Been a little too relaxed during the holidays? Tips on getting back to the Gym!

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It’s been a nice, long holiday – but now it’s time to get back to the gym. For some people,  it’s tempting to jump into the old routine and start on an ambitious weightlifting and CrossFit scheme from day 1 – and for others it’s tempting to stay in the ‘holiday’ routine and remain on the couch. We have some advice for both situations:

Scenario 1: “Feeling guilty and can’t wait to get started”

Focus on this section if you can agree with some or all of these statements:

  • I have been way too inactive (to my own liking) during the holidays, and now I’m afraid that all my training buddies have become much better/stronger/faster than me.
  • Now that I’m properly recovered, I can start a rigorous training regime from day 1 back in the gym.
  • It’s been so long since I’ve trained, that I think it’s best to start with a 1RM test in all major lifts – just to see how much I’ve ‘lost’ while being away from the gym.

Ideas for your “getting back into the gym” strategy

  • You might have a guilty concience, but don’t go crazy in the beginning! Gradually build up to your previous training frequency. For example start by 2 – 3 training sessions the first week, then add another training session every week until you have reached your previous frequency. Start of by having at least 24 hours of recovery between sessions. This should help you avoid any excessive soreness and stupid injuries.
  • Watch your training intensity! Give your body a chance to get back into the game, before throwing it into a max test frenzy or a 30 min CrossFit workout. Most programs have a ramp-in period of 1-2 weeks in the beginning and a max test in the end for a reason! The first weeks back into the gym, try to work with loads of about 60-70% of your previous 1RM. Start by increasing the volume, then work on intensity later on.
  • Plan ahead. Make a training plan and stick to it. For a gym-rat like you, the gym will be full of temptation. Suddenly, you see all your old training buddies that you haven’t seen all summer and they all want to do a crazy workout with you. You need to keep a cool head , and re-schedule for when you are back in shape … or you’ll end up losing more precious gym-time because you are too sore to even get out of bed.

Scenario 2: “Lost the motivation to exercise”

Focus on this section if you can agree with some or all of these statements:

  • I normally have a very solid training routine, but after the holidays I have a hard time motivating myself to get back into the gym.
  • I re-discovered how much time you have, when you don’t have to back a bag, get to the gym, go through a program.. etc.  Suddenly, I feel like there are not enough hours in a day.
  • I just know that the first month of training is gonna SUCK! It’s going to be sooooo hard, I get tired just thinking about it. I’ll just take one more day off, and then I’ll start…. Or maybe it’s better to start on a monday ….

Ideas for your “getting back into the gym” strategy

  • Focus on behavior – not outcome. The first step is getting back into a good routine. For the first 1-2 weeks simply tell yourself that it doesn’t matter WHAT you do at the gym – you just have to GO to the gym at least 2 times a week. If you don’t have the energy for more than 20 mins on the stair-master, then so be it. What you need is to get back into the routine, and if you fear that the workout will be to demanding, it might turn into a good excuse to stay at home (aka a vicious circle).
  • Get the most out of your time! Design a training regime around multi-joint (compound) movements like: squats, deadlifts, presses, thrusters etc.  Another great idea is to plan your rest-time between sets. For this purpose training modalities like “every minute on the minute” work really well. Simply, with a running clock perform a certain amount of reps every minute, and rest for the remainder of the time. Another idea is to use ‘super sets’ meaning that you pair two exercises and perform them back-to-back with a fixed rest interval between. Both training styles will help you save time, get back into shape and save you from thinking too much (you’ll be more focused on keeping track of time, than complaining about how hard it is).
  • Get back to the kitchen as well. Usually these things go hand in hand. If you eat like crap, you won’t have energy to get back into the gym. Don’t beat yourself up over things you’ve eaten during the holidays – just start over! Get rid of all the junk in your kitchen, substitute it with organic, fresh produce and start cooking for yourself again. You might want to supplement your diet with some fish oil and vitamin D as well. If you have trouble getting back into good sleeping patterns, try a supplement of zink and magnesium before bedtime.

I hope that you found this helpful! …. oh …..and one last thing: PLEASE REMIND ME WHEN I GET BACK FROM HOLIDAY NEX WEEK 🙂 Ditte   



One thought on “Been a little too relaxed during the holidays? Tips on getting back to the Gym!

  1. Pingback: Been a little too relaxed during the holidays? Tips on getting back to the Gym! |

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