It happens to all of us. We go on vacation, get caught up in work, or simply lose motivation and then we struggle to get back into the swing of things. Some may be able to get back into their workouts with no problem while most can’t seem to find the their mojo. This could be a lack of motivation or even not knowing where in the hell to start. I can tell you this; the worst thing you can do is go into the gym and pound yourself with intense workouts that leave you sweaty and exhausted. This will set you up for failure more times than not and most importantly increase your risk of injury immensely.
Think of it in terms of one of my favorite metaphors. Pretend that your driving down the street on a cold winter night. As you make your way down the road you hit some back ice. Your car begins to spin out of control. What do you do? Do you crank the wheel back in the opposite direction or make incremental adjustments until your car comes back into alignment? You guessed it. Incremental adjustments will help you course correct without driving into your neighbors mailbox. In the case of the working out, your black ice is that vacation, busy work schedule, or loss of motivation. Whatever your case may be, you need to not over correct in the other direction. Pounding yourself with exercises will only leave your open to ridiculous soreness and even injury. Here are some of the way I approach “getting back on track” not only with my clients but with myself as well.
Make Your Workouts About Being Healthy Rather Than Just Being in Shape
Too many times we get caught up on wanting to lose X number of pounds, building stacks of muscles, or just looking good naked. Instead, I challenge you to workout to be healthy. This way you will always be achieving your goals and always have something to strive for at the same time. When your health is a priority, it will be easier to get your butt to the gym. One of my favorite tricks to making sure I do to not have any reason to stray away from my health it to put it on my schedule first and then schedule everything else around it. This ensures me that I do not have any appointments that get between me and my workouts.
Take Your Time!
Most injuries occur in the gym not from the work itself but from doing too much too fast after doing too little for too long. This means after a lay off from the gym, rather than hitting the weights or cardio and going balls to the wall, take it slow. Reconnecting to your body through movement is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help you get back to where you were before your time off. As your get more control over your movements, you can then begin to add resistance or increase your intensity incrementally in an intelligent manor. Your body will respond incredibly to this. There is an old saying, “what you do to get there is what you have to do to stay there.” This means if you pound yourself in your workouts, you will have to keep pounding yourself in order to maintain your progress. Instead, take your time and slowly increase your work one step at a time. This way, your maintenance work will not require you burying yourself into the ground.
Hire a Trainer
Utilizing the watchful eye of a knowledgeable trainer can be a game changer in getting back in shape. This will allow you to address your individual needs rather than just winging it or picking a random workout your found on the internet. You will now have a fitness professional in your corner being that beacon in the night that will guide you back to your health. As a trainer, I usually deal with two types of people. The first one is determined and disciplined. All he or she needs is a plan and will then carry it out. This person will usually meet with me one time a week to check in and then conduct their other workouts throughout the week. The other type needs a little more guidance. They need that set appointment in order to get to the gym. They need to have a step by step plan to follow. And they need to have external encouragement to keep going. This person usually meet with me two to three times per week. I recommend figuring out which type of person your are and then hiring a trainer based off of that.
Getting back into the swing of things after a long layoff can be difficult and even daunting, but with the right attitude and plan, it will be much easier than you first thought. Remember to not over correct with your workouts. Take your time and get reconnected to your body. Once your develop a routine, your body will begin to crave movement and getting to your workouts will become part of who you are.
For more tips, tricks and guidance in the gym, follow me on Instagram and Facebook at @chriskadingCPT and subscribe to the CK Health and Wellness YouTube channel for detailed exercise videos.