The Dreaded Return: Forcing Your Body Back Into The Gym

It’s ok – there’s no shame. We’ve all been there. There will be times where the gym won’t be your priority. Whether it’s work, family or you’re just “not feeling it” – it can happen to the best of us.

Forcing Your Body Back Into The Gym

The longer you leave it, the harder it gets. However, if you put your mind to it you can make the dreaded return to training all the more easier.

We’ll now take a look at ten ways which can help you achieve this.



Why have you ditched the habit in the first place?

Why have you ditched the habit of going to the gym

Firstly, let’s take a look at the reasons why you have shunned the habit. Sure, there might be some completely innocent work and family reasons behind your absence, but we’re going to assume that this isn’t the case for all of you.

Instead, you probably have an internal weakness. For some, this might be a plain lack of enjoyment for exercising. Others just might not have time, while some of you might feel self-conscious in the training environment or just don’t know what to do.

Identifying this weakness is the first step in making your return. From here on in you can make a plan to maneuver around this weakness and ensure it doesn’t halt your progress. Don’t know how to train? Consider a personal trainer or seek help from the internet. Feel self-conscious? Try and go at a quiet time. You get the picture…


Bring back the fun-factor

inject some fun into your sessions

Suffice to say, if you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s going to be very hard to keep your habit.

While on one hand the gym isn’t mean to be full of smiles, at the same time you can’t absolutely detest going. Try and inject some fun into your sessions; some people find it easier to attend group classes, while some gyms might just offer different types of training that can suit your taste more.


Measure your success

start measuring your progress

If you don’t know how you’re performing, what’s the point in going? Most of us hit the gym to better ourselves and without this progress, it’s difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Therefore, set your goals and start measuring your progress. Some people might record how many push-ups they can complete on a weekly basis, while others might opt for a finer statistic such as their body fat percentage. Either way, it makes the whole process measurable.


Make a month-long commitment

make a commitment

If you’ve slipped from your normal routine, try and make a commitment to go every day for a month. Even if you’re just attending for 20 minutes a day, if you can change your ways so you get into the habit of going again your body will start to get used to the process.


Don’t go it alone

Don't go it alone

This is one of the most tried-and-tested methods to keep going to the gym. Going there alone can get boring and in some ways, demotivating.

By taking a friend, you immediately add a social dimension to your training. As well as this, when the going does get tough, you have someone there to encourage you to the bitter end. Additionally, it means that if you don’t go, you’ve just let someone else down. That in itself is motivation.


Stop thinking about the end results

Stop thinking about the end results

This is perhaps one of the most difficult tips to apply, for the simple reason that most of us hit the gym for those end results. In other words, we go to improve our body image.

By taking this approach, you run the risk of demotivating yourself though. There has to be some enjoyment along the way, whether this is the satisfaction through pushing yourself, or just the energy gains that usually follow a good workout.

If you can appreciate the above, getting back into the swing of things becomes so much easier.


Build a routine

Build a routine

We’re not talking about your workout routine now, but rather your daily routine which relates to when you attend the gym.

You’ve been off the scene for a while, but now’s the chance to get back into a schedule. Have your set days so when that time arises, your body almost automatically packs your bag and takes you there.

If you rely on random times, it’s much harder to build back to that consistent training.


Don’t scare yourself away

start small

Having not been for a while, some of you may opt to try and immediately return to the level you were training at before. Unfortunately, this just isn’t going to work.

You need to start small before slowly building yourself back up to your former self. If you throw yourself in at the deep end, there’s every chance you’ll “scare” your body off and you’ll struggle to return again.


Get there – and think about the rest later

think about the rest later

Having experienced that time off, most of us are busy fretting about just what our workout has in store. How grueling will those squats be? Will you manage to bench half the weight as last time? Such thoughts need to be banished as a matter of urgency.

Instead, you just need to concentrate on getting yourself to the gym. As a famous quote goes, “half of life is about showing up”. If you can get yourself to the gym, you will have achieved the hardest part and the rest will just “happen”.


Be careful of when you time your workouts

Be careful of when you time your workouts

We’ve already spoken about how some of you will have to time your workouts in relation to how busy the gym itself is – but you should also apply these rules to your own self.

Attempting to squeeze workouts in at this stage just isn’t going to work. You’re already demotivated and behind – trying to perform a workout in a short space of time is just asking for another excuse.

Therefore, avoid your lunch breaks and any other short “gaps” in your day, and try and schedule your gym sessions in the quiet periods where nothing is going to muscle in on them.

About George Allen

George Allen – Author – An AFPA Certified holistic and preventative nutrition professional. George is a well known exercise physiology and sports nutrition expert, the co-founder of
Syracuse University graduate: bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics (B.S.) and a master’s degree in nutrition science with a concentration in counseling (M.A.)
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