So, you train and work really hard to achieve your goal, whatever it is, then life gets in the way and you have to stop for a while. Picking up where you left off is not so easy especially if the time off is long. So how do we go about this? Well I have some tips that may help (being that I have done this several times).
Photo one Before:
In the above picture I was on vacation June 2019, 10% body fat, lifting 6 days a week and training BJJ/MMA 3 days a week.
Photo 2 After:
Here I am 3 months later in September. I did not return to lifting after vacation and for the next 8 weeks took 9 credits for that school semester. I only made it to Jiu Jitsu 3 times in 3 months. Also I have been completely off of my diet and not taking any supplements.
Life is full of obstacles.
So with all of the stuff going on in my life, many work and school, I lost off of the momentum I built. This is not the first time I have had to do this, several times in my life I have had to take breaks, usually for injuries but I bounce back every time. Being that I have gone through this several times, I am uniquely qualified to talk about returning to training after a break. I was so busy I couldn't even write articles...
- Slow and steady. If you were training 6 days a week start out with 2, yes 2, at least for the first week.
- Lower intensity. Whether we are talking weight lifting, running, or kayaking, you have to lower how hard you tax your body. The simplest way to explain this is with weight lifting, if you were bench pressing 200 for 6 reps, and 3 sets do 150 for 6 rep, 3 sets. Keep the amount of volume per training session. I know this sounds counter productive, you will feel like with 150 pound that you are not even getting a workout, but you are. If you try and do your normal 200 then you may injure yourself but you will definitely be too sore the next day to function, this will discourage you from training and may lead to you not getting back on track. this video explains it well.
Warm up. Before even thinking about doing any kind of training, warm up and stretch twice as long as you would while you were at your best. Look I know warming up is not fun but it is necessary. There were some days while at my best where I skipped a warm up of just did crappy half ass warm up. This is the single most foolish thing one can do when training anything. I don't care if you are talking about playing catch with your child in the park, you must warm up first.
Make your intentions public. This one works well for me and I believe it can work for others as well. So basically I use my own ego as a tool to trick myself into being consistent with my training, because if I don't tell anyone I am going to do something then I don't do it no one perceives me as a failure. On the other hand if I post to all of my Facebook friends that I am going on a diet and plan to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, then if I fail everyone will know I failed. Some people use those websites where they bet on their weight-loss with sites like https://www.healthywage.com.
Technique refinement. Before getting back to it, read or watch some videos that may further enhance your understanding of what you are doing. For example if you are talking about basketball, maybe watch some videos on proper free throw form, or on vertical jump.
Diet. It should go without saying that if you are not eating right, the effort you are putting in training will not be as efficient. Its like trying to run a Race car on 87 octane fuel.
Hydrate. Drink water, plenty of it, you want to be super hydrated, this will make you less likely to get injured or feel sore.
Supplementation. Take the supplements that you like I have some recommendation but that is another article for another day, I will say to use www.examine.com to see if the supplements you are considering taking are founded in science or science fiction. As I said for a full supplement list I will make another article in a few days but I will mention just a few. Amino Acids (BCAA), Vitamin D, and melatonin (sleep aid).
The Scale and the Mirror. This goes against most peoples advice, but I feel strongly about this, I believe this will keep you honest. Every single day weigh yourself and look in the mirror, this will help you achieve you goal. You have to have an internal dialog with yourself about the way you look and feel. You have to ask yourself if you are moving toward or away from your goals.
Back in the swing. As I said earlier you are going to be scaling down your intensity in the beginning, and depending on how long of a break you took will determine how long it will take to bounce back. Every week you should be scaling up, remember its not like you are at your max and trying to improve, you are starting below your max and working back toward it. Do not take it to fast but at the same time you have to get back to where you were so scale up until you are back in the swing of things.
Time management. This could have been first on the list, but I believe that the first and the last both stand out with significance to the reader of a list. You have to learn how to manage your time, here is a list of books on the subject. https://bookauthority.org/books/best-time-management-audiobooks.
End the break
Remember that person is still there, you just have to get it back. Lets talk about this, let me know your thoughts.
Frank Aiello 9/5/2019