Getting Back in the Game After a Break from Training

A long time client of mine contacted me last week. They hadn’t been to the gym in over a year and had become depressed about it. She had become bogged down by the day to day activities of life, and the lack of training was beginning to affect her attitude. I have seen this happen often over the last 25 years: passion is high when training starts but the kids, the house, the job, the car; somehow robbed you of one of the most satisfying activities you enjoy.

If you have the urge to get back in but can’t even imagine how, check out these tips to get back to your love.

  • Something is better than nothing. You don’t need a custom plan. You don’t need a deck and special bumper plates. You just need a place to train and 30 minutes, 3 days a week. If you have any sort of a base from prior training, a simple program of heavy weight and low reps can be done quickly. Squats, rows and presses can literally make up all of your weekday movements. Get your feet wet again and the seed will start to grow.
  • Along those lines, ease back in. The last thing you want to do is be over aggressive when you start and get hurt. The first two weeks should be spent with 50% of what you used to do, just getting your body used to it again. It will pay off in the long run.

  • YouTube, watch it, don’t post on it. Watch the classic WSM videos. Watch training and contest videos of your competitor friends. Watch some interviews. Watch this video:

    If it doesn’t get you motivated, you might be lost.

  • A home gym is relatively inexpensive. All in, you can probably get set up a garage gym for $500. People will practically give away equipment on Craigslist and you can still make some very cheap implements. If time is part of your crunch, you don’t need to drive to the gym. Pull the car out of your garage and set an appointment with yourself to get it going again.
  • Get back in a group. “Norm!” the bar would exclaim when one of their favorite characters walked through the door on the 80’s show Cheers. Being among like minded people makes life better. It will get you back to the competitive mindset and help your psychology. 10 years ago, training groups were sparse. Now there are hundreds county wide. Check out the ever growing list on Starting Strongman.
  • Make a date, six months from now. Find a local contest with a reasonable set of events and sign up as early as you are comfortable with. Committing financially to a goal can help you stick with it, and competing is why you do this in the first place.

  • Ask for support. Tell your wife, husband, kids, roommate, or anyone important to you that you really miss this and it makes you a better person. Ask that they motivate you to go and be successful. Having your own support crew can be vital to your success.

Testing your personal limits is a great way to get through life. It helps you cope with stress and make sense of things around you when they just sometimes don’t. As you already know, strongman is a great way to do this. Get your squat shoes laced up, knee sleeves on and chalk up your palms. It’s time to take back your place on the podium.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.