Taking a break can be a very beneficial thing to do. It can give you headspace, time for recovery, and a chance to enjoy yourself in a different environment.
However, many people worry about if they will be able to return to their regular routine. After a good period of time relaxing, it can be a challenge to be disciplined and productive with your time again, especially when it comes to losing fat and changing your body shape.
So, how can we solve this problem? What things are important to consider when returning to your goals of getting in shape?
Plan And Strategise
Before you start anything, you must have a plan in place for getting back on track. If you start without one, you will end up confused and overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of you. So, make sure that your training plan is written out and clearly visible so you have something to follow.
When it comes to lifestyle, you will undoubtedly face challenges to your goal, such as events and temptations. So, also ensure that you have clear strategies to deal with these and not give in to the first things you see that will take you off track. When there is planning and clarity, there is a higher chance of success.
Having A Realistic Structure
Another key point to consider is being realistic with what you can achieve. As mentioned before, it is unlikely that you will be able to return to the frequency, volume, or intensity of your sessions before you took the break. So, have a look at what is possible for you during that first week.
How many sessions can you do? What weight are you comfortable lifting to start off? What should your rest period be? These are important questions to start before you go back in. That way, you have a realistic plan for the week and you won’t be frustrated when you don’t hit your targets.
Ease Back Into Training
Many people make the mistake of going back into their training at a hundred miles an hour with the weight they were lifting before they took the break. While this may be possible for some, for most it is naïve and dangerous. You will not only increase your risk of injury but also struggle to recover properly and stay consistent.
The intensity of your return to training will depend on the duration of the break you have had. If you have only taken a week off, you could move back into your normal sessions fairly quickly, yet more than that will usually require a week (or more) of adjusting to the weight and intensity. From there you can build back up to where you were.
Go Back Into The Nutrition That Works
Another huge part of the increasing rate of progress will be your nutrition. This will be vital, not only in achieving your goals but also in fuelling your workouts and remaining full of energy throughout the day. It is vital that you have a diet that features a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, and, to a lesser extent, fats to support you throughout your journey, both physically and mentally.
You will likely have a calorie target or meal structure that you must follow to consistently lose body fat and get into shape. As the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet, and no matter how consistent you are with your exercise, if you are not following your nutrition plan on a regular basis, you will not see anywhere near the rate of progress that you want. So, prioritise sticking to your nutrition and you will see big changes in your body shape.
Prioritise Rest And Recovery
Recovery is going to be one of the most important areas to master during your fitness journey. For you to be consistent with the tasks required to reach your goals, you have to be in an optimum position, both physically and mentally. Many people make the mistake of burning themselves out when trying to get in shape through high-intensity workouts, demanding exercise routines, and ultra-restrictive diets. Not only is this detrimental to your performance and progress, but it can also be harmful to your overall health.
Adequate recovery involves seven to nine hours of sleep per night, two to four rest days per week, and quality nutrition to repair the body after an intense training session. If you do not prioritise your recovery, you will find the process harder, struggle to stay consistent, and therefore slow down your rate of progress. The process of getting in shape has to be sustainable, so consistent recovery is going to be key.
So, if you are struggling to get back into a routine after taking a break. There are certain things to consider, including planning and strategising, having a realistic structure, easing back into training, going back to the nutrition that was working for you, and prioritising rest and recovery.
All these areas will help you avoid any potential injuries, fatigue, or frustration from not approaching your return in the right manner. This therefore will help you get back on track to reaching your goals.
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