After a long (or not so long) break, reentering into your fitness program can be tricky and must be approached with a solid plan. First, the length of time of cessation must be considered.
If your break was less than 15-20 days then very little change is needed. However, breaks of greater than 20 days will require 3 things:
One, a reduction in weight/resistance and intensity.
Two, a reduction in volume and length of the exercise session.
Lastly, after all the above reductions, an increase in warm up time.
So how do you proceed? Start first by reducing the resistance on all exercises by 30% prior to your break even if you’re feeling strong. Most of us are very enthusiastic and could be a little overzealous when returning to our exercise routines so be smart. Then secondly, reduce the volume of your sets and reps by 20% therefore reducing your total training time. And lastly, increase your warm up time especially before performing compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press etc.
Here’s a quick sample of the above adjustments may look like:
Leg Workout Pre Break::
-Warm Up … Stationary Bike 5 min, Bodyweight, Walk Lunge 20 reps, Bodyweight Squats 15 reps
-Back Squat. 4 sets, 12 rep, 135 lbs
-Rev Lunge. 3 sets, 12 reps, 45 lbs
-Split Squat. 3 sets, 12 reps, 25 lbs
-Leg Curl. 3 sets, 10 reps, 60 lbs
Leg Workout Post Break::
– Warm Up … Stationary Bike 10-15 min, Bodyweight Walk Lunge 2 sets of 12 reps, Bodyweight Squats 2 sets 10 reps. Additionally, perform 5 repetitions of each exercise with your own body weight or low weight prior to your first working set.
– Back Squat. 3 sets, 10 reps, 100 lbs
– Rev Lunge . 2 sets, 10 reps, 30 lbs
– Split Squat. 2 sets, 10 reps, 15 lbs
– Leg Curl . 2 sets, 8 reps, 40 lbs
This may seem like a very basic formula but stick with it for all upper body as well as lower body exercises for the first 3 to 4 weeks upon your return and then gradually bring the weights back to your pre-break numbers and you will be sure of a positive Re-Entry.
Yours In Health,
The Fitz Factor