gym membership, subscribe to the group fitness classes.
Investing in new workout gear, new shoes, or a pre-workout supplement can surely boost the motivation to lace up and get to the gym.
4- Commit to a one-month challenge
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Getting back into regular training can be an overwhelming experience for many people, it gets really hard to devote those extra hours to personal fitness.
If you are someone who is thinking about restarting your training program, it's always a great idea to start with a fitness challenge.
There are many fitness challenges available online, you can find 7-day fitness challenges or 30 days fitness challenges. The trick is to stay consistent for a limited period of time until you start to enjoy the process.
After the lockdown was over, I recommended many people to start with yoga classes or boot camps, yoga helped them to develop discipline and basic strength to get back to their rigorous training routine.
Sleep and Recovery
A good quality sleep is as important as proper nutrition.
Sleep deprivation has a major impact on how your body responds to the training routine.
Sleep not only regulates your energy levels but has a substantial impact on your athletic performance. Effects of sleep deprivation includes:
- Muscle soreness and slow recovery
- Mood swings and low motivation to workout.
- Increased levels of stress hormones and low testosterone.
- Constant fatigue
For any experienced athlete, good quality sleep is the best recovery tool.
Getting your 7-9 hours of undisturbed sleep is important at all times but especially when exercising.
We at Warriors Nutrition has created SLEEP, which contains a blend of natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to help with restful sleep and also improves the quality of life.
How Long Does It Take To Get Fit Again After A Break?
How long does it take to get fit again after a long break is subjective in nature, its depends on many factors like:
- Length of the break
- Individual’s age (younger people usually demonstrates faster recovery).
- Are you paying attention to the nutrition?
- Speed of post workout recovery.
In general, body doesnt take a very long to regain the strength. 4-6 weeks should be enough to regain that lost momentum and to get back on track.
Supplementation may play a key role in getting back in shape again. Supplementing with quality whey protien will help you recovery faster and multivitamins to ensure that body has optimum supply of essential nutrients.