First, don’t panic, taking time away from working out is very common. I have personally had to do this, when life got in the way and have always bounced back. To best determine the plan of action to take when coming back from some time away from the weights is the duration you were away. Some will freak out after being down with the flu for a couple of days that they will turn skinny, it doesn’t work that way. If you are out of action for longer than a few days, like weeks or a few months, you will lose some muscle. Once these periods of time where you aren’t lifting lengthen, the percentage of muscle lost will be higher in correlation.
I am overly positive, which is off-putting to some but let me offer you some free advice. Use your big return to getting into the old healthy lifestyle as a way to fix areas you didn’t focus on before. When I took my major break away from working out (which I hated), I was so ready to get back to a more action filled life that I cut no corners. I completely rebuilt my diet from the ground up and came back prepared with a great meal plan. In my mind, if I had to start working from the bottom, I wasn’t going to do anything that would make this journey any longer. Sure enough, after sticking with my bodybuilding type diet, I was getting big at a faster rate! In the past, the kind of accelerated growth would have taken, probably, three times longer as I didn’t take things as serious the first time around. The time before you plan that first re-entry into the workout world is when you prepare a detailed plan to fix any glaring weaknesses in your game.
Leave the Ego Outside of the Weight Room
Another useful tip you will want to remember is not to start right where you left off, in terms of weight you can move. The ego is the cause for many bad decisions being made and the gym is not a place where ego should get in the way. If you want to turn your favorite song up loud and do another set, do it. However, when you walk into a gym after not being there for three months, don’t think you will jump right back where you used to be. It might not make you feel like a macho man but start with what you can move (with proper form) for eight to ten repetitions. Congratulations, you just found your new starting point, it certainly won’t be where you finish up! The rate at which you are going to look like you used to, will vary from person to person. While one guy can get back to feeling good about himself, it could take the other guy longer. As long as you are physically putting in the effort, you will get back to where you used to be. Keep your head up and don’t let any naysayers get you down about taking on something this daunting for a second time. Instead, use the motivation that got you into the door to push through a million more of them. Also, think of this as future motivation the next time you decide you are going to take a break from weightlifting.