Lifting from an absence

Rakesh from the EHF team talks about his experience of regaining lost strength over his short hiatus from the gym.

For the better part of two weeks I have not been going to the gym due to various commitments, traveling being one of the most prominent. As a result, I have struggled to fit in any time to hit the gym, and most of all: my body has finally responded to this lack of treatment. Yesterday was the first day that I had trained my legs for almost two weeks. I racked my regular Squatting weight, expecting to find lifting it slightly more difficult. However, little did I know that after the first rep my legs would wobble like jelly, rendering me absolutely useless for the remainder of the set. I quickly re-racked the weight and immediately asked for a spotter, using caution to complete the next 4 sets of the exercise.

The basis of this blog post is really just to comfort the lifting population that although you may have lost some gains after a short break away from the gym, you CAN and WILL bounce back. It is never a good idea to simply throw in the towel. In fact, you can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe away the existing sweat that will make you a better person tomorrow.

Now that I’m back on track with my regular schedule, I have every intention to resuming my training. My focus will be mostly on regaining any strength I may have lost, and to do so, I have compiled a list of my top tips on how to get back on track:

  1. Make sure you stretch all of your muscles, since a break from the gym will have tightened them. Do what you can to loosen them up before jumping into your workout. For those looking to ease the pain felt by a workout, I would suggest the use of a foam roller.
  2. Do not rush into pushing yourself with your major lifts when you first return to the gym. An example of this would be my endeavor at attempting to squat my normal (140kg) weight and nearly failing my first set. Simply take five and try again with a spotter to assist. Make sure you are careful!
  3. In relation to the above tip, if you find that your regular weight is too much of a strain on you, then do not be afraid to reduce the weight slightly and try again. Remember, form over weight. There is no point in trying to lift a heavier weight with terrible form. After a short period of time you will be able to lift your regular weight, so don’t fret!
  4. Don’t expect an immediate improvement in your sluggish performance just after returning to the gym. As with getting stronger, getting back on point with your lifting norms takes time. In my case, I expect the time period to be around 2 weeks before I am able to return to a normal state of lifting.



And that’s it! Enjoy! Remember to follow the blog and check out our YouTube Channel.


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