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We are all humans and more often than not, life gets in the way. Depending on our priorities, we tend to push back the events that we feel that are lower on the list; such as fitness (which is highly not recommended). As life gets busier, it is even harder to get back into the activities we once loved and enjoy doing such as sports or exercising. 

In fitness there is a principle called the use-it-or-lose-it principle and it is defined exactly what it says. If you don’t use your hard-earned muscle or already in-grained movement patterns, you will lose them. Perhaps “losing them” is too extreme of a term but you definitely experience signs of “rust” in your body. You will experience weakness in muscles that use to be strong. Examples include upper body strength (pushing or pulling) or lower body strength (with squatting or deadlifting). After time off from the gym it will simply take more effort and a higher rate of perceived exertion to execute these lifts. Also, movement patterns that use to be silky smooth, such as a golf swing, may even feel “rusty”. It will feel like you need some oil in your joints for the movement to feel like what it was before. 

So what are some steps that you can take to return to how you felt like before? How can we get you back to your original strength and stronger? This article will explain it to you. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond for advice on how to return to pre-conditioned state. 

Revisit your goals  

Fitness and strength & conditioning all begin with goals. Why are you at the gym? Why are you lifting that weight? Why are you performing these specific exercises? Why are you HERE? 

Find out why you were at the gym training so hard before the hiatus. By doing this you will reinforce your vision and your motivation for training again. 

For example, if your goal was to play better soccer you may want to envision your goal as better conditioning and increased quickness. And to do this, you will need to research some movements that will take you from where you are to your goals. 

A pro-tip is to write it down. When you have your goals written down, you are more likely to follow through with them. Ask your personal trainer on advice on goal setting. 

Plan your training 

Do not make the mistake of “figuring it out” at the gym. Many gym-goers make this mistake and their session will not be efficient; wasted even. 

Every time you step into the training area, whether it is the gym or the field, have a plan WRITTEN DOWN. Take the time before training to plan it out. This way it is easy and efficient to follow a plan that you know will take you towards your goal. 

Remember the KISS principle? Keep It Simple Stupid. It stands true when we are planning programs. You do not need the fanciest exercises when you are starting back training. Keep all movements as simple as possible. The point here is to return your pre-break state. Ask your personal trainer on training planning. 


I cannot stress this enough: you must GO EASY. Because it has been a while since training, you are considered RUSTY. You do not want to go as hard, take a week off due to soreness, then fall off the wagon again. Or worse, you get injured and can’t train for even longer. 

At this phase, we need to enforce consistency over intensity. Let me explain this further. When returning to pre-conditioned state, consistency is KEY. By being more consistent will return you to your pre-conditioned state much more efficiently. Next we strive for intensity. Once we have developed the habit of training more often, we strive for intensity. Here we can increase the number of exercises performed as well as weight. As long as we remember to slowly increase the intensity, we will be on our way towards our goal. 

Until next time, 

Coach Marco