Fitness Simply Social

Thu 12 Jul, 2018

Top Tips For Returning to Training After Time Off

What should be considered when returning to training after time off?

If you are returning to training after time off, whether it was due to an injury, illness, change of routine, or loss of motivation; you are likely to feel an urgency to get back to your usual fitness habits. Whether it’s running a 5k at your usual pace or hitting your old PB in a deadlift, it’s completely normal to want to come back in at this level when returning to training. However, here are some important considerations that you should bear in mind if you have taken some time off training in order to avoid injury or burn-out.


returning to training after time off

Caution should be used when returning to training after time off. When beginning re-training you should progressively build back up to where you were before, taking small steps and making slow but steady improvements.

As a basic rule, give yourself the same amount of time to return to your usual fitness levels as the time you have taken off. For example, if an injury prevented you from training for a month, it should take you around a month to get back to your normal level. This is a very simple rule and it does vary from person to person and depending on the injury type. 

If you suffered a serious injury which caused you to take time off from training, it is important to speak to a physiotherapist or doctor before returning to physical activity. Once signed off, you should follow the advice of your allocated expert. A physiotherapist or personal trainer can provide you with a basic exercise plan to do at home to bridge the gap between complete inactivity and full gym sessions or classes. These stepping stones are crucial in order to prepare your body to return to training. Tissues and muscles take time to repair and rebuild, especially connective tissues. This may feel like a slow process but in it will be beneficial in the long term and your body will eventually come back stronger.

returning to training after time off - physio

What are the most common mistakes made when returning to training after time off or after an injury?

  • Too much too soon – be patient, don’t demand too much of your body in the early stages and the results will show!
  • Avoiding the weak areas – it’s important to start building up the weak areas rather than relying on other muscle groups.
  • Ignoring advice – make sure you speak to a doctor, physiotherapist or personal trainer (whoever is the most relevant expert) and action their advice, whether that means taking further rest or following a programme at home.
  • Not setting milestones – there needs to be relevant progressions put in place after returning to training after time off.
  • Not tracking progress – no matter how large or small, progress should be made and tracked. It is a great idea to use a training journal to document your journey and set new goals as you progress.
  • Choosing the wrong type of exercise – you may have to sacrifice your favourite Spin or Bodypump class until you are fit and ready to return to those types of movements. Try and find something similar that you enjoy that is more suitable.
  • Losing motivation – patience and perseverance is key! Don’t give up and you will get there!

returning to training after time off - medicine ball