by Alexander Derlis
We’ve all been there before; struggling to maintain consistency in our training. Perhaps you’ve lost the lust for a certain workout modality. Or you’ve gotten sick of having to take several recovery days after each workout. Struggling to solve these issues can interfere with your long-term goals, or simply your daily exercise routine.
Being physically active is an important facet of maintaining good health, but the ‘how’ is just as, if not more, important than the ‘why’. Purpose and intent in how you plan out your exercise is essential when getting back into training. This will help you stay active for longer without burn out.
Whether the goal is to get stronger, improve cardiovascular health, rehabilitate a nagging injury, or just remain active, some common mistakes when reinitiating exercise include the following:
- Being too timid and starting with ultra-light loads to avoid “over-doing” it
- Starting with tons of extra “fluff” volume to feel more productive and fill the time
- Setting very strict and rigid training rules and protocols that MUST be followed
- Going too hard, too soon to get back the gains that you “lost” in your time-off
Planning Your Exercise
Some general guidelines I like to give clients tend to be in the middle of not enough and too much. You want to challenge yourself enough to feel accomplished in your efforts, but not enough to keep you sore and tired for a few days. Overtraining from the start will hinder your ability to maintain consistency. Follow these recommendations for a solid return to the gym:
- Plan out your first training week so you can safely test your relative strength
- Keep the resistance low and perform each set until you can only do about 2-3 more reps. This will help to avoid extensive tissue damage early on
- Make the most out of your time/reps/exercises with extra focus on what you’re doing
- Keep your routines steady with exercises of varying difficulty and enjoyment
- Keep it fresh! Alternate between types of exercise for novelty’s sake
Controlling your intensity with your workouts is essential to the longevity of your mind, body, and spirit. There is always space to push yourself to grow, but a steady practice of constant awareness will lead you down the right path. At the end of the day if you’re moving around and having fun while doing it, then you’re ahead of the game! You have a say in what gets you excited to move and if you don’t know where to start, give these tips a try and begin to re-feed your love for movement!
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