How to Get Back to the Gym After a Long Absence - DFLE

How to Get Back to the Gym After a Long Absence

It can be daunting thinking about how to get back to the gym after a long absence.

Back when you were at your strongest and fittest you were throwing weights round for fun, and jumping tall buildings in a single bound.

But it’s been a while since you stepped through the doors…

Will everything be the same?

If you’re thinking about “undoing” all the weight you’ve put on since you last went to the gym, here are 3 things to think about before you go at it…


Since you last went to the gym, a lot has changed.

They moved the treadmills and spin bikes around and you have no idea where to find anything.

And they’ve thrown away your favourite resistance band, and replaced it with one you don’t quite know how to use.

But that’s not what I’m talking about…

I mean a lot has changed with your body.

If you’ve had a long break from training, your body won’t be as strong, quick or flexible as it was when you were training regularly.

So when you go back to the gym after a while away, start where you are right now, and don’t try to pick up where you left off, because it will nooooot end well (I’m speaking from experience here. One pulled hammy from a rush back to the gym ).

Adjust your training accordingly.

Start with a preparation phase where you use (relatively) light weights, compared to what you were lifting before.

Slowly but surely increase the intensity over 4 – 6 weeks, and concentrate on movement, rather than doing anything too crazy.


When you first get back in the gym, you’ll be tempted to do workouts that make you crazy sore.

I mean, what’s the point in going if you don’t feel it?! No pain, no gain right…?!

Well chasing that sore feeling is a one way ticket to another long lay off, so don’t always try and grind yourself into the ground.

Instead, just concentrate on doing a little bit more each session.

Lift additional weight.

Run a dash further or faster.

Just work your way back up and don’t dwell on it if you finish a session and you’re not sore.

If you’re performance keeps getting better, and you don’t get the aches and pains, that’s a good thing.


This one is probably the most important.

The frustration of having to start behind where you were before, coupled with the excitement of being back in the gym will make you want big progress gains right away.

Be patient.

However long it was that you were away from the gym/not exercising, it will take at least that long again to get back to where you were.

A continued lifetime of consistent training, definitely trumps a short burst of crazy hard training, followed by another big break through injury.

Take your time, and I promise you’ll be back to where you left off before you know it.

There are my 3 short tips on how to get back to the gym after a long absence!


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About the Author Alvin Nurse

Alvin runs Reboot Fitness Coaching and has been a Fitness Coach since 2010. When not helping awesome people in their 30s rejuvenate their bodies, you'll find him listening to music, chasing a ball, or avoiding runny yolks...

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