Life can get in the way of your workout routine, it happens. Many people stop working out due to an injury, pregnancy, being busier, or even simply losing motivation. Whatever the reason and no matter how long you've been out of the gym – you can always get back into it!
Easing back into a workout routine may be scary or a little intimidating, but getting actually started is the hardest part. And we're going to help you take that first step! We'll be going through everything you need to know about getting started working out again, plus how to stick to your routine even when times get a little crazy!
Set a plan
Always, always, always, have a plan – and we're not just talking about a workout plan! Plan everything, from what you want your workout routine to look like to how you want to get there. Think about your previous habits, new goals, your current schedule, and upcoming events, and go from there. Just to give you an idea of what you should plan, write out what you'll actually be working out. If you enjoy cardio more than strength training, list your favorite type of cardio workouts and exercises you want to do and when. If you prefer strength training, plan your workout split, what muscle group you'll be focusing on each day, and include any cardio you may be adding on. Be specific about your plan and write it down, this will help you stick with it.
As you're setting your plan, remember that you've been out of the gym for a while so start slow. It's okay to have a big fitness goal you want to accomplish, but don't jump in and start going to the gym 5x a week for 2-hour workout sessions. You might be motivated to do that, but you'll end up burning yourself out pretty quickly and even increase your risk of an injury.
So, start with what works for you at the moment. You might've been able to deadlift 200lbs in the past, but this doesn't mean you should start at that point. Your stamina and muscle endurance has probably decreased so keep that in mind when you're planning your workouts. You may not need to start from scratch due to muscle memory, but you should always start light and work your way up. For those who don't know, muscle memory is your body's ability to activate muscle fibers quickly and efficiently due to consistently training in the past. So, if you've been out for a few months, chances are your muscles already know what to do and you won't need to start off as a beginner – but it will still be hard!
Schedule your workouts
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the two above! When you're setting your actual workout plan, schedule your workouts. Scheduling your workouts a week in advance like any other important appointment will help you visualize it and stick to it. But as we said earlier, start slow. Don't schedule 5+ workouts the first week. Start with three and work your way up.
As you move forward, give yourself a realistic workout range for the week. If you've already started working out 4-5x a week, but have a busier week and can only manage three workouts, then schedule that instead of your usual routine. This will help you stick to your workout routine even when life starts to get busier!
Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset
There is this all-or-nothing approach to exercise that many have. Many believe that they always have to follow the perfect one-hour training session 4-5 times a week and at the same time as always. That's a good way to stick to a routine, but it can also set you up for failure. Let's say, you don't have time for your usual one-hour gym workout, having the all-or-nothing mindset will have you throw in the towel and call it a day. Having structure is good, but this way of thinking won't allow for any adaptation when life gets in the way thus leading to dumping your workout routine again!
The key is to remember that you don't have to have a perfect workout every time. If you are unable to do your usual 1-2 hour gym workout, settle for a 30-minute HIIT session at home or find something else that you enjoy and works for you. You might not have the "perfect workout", but you'll at least get some movement in and stay consistent with your routine.
Workout in the morning (if you can)
This may not be possible for everyone, but if it is, try to schedule your workouts for first thing in the morning! This will get it out of the way before any excuse to skip it comes up. Saving your workout for after work or school can lead to a high chance of convincing yourself to skip it because you're too tired, or maybe something else came up.
So, by waking up a little bit earlier, you'll be able to always get your workout in and even feel more energized throughout the day! Plus, you'll have more time to do stuff you actually enjoy after your busy day. However, some may not like the idea of morning workouts or it doesn't fit with their schedule – that's okay! Find the time of day that works best for your body.
Prep the night before
Whether you plan to work out in the morning or not, always prepare yourself the night before! Prepare your gym bag with all your essentials, like lifting gear, change of clothes, supplements, shaker bottle, etc. Having your gym bag packed with everything you need will ensure that you get up, change, and go. Plus, it will give you a little extra time to sleep in the morning! All you'll need to do is get ready for the gym (or work) and take your bag with you!
Accept the fact that you won't always want to work out
Once you get into the hang of things and you're highly motivated, there are still days that you may not want to work out. On these days, avoid judging yourself! It's normal to not want to work out all the time, so don't dwell on it and just embrace that feeling and move past it.
Fortunately, if you follow the tips above you'll build habits and the discipline needed to move forward and do your workout. But if you're really not up to it, listen to your body, and rest. Just get back into the swing of things the next day!
In summary, the hardest part about getting started working out again is actually getting started. Following the tips above will get you on the right path to starting your workout program and even stick with it when life may get in the way!
Who are we?
We're 373 Lab Supplements – nice to meet you! Founded by Iulia Danilova (Fit With Iulia), and with a team filled with fitness enthusiasts, we've worked hard to bring a trustworthy supplement to the market! Supplements that are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals by giving you only the nutrients you need – no unnecessary fillers or additives!
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