It happens to all of us at one point or another in our lives: We work hard to get ourselves into a good, consistent groove with working out. We show up X number of times per week, hit the workouts hard, and see ourselves making steady progress. But then something happens: Maybe it’s an injury or a change to our work schedule/living situation. Maybe we just have other priorities that have moved to the forefront of our day and fitness kind of slips to the back burner. It’s part of life–and part of training.
The important thing though, is to get back to it. Easier said than done at times, especially if you are someone who has fallen off, tried to make a comeback, and then found yourself falling off again.
Here are some strategies to help you ease back in and get you back on track!
1. Forget who you used to be. Yeah, that dusty old notebook scrawled with your old PRs and Benchmark times? Forget about it–for now, at least. If you’ve been out of the box for more than 2 months and haven’t been doing anything in the meantime, you need to start back AS IF YOU ARE STARTING FOR THE FIRST TIME. That might mean squatting with an empty bar while the class squats heavy. It might mean cutting run distances in half the first few weeks. It might mean doing 12 minutes of an AMRAP rather than 20. One of the biggest hindrances for people coming back is when they try to pick up where they left off, beat the hell out of themselves trying to go 100%, and then don’t want to keep coming because the soreness is too much to bear. Start back slow–slower than you even think you should at first–and ease back in.
You will get it all back: It just takes time.
2. Make It a Priority Again: At one point, coming to the gym may have been automatic. Not necessarily something you needed to think about doing: You just did it. When you first come back, it may be a chore mustering up the energy to come in, but YOU NEED TO JUST DO IT. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of bagging workouts because you don’t feel like it–that becomes a habit in itself. Sometimes the biggest struggle is just getting yourself through the door, but you ALWAYS feel better when you’re done.
3. Set Small Attendance Goals at First. You used to come religiously 5x a week…before the baby or that new job you started. Well, life may be different now. Rather than trying to pile on a ton of training days, start with a realistic goal of 2-3 days and go from there. Again, trying to jump right back into a 5 day training schedule might overwhelm you, which will burn you out, which may lead to falling off again. The key is to start slow and stay consistent!
4. Don’t Let an Injury Hold You Back! Our coaches are excellent at modifying workouts for our members, whether is it due to injury, limitation, age, or ability level. If you have an injury, it may mean avoiding certain movements altogether or always going light and never maxxing out, ever. The main thing is to get in here and get moving again. More often than not, moving around the injured area will help promote blood flow and speed up the healing process.
5. The First Few Weeks Will Be HARD. Acknowledge and accept that coming back isn’t the easiest thing: Weights will feel heavy. You will feel like you can’t breathe during a WOD. You will likely be really sore even if you scale back. The more consistent you can be though, the quicker your body will adapt, bringing you back to where you were when you stopped coming.
6. Remember How Awesome it Really Is: Try not to obsess over the “uncomfortable” part of Crossfit, and instead, think about how great it felt when you finished a tough WOD surrounded by a group of fun, supportive people. Think about how amazing it felt when you hit a new PR or did something you’d never done before. Think of the energy in the gym around the Open, or when you were on a Summer League team. Remember how good it feels to take care of yourself: To wake up stronger, fitter, and a little less stressed. To have better bloodwork and more self-confidence.
7. Reach Out to a Coach: We are here to help you achieve your goals, no matter what they may be. If you find yourself struggling with motivation but wanting to get back, arrange a sitdown with a coach to make a solid plan to help you find success again. Maybe the plan will be to get back into group classes. Maybe one-on-one training might be a better fit for you (or even a mix of both). Maybe you just need someone to check in with you a couple times a week to help hold you accountable. Whatever your struggle entails, we are here to help give you some tools to help overcome it.