We’ve all been there.  You were just crushing your workouts, looking and feeling incredible, and then for whatever reason “Training Interruptus” hits.  Work, family obligations, injury, and for so many of us this year, COVID-19 concerns, either gradually or suddenly forced you to deviate or even totally depart from your killer CJ workout routine.  For a while, you convince yourself that you just hit the pause button on your progress and you will be back and better than ever.  But eventually as the weeks slip by you come to the realization that your workout mojo is a memory, a notion you are constantly reminded of by those few extra pounds you put on around the middle.  And now here come the holidays…

Now, more than ever, you need a plan.  And maybe even a little guru guidance from a fitness pro you can trust like Club Julian certified personal trainer Mike Salamon.  Here are a few trainer tips for a safe and successful initial return from a long workout lapse.  

Don’t beat yourself up over adding a few pounds around the middle or losing a plate or two on your bench press.  “Forgive yourself, and most importantly, be patient with yourself.  Focus more on everything that you have to gain by making the commitment to come back instead of what you lost by leaving.”

Start back slowly.  “The most important thing from a physical standpoint when you return is to come back slowly.  If you were working out pretty hard the last month you were here, the last thing you want to do is jump right back into that routine.”  

But what is slowly?  For most, Trainer Mike advises less sets and lighter weights upon return.  “Start with no more than two sets when you first come back.  Get back to the level of sets/reps that you were doing before, then begin to ratchet up the weight.”

Listen to your body.  “Gauge your EFFORT rather than the weight you are lifting.  How hard are you working?  Try to do your sets at about 60-70% total effort to start.  That way, you are still feeling it, but it is not quite as overwhelming, and you will not be as sore the day after.  Let your body reacclimate to the workouts.”

Keep Expectations Low & Enthusiasm High.  “Celebrate the simple fact that you are back.  View your return itself as your first accomplishment!  And reward yourself.”  

Make It Fun!  Find a workout buddy.  Form a workout group.  Maybe try something new that you always wanted to do like a group fitness class that always caught your eye when you were walking by.  “There are more options here at Club Julian than people realize.  You don’t necessarily have to return to the exact same routine.”

If your schedule is more flexible these days, take advantage of it. The pandemic changed the way many people work; why shouldn’t it also change when you workout?  Use the time you were taking to commute to and from the office prior to COVID as your exercise time now – Club Julian is open weekdays 24 hours!

Start NOW instead of after the holidays.  “If you personally feel comfortable that it is safe to return, why wait?”  It will be easier to get back in the groove, and you will feel like you are ahead of the game rather than that much further behind if you wait until after the New Year.  Plus, the club is less crowded now than it will be in January.  The end of Daylight Savings Time on November 1st might be a great time to target your return!

Take advantage of our trainers.  “Even if you don’t have an appointment, we are more accessible on the floor than ever now, so come over and ask questions.  Or let’s just sit down and talk about your goals – I love those types of sessions.  We enjoy being motivators just as much as educators.”

Look for more specific details from Trainer Mike and other Club Julian trainers on staging your personal comeback in the weeks to come on Channel J!