#Body & Fitness

Training after a long break: how to do it correctly

Starting over to train after a long break isn’t always easy. 

On one hand, you have to overcome your inner self, and on the other hand, strength and endurance have suffered due to a longer period without exercise. You can’t expect the same performance. 

Why is it so hard to get back on track? In this article, we’ll illustrate how to make it easier. 

A prolonged pause can induce mental and physical pullback

Many people find it difficult to motivate themselves to train in general. Once they have started exercising and noticed their first achievements, they set their mind on the goal, the training becomes a no-brainer. However, if the training is interrupted for weeks or months due to injury or lack of time, it breaks the routine both mentally and physically. You replace the time you would otherwise spend training doing other activities. Potential training partners no longer pick you up for exercise because you have taken a break. This can lead to a withdrawal. In addition, the body loses muscle mass, and endurance decreases. When you start exercising again, you can’t expect to perform as well as you did before. 

Your body doesn’t forget

Although you won’t immediately perform as well as you did before you stopped exercising, you will soon be able to pick up where you left off. Your body doesn’t forget how much weight your dumbbells carried a few weeks ago or how fast or long you were able to run on the treadmill. You may have to take it slow at first, but you will build up your muscles and stamina again relatively quickly. The same applies to other sports, such as martial arts or ball games. The technique is still slumbering in you. You can bring it out again with regular training and find your way back to your old form. 

Try to stay active even during your break from training. For example, if you have broken your arm, you can still train your abs and legs. This will make it much easier for you to get back into training after a long break.

Train after a break: 5 tips for getting back safely 

Tip 1: Don’t go back to training too early

After an illness or an accident, you must recover thoroughly. 

Listen to your doctor’s advice on when you can restart exercising: going to the gym or sports field too early can have serious health consequences, forcing you to take even longer breaks from sports.

Tip 2: Take it easy

Patience is a virtue for few and yet essential when returning to exercise. Start gradually, with low intensity: Never push yourself too hard. If you increase your performance gradually, you will be back to your workout routine after only a few weeks and in a safe mode.

Tip 3: Look for new training methods

After severe injuries and very long breaks, it is essential to start training slowly: Use other training methods than the usual ones for a while. For example, if you were doing long and fast running sessions before the break, it might be better to try first Nordic walking to get back into gradual training. Aqua jogging is particularly good after leg or foot injuries and allows to build up muscle strength again in a gentle manner.

Tip 4: Activate established motivators

Prepare yourself mentally for a training comeback. The difficulty grade could depend on your personality. Remind yourself of the factors that motivated you to train in the first place, for example, the friends you’re training with, the desired beach body, or the improved sense of well-being. Find your motivator and use it to visualise your goal.

Tip 5: Work both on coordination and strength

Recreational athletes training endurance don’t like strength training at all, preferring to focus on conditioning. After a break from exercising, you should not miss out on strength training: By building up your muscles in a targeted way, you will be able to reach your old endurance training performance levels quickly. Do not forget to train your body control: coordination is very important as your joints and tendons could have become rusty during the break. A great way is to use a wobble board, known from physiotherapy, for some minutes a day. 

Interruption in training: as short as possible, as long as necessary

Try to keep the training breaks as short as possible to lose minimal performance. If you have to take a longer break due to illness or injury, the break must last until your doctor approves the training. 

Try to return to the game gradually and train in short sessions. In this way, the workout will come back naturally as a routine again after your break. 

Your Humanoo Team

Share this article