Welcome back to part 2 of this series, how to get your fitness back after the holidays. If you haven’t checked out last week’s blog where I talk about how to get your nutrition back on track, check it out here.
If you’re reading this blog, I am assuming you like to stay fit, you like to workout in whatever way, shape or form that is. I also know that some of you like to switch off every once in a while, which is totally understandable. We’re just coming out of the Christmas holiday period and a lot of people are looking to get back into training that they have missed during this time. This doesn’t just relate to the Christmas period, but also the time you were injured and couldn’t workout properly or the time you went on holiday and didn’t want to workout. All of these situations get you out of your rhythm and it’s hard to get back to if you don’t know how to.
I know a lot of you expect the worst of the worst after taking a week off from training but deep down we all know it’s not that bad. Yes, your body might be a little bit slower and stiff, you might be a little bit sore the day after and you might not feel as strong as the week before, but it’s never as bad as your mind makes you believe it is. There are some outliers that can walk into a gym after taking weeks off and everything will be fine, but for most of us we will have to manage our expectations. We can’t expect to have our best training session or lift the heaviest weight possible after taking time off but we should also manage the fear of losing everything we have gained in our short period of inactivity.
Managing expectations will set you up for physical and mental success in the gym.
Do what you can do
Have you ever heard someone say ”I am going to take it easy because I just got back from holiday”? Why are we telling ourselves to take it easy? What is wrong with doing what we are capable of at that time? I am not asking you to do what you were capable of 3 weeks ago, but do what you’re capable of today, tomorrow, whenever you’re starting back up. I am not advising anyone to go a hundred miles an hour without thinking about it because that is how you will hurt and de-motivate yourself real fast.
If you’re telling yourself to take it easy when you start back up when are you going to do what you’re capable of doing? A week from now? A month from now? It’s a slippery slope, it’s a trap that is very easy to fall into and very hard to get out of.
On top of it being a slippery slope, what do you think will happen to your results? Your body needs the appropriate stimulus to progress and change so what will happen when you deprive your body of that by taking it easy?
A simple summary is, if you want to get your fitness back on track, you will have to give your body the right stimulus. That doesn’t mean going max out right of the get go but do what you can do well.
Don’t let soreness stop you
Your body needs about 24-72 hours to recover between intense training sessions. I understand it’s easy to believe that you shouldn’t workout while being sore, but is that really what is going to benefit you? If you’re getting back into your body might be sore for 5-7 days, are you not going to workout for that entire week? If you do that, I can guarantee your body will be that sore every single time you work out.
If you’re smart about the volume and total intensity of your workouts, you should be able to mitigate the muscle soreness to a manageable level. But if you happen to be sore for longer, don’t let it stop you from working out and moving around.
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