Way back in the day, there was a trickster of a king in ancient Corinth by the name of Sysiphus. He was pretty clever, and like a lot of clever people, he knew it. So after thumbing his nose at the gods one too many times, Zeus cursed him to an eternity of working out.
Well, not exactly. Zeus really put him on a steep hill with a really big rock and told him to get started pushing it. Everytime it got close to the top of the hill, it would roll back down only for our buddy Sysiphus to push it back up again.
I imagine it would have been way better to just keep pushing that really big rock up a hill for eternity. There’s something particularly demoralizing about working really hard only to see your hard work go to waste that really ties a bow on the punishment Zeus meted out. Zeus was a pretty twisted guy.
Starting back to working out in the gym can be a lot like this. At some time in the past, whether it was through sports or just training for fun, you were in Pretty Good Shape™. But for one reason or another your really big rock rolled back down the hill. For a lot of our clients, a first kid or a new job can really derail your gym time, and for good reason.
So how do you deal with it and get back to working out? Let me suggest 3 steps:
First, you need a healthy dose of Practical Amnesia.
Do you remember when you were in Pretty Good Shape™? Remember what you could lift? How fast you could run? How quickly you could finish a workout? Do us a favor and forget about it for the first 2-4 weeks of your return. Unless your version of Pretty Good Shape™ was when you won the Olympic 400m, you’ll be right back there before you know it.
A surefire way to self-sabotage the return is to just do whatever you used to do before you left. It will be harder, making you feel weak and out of shape, which you don’t really need on day one. It could also be an injury risk to add a lot of hard training right at the beginning.
Second, you need a plan.
I’ve been working out for over 20 years and I’ll still flounder around doing nothing if I don’t walk into the gym with a plan. If you know what to do, great! Do it! Most people are unsure about how to get rolling, so we created a plan for you! We call it 40 Days to Fit and it’s the best way we could think of to get you restarted in the gym. Not only do you get a plan, but you get a coach to help you implement it and keep you motivated and moving forward.
Third, you need a little patience.
Did you get in Pretty Good Shape™ overnight? Nope, not likely. It will take a little time to get back there, but there’s good news. In most cases, previously trained individuals can get back to where they were when they had to take a break faster than they did the first time. Your previous sweat in the gym wasn’t wasted after all! It set you up with a body that literally remembers what it was like to have that extra muscle and higher fitness level and can’t wait to get back there with the right workouts.
If you need a plan to get you rolling, check out 40 Days to Fit. If you have some idea of what to do, but you need a sanity check (and maybe some accountability) we have professional coaches who can help you get there faster through Personal Coach and Personal Training.
Congrats on making the decision to get back into Pretty Good Shape™! We look forward to seeing you there soon!