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I had to take a break from working out for 2 months.
When resuming after a long break, are there any good alternative workout plans that you follow to gain back some of the lost strength and stamina before they get back to your regular workout schedules? Or do you just do the same routines with lighter weights? Thanks.

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Just to update, I'm starting out really slow, doing my routine workout with light weights. Will gradually increase after 2-3 weeks. Thanks, all. –  aliensurfer Jul 19 '12 at 10:52

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My own rule of thumb for strength training is to start 2 months earlier - that is, in your example, the break period - in the workout routines and to proceed from there with a 1-2 week reboot period. After that and only if it feels ok, I try to proceed at the levels when the break period started. So I guess I am leaning towards the second part of your question, to stay with the routines but have lighter weights.

My own experience is that break periods should be part of the training cycle, it is natural to get bored and have other priorities from time to time. I see the reboot routines as opportunities to work on techniques for my favorite exercises (deadlift, squats and military press).

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Doing just that. Thanks. Interesting point you make on including break periods in the training cycle. –  aliensurfer Jul 12 '12 at 10:44

My basic suggestion is listen to your body, don't overdo it at first. Workout for a week or two to get your body back into the routine before you start hitting it hard.

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I've taken lots of breaks over the last 45 years, some of them measured in years. You didn't say why you took the break so the following might not apply now but it will. Every work out doesn't have to be part of a scientifically programmed routine. A random trip to the gym every week or so just 'messing around (with good form)' with some favorite exercises depending on time and energy might have eliminated this question completely. No gym? Try weird single leg exercises and one arm pushups - use furniture for support or leverage. This is not a criticism, just information. The fact that you didn't quit because you fell off the wagon tells me you'll do fine.

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I would recommend keeping with the same routine and reducing intensity through lighter weights or time (aerobic), put a little more time in warming up and cooling down and don't hesitate to push yourself a bit. Typically you don't lose much strength/stamina within 2-3 months - but a lot has to do with why you took a break and how active (or not) you were during that time.

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Agreed! Depending on your previous work capacity in the weight room and training in general he might bounce back to his previous shape within 2-3 weeks. Concept called "old man's strength", where the body remembers a specific weight, body composition. The human body is essentially a habit machine and that's what makes it hard to do technical improvements in sports mainly because you want to go back to old habits...hence athletes train 4-5 hours a day trying to overcome their techniqual habits. –  Andreas Jul 10 '12 at 16:55

Go very light with your weight.

Don't jump in there and try to push yourself to doing the weights you used to do, even with a spotter. If you do, you're going to be sore as hell for a very long time.

Do each body part in the same routine like you would before (chest on Monday, back on Wednesday, legs on Friday - or whatever), but go very light.

The second time you work that body part (next week, for example), go moderate with that weight.

Don't try to pop blood vessels in your forehead until you are sure your body isn't going to backfire on you.

The older you are, the longer it takes to get back into the swing of things.

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