How to return to fitness training after a long break

After a long break in fitness training, many are trying to catch up and begin to engage in emergency mode, as they say, right off the bat. And they make a gross mistake – intensive training after a break complicates the restoration of sports form and can even lead to injuries. 

How to return to fitness training correctly and without serious consequences? How to avoid the mistakes that amateur athletes sometimes make when trying to get in shape faster? You will learn about this from our article. 

How not to return to training – the most common mistake

Returning to fitness after a long break, many believe that they can work in the same mode as before – after all, they once trained like that, which means they can now. It seems to a person that he is full of energy and enthusiasm, he can move mountains. But this is an illusion – the body, after a long absence of training, is not ready for the once familiar loads.

The physical condition of an amateur athlete after a forced downtime resembles that which he had before the start of training. As after the first classes, there will be aches and muscle pain in the body. Therefore, the load should be gentle – it is necessary to enter the form gradually.
But there is a plus – thanks to the previously created neural connections, recovery will be faster than if you do the exercises for the first time.

What happens to the body when you skip fitness, and where to start exercising

If we practically do not notice a weekly skipping workout, then a long absence of physical activity seriously affects our physical form. 

Break 2 weeks

Gradually, the fitness of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems begins to decrease – they lose a little in performance. Aerobic endurance begins to fall, but the strength qualities still remain at the same level. How to return to training after a break?

What to do: do a few fitness workouts with a load of 60-70% of the usual, and you will again be in good shape.

A set of fitness exercises is suitable not only for experienced fitness enthusiasts, but also for beginners. The last trainer advises to focus on your feelings and, if necessary, reduce the speed of the exercises.

Break month

The fitness of the cardiovascular system continues to decline – aerobic endurance is rapidly declining. Muscles begin to atrophy, causing muscle endurance to drop by 30%. Strength indicators are reduced by 10%. The accumulation of fat begins – after all, it is much easier for the body to synthesize it than muscles. Sometimes blood pressure can rise sharply.
The nervous system becomes more “nervous” – if earlier the accumulated stress was removed during fitness training, now the body “let off steam” with irascibility and aggression.

What to do: spend the first two workouts at an intensity of 50%, train for the next two weeks at 75% of the maximum. Gradually increase the load, listening to your feelings. Everything is individual, but most likely you will return to the loads you used to before the break by the beginning of the fourth week. 

Break 6 months

The body begins to work in a slower mode. The so-called “stagnation” is formed in the tissues, the lungs are no longer saturated with oxygen to the extent that when doing fitness, the heart works more slowly. Insulin sensitivity drops, metabolism slows down, body fat grows. 

What to do: get ready for the fact that for about a month you will have to train in a gentle mode. Control your condition, and even if you feel a surge of energy, do not rush to give all the best. The quieter you go, the further you’ll get. This is especially true for those who have a very short period of fitness before the break. 

Break for a year or more

During this time, the body has already got rid of metabolically active muscles and replaced them with fat cells. Insulin sensitivity decreased even more, and the risk of diabetes mellitus increased. Power characteristics have fallen by at least 50%. 

What to do: gradualness should be your motto. At first, cardio loads will be 20-30% more difficult for you, strength ones will be even harder. Increase the intensity of the loads not earlier than after 4-5 weeks.
And if after a fitness workout you are tormented by muscle pain for a week, this does not mean that the session was super effective. It was just that the load was too intense, and serious damage was done to the muscle fibers. Therefore, the body needs time to recover.
If you were in good shape before the break, in about 2 months you will restore your previous achievements.

After a break of several years

After such a long break from training, your physical characteristics are not much different from those of the average person who has never done fitness.
How to return to training after such a long break – read below.

What to do: almost the same as starting from scratch. But it will be easier and easier for you to perform all the exercises than for a beginner, because the body has muscle memory. Your body will “remember” the past experience, and with the same loads, you will gain a good athletic shape faster than someone who has never done fitness. 


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