For many of us, the Summer break was short, while for others, it was longer. Some, on the other hand, claim they didn’t enjoy any break at all.
In any case, Autumn, at least according to the calendar, has definitely begun, and with it comes the time to reckon with the return to our usual routines.
It’s known that during the Summer, it’s common to slow down the pace: we relax, indulge in more aperitifs or dinners out than usual, loosen our diet, extend the time between workouts, or even plan a period of rest.
Furthermore, during the month of August, many gyms also close their doors to allow the staff to take a well-deserved break.
If you’re among those who took a break from training, whether short or long, you’re likely experiencing that annoying difficulty in getting back into it. Perhaps you tend to procrastinate your workout or find it very exhausting to commit to. You might also be experiencing excessive fatigue during your usual routine or that feeling of boredom, typical when starting out, which leads to wasting a lot of time without actually being able to work out properly.
In addition to reassuring you and letting you know that many of us are going through this situation, we invite you to read the following paragraphs of this article, where we will provide you with some tips to expedite the fitness recovery process after the summer break.
Let’s start from here: it’s all perfectly normal.
As mentioned earlier, many of us find ourselves in the same boat!
There’s nothing wrong with experiencing a bit more difficulty during your workout, and this applies to both beginners and experienced individuals.
If you think about it, we are energy-saving creatures by nature: our bodies and behaviors are naturally inclined to expend the least amount of energy possible for a better chance of survival.
If you struggle to get back into your routine after a break, it means that exactly what should be happening is occurring: your body has simply adapted to a more relaxed and leisurely lifestyle.
What you’ll need to do is simply readapt it gradually to your old habits, with the awareness that it’s all perfectly normal.
So, don’t feel guilty if you can do fewer sets than those listed in your workout plan, if you need more breaks during a session, or if you experience the sensation of wanting to finish as soon as possible. It’s all part of the process, it’s all normal, and trust me, you’ll be back to your usual training pace in no time.
Don’t fall into the trap “It’s all black and white”
In general, a very common mistake in fitness involves a certain mindset that could be described as “It’s all black and white”
In practice, there’s a tendency to exaggerate certain situations, viewing them in their most extreme characteristics, without considering nuances or exceptions and without taking the process into account.
As in many other areas of life, processes in fitness are rarely linear.
Instead of imagining the classic straight line from A to B, try to picture this process as a discontinuous line that goes up, down, goes back, spikes, goes down again, then goes back up.
The process of improvement and growth in the personal fitness sphere begins with the serene acceptance of this discontinuous trend: in practice, the more aware we are of being human and imperfect, the more we will embrace and understand our challenges and weaknesses, gaining greater awareness and the ability to improve.
In other words, there is no “All black and white,” but rather an infinite series of nuances that characterize your individual journey.
If, after your break, you find yourself less toned or less bulky, if you’ve simply gained or lost a few pounds, don’t obsessively focus on this, identifying your current situation as a failure.
Try to tell yourself that it’s part of the journey, that no body is ever the same for long periods, that some variations are physiological, and that taking a break for a while only helps your motivation and future performance.
Remember: as counterintuitive as it may seem, even rest is a growth period, both from a muscular and a mental perspective.
Too lazy to go to the gym? Remember how it makes you feel!
Everyone has their off days. Maybe it’s raining outside, and you’ve been scrolling through Instagram for a while, lost in the typical lethargy of those Autumn days when all you want is a hot cup of tea and a few episodes of your favorite series.
If you want to break free from this feeling, try to remember how you feel after an intense workout at the gym:
- finishing that last series of reps will make you feel strong
- finishing the workout will make you feel invincible
- the awareness of having done it even when you didn’t feel like it today will fuel your motivation and the desire to improve more and more.
An additional tip: there is a difference between motivation and discipline. Discipline is the attitude through which we can achieve goals with continuous and consistent effort over time.
Motivation is why you train; discipline is the mindset you use to reach that goal.
Having discipline means exactly this: taking action or a series of actions, even when you don’t feel like it or you’re in a bad mood.
Think about your motivation, but cultivate discipline daily.
Last but not least: start again gradually.
If until last month you were doing three sets of squats with 100 kg and after your summer break it feels like an impossible load to handle, once again, we repeat: it’s all normal!
Don’t insist on starting exactly where you left off!
As mentioned earlier, the body is highly adaptable, especially to rest conditions. If during this restarting phase you can’t complete your usual workout routine or can’t handle the same weights, all you need to do is give yourself a transition period. Instead of focusing on performance during this phase, shift your focus to the gradual reactivation of your body: allow yourself shorter or less intense workouts for a few sessions. You will restart without putting too much stress on your body, and within a few weeks, you’ll be back better than before with renewed enthusiasm.
3 tips to restart after the Summer
1 – Do you have a workout partner?
Having someone to share your workout with not only makes the session more enjoyable but also helps to motivate each other. If you don’t have a workout partner yet, start looking for your fitness buddy now. If they are more experienced than you, even better.
2 – Try 5 minutes only
Who doesn’t know the famous 5-minute rule? Don’t tell yourself, “I have to do an hour of exercise.” Instead, go for, “I’ll start with five minutes, then we’ll see.”
Remember that after five minutes, it’s all downhill from there.
Consider this: have you ever stopped a workout once you started?
Most likely not.
3 – Plan, Organize, Simplify
Balancing everything is not always easy. If we add this harsh reality to the physiological drop in motivation after the holidays, the combination can become deadly.
Reduce the risk of procrastination by taking care to plan, organize, and streamline the process.
For example, if you work out after work, there’s no need to go home to grab your gym bag; you can bring it with you in the morning.
Or, if you go to the gym early in the morning, you’re more likely to stick to your schedule if you’ve already laid out the clothes you’ll wear to leave the house.
Indeed, completing a fitness activity is a great achievement.
We hope we have contributed to your successful return to the gym.
Now, stop training your thumbs on the internet: get off that couch and go work out (even if it’s just for 10 minutes).