Fell Off the Bandwagon? Here\’s How to Get Back.

How to Get Back on the Bandwagon

             You’re a regular exerciser, but occasionally life throws things your way that derail your workouts. So a week passes by and you don’t work out. Then a month. Then a year. Then a bunch of years. And you wonder how to get back on track. This newsletter will cover that.

If you’ve been reading my newsletters, you’ll know that I sound like a broken record. The answer is “it depends.”

What are the things to consider?

  1. How long have you been away from exercise? The longer you’ve been away, the more conservatively you need to start.
  2. What fitness qualities were you training before the break? Different fitness qualities degrade at different rates. Cardiovascular endurance leaves you a lot faster than strength. 1 week away from cardiovascular training, and you may have set yourself back 3-6 weeks. 1 month away from cardiovascular training, and for all intents and purposes you’re almost a beginner again.
    1. On the other hand, 1 week away from strength training, and you haven’t lost anything. Occasionally, you may actually be stronger. 1 month away from strength training, and assume you’ve regressed by 2-4 weeks. So start back at the workouts you were doing 2-4 weeks before the layoff.
    2. Flexibility has the greatest variability. It can regress by a little or a lot.
  3. What was your fitness level before the layoff? The fitter you were before the layoff, the faster your gains disappear. So an Olympic-level athlete will lose his/her fitness a lot faster than the couch potato who exercised for a few months, and went back to being a couch potato.
  4. How long were you at that fitness level before the layoff? Let’s say that you were able to maintain a certain level of fitness prior to your break. The longer you were able to maintain that level of fitness, the more slowly it will fade. So if you’ve been able to do the splits, or lift 300 pounds or run really fast for 10 years, and then you take a break, you won’t lose those gains as fast as someone who could only do those things for a few weeks.

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