How to Get Back Into the Routine: 6 Tips for Gym Users Coming Back After A Long Layoff

There are a variety of reasons you may have left your gym a while ago. Don't worry about the past. It's time to focus on the future and get back to it. Take a second to consider a few things before you grab your bag and water bottle.

Make Sure You Are Truly Cleared.

If you had to leave the gym as a result of an injury, make sure you get the okay from your doctor. Nothing is worse than aggravating your injury and missing more time. Just because you feel okay, does not mean you are ready to go. Schedule a physical for clearance. While you are there, talk about your goals and determine if there are any restrictions.

Find A Partner.

Once you receive clearance to return, find someone to go with you. This serves two purposes. You can motivate each other as you work towards your new goals. They can also serve to protect you from yourself. Find someone you trust to tell you back off if they need to. If no one is interested in joining you, book a session with a personal trainer or try group training. 

Do Not Expect to Pick Up Where You Left Off.

Your body needs time to acclimate itself to the gym again both physically and mentally. Do not walk in the first day and expect to lift what you did when you left. Do not expect to hit the same numbers on the cardio machines that first day. Give yourself time to build your muscles back up. Your muscle memory is there, you just have to find it!

Explore Different Routines.

Have you heard of a new fitness craze while you were away from the gym? Luckily at Fit Club Pro Gym we offer Spin, pilates, kickboxing and numerous other specialty classes at our facility. Mix new elements and classes into your standard routine. This keeps you from getting bored. It also helps your entire body get fit instead of specific areas. Don't worry about being the new person in class. Everybody has to start somewhere. Ask the teacher for clarification if you have questions. Determine if there is a modifier you can follow until you learn the exercises.

Pace Yourself.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you return is pacing yourself. Even if you used to go five to seven days a week, start slower. Aim for between one and three days your first few weeks back. As you get stronger work your way back to your old routine. Starting slow allows you to adjust to the pace in the gym. It also gives you time to recover between sessions.

Set Goals and Bring Them With You.

Why is the gym calling your name? Do you have a wedding or big celebration coming up? Are you trying to get healthy to spend time with family? Your goals are personal and motivational. Set flexible goals before your first day back. Type them as a memo on your phone or mp3 player and bring them to the gym. When you need a reminder of why you are sweating gallons, look at your list. Do not set goals in concrete. You want to set ones that are flexible so they are attainable. If you have multiple goals, break them into smaller steps. As you finish each step, take a moment to celebrate. Use the celebration as motivation to reach each goal. Once you've finished your list change the list to maintaining your goals.

Getting back in the gym after a long layoff is a scary thought. Don't let the big picture scare you. Start slow and before you know it the muscle memory kicks in. Once you establish your new routine, stick to it! Welcome back!

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