How to Safely Return to Weight Training After a Falling Off the Wagon
If you’ve taken a hiatus from weight training you may find it a struggle to get back into the swing of things. However, the right mindset and weights (in terms of pounds) can keep you motivated and safe, where you’ll get back into the groove before you know it.
Plus, as you start to see your body adapt back to weight training and gain muscle strength you’ll feel even more motivated to maintain that progress and improve further. Here are the best tips for returning to lifting and strength training after you’ve been out of your fitness routine for a while.
Go with a Buddy
You can always recruit a buddy to hit the gym with you and get to the weight rack. While you can find a friend who is into fitness, you can also go with a friend who is also trying to get back into weight training and needs an accountability partner, no matter if the fitness level is the same.
Having another partner there as support and for accountability will keep you on track with scheduling and it will provide a sense of comfort so you feel less intimated or self-conscious—which can happen if you’ve taken some time off and feel weaker or less familiar with certain weights, equipment, and how your body feels after each workout. (You will likely feel some soreness after the first few times!)
Have a Few Personal Training Sessions
If you hire a personal trainer for a few sessions upon getting back into weight training, you’ll be able to look to them for guidance and learn how to work specific machines, use proper form, and create your own kinds of strength training circuits (hopefully!) moving forward.
This helps make you feel comfortable in the gym and in the right set of hands to learn and progress while preventing any injuries or excess tension from overuse. They’ll know which weights you should be starting with, when to go up in weights, and how often to do each exercise to prevent taxing your body’s different muscles.
Don’t Go All in Too Fast
Gradually getting back into it is the key—you want to make sure you’re weight training often enough but also not going back-to-back in sessions where you could overstress your body and cause an injury. And then you’d have to really delay that hiatus even further! (Not ideal.)
Stick to doing 2-3 weight training sessions a week. Don’t do consecutive days. You can integrate cardio into the week too—and should—so do cardio and weight training as different days to help break them up. If you have to do both together, that’s fine, but then give yourself rest days in between rather than doing the workouts back-to-back. You should have 1-2 rest days per week, for sure, so keep that in mind when scheduling your weight training days and sessions.