I had joined gym about two and a half years ago (when I was 18) where I used to workout on my arms, shoulders, chest and back. As a result of tough days with my studies, I had to discontinue my routine. Now a week has passed since I rejoined but I feel like I have lost most of my stamina. While I had accomplished to workout at least 10 reps in each set with full comfort, now it gets too hard for me to manage 6 and 8 of them almost kill me even with much less weights attached.

Is this the long break I have enjoyed that my body has gotten too lazy? Would I manage to get back what I have lost?

Note: Any suggestions to build up stamina would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    This is normal. Just work on progressive overload and your stamina will eventually return. It'll probably return sooner this time than when you were first in the gym due to muscle memory, but it'll still take some work and progress. Some conditioning will probably help too.
    – Alex L
    Aug 10, 2015 at 20:30
  • Re: progressive overload -- OP probably needs to look that up if he only ever worked up to 10 reps when his untrained state is 6-8.
    – Noumenon
    Sep 10, 2015 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


You just lot a bit everything ! Strength, stamina, endurance. But it's normal, your nervous system and muscles are not used to being solicited that way anymore.

But don't worry, it can come back fast.

The mistake you should avoid when coming back to the gym is to try to do the same exercises with the same reps/weight as you used to do.

Two and half years is a long break, come back slow, making full range of motion movements with proper form, lower weights. Slowly you will see improvements and you will come back to the level you were at.

If you want to build stamina, try to incorporate some cardio to your routine, shorten your rest in between your sets (not recommended if you want to build strentgh).

And try to be consistent. This is the most important.

Don't go to the gym to do a a very hard leg day and then do nothing for the rest of the week because you cannot move anymore. Just do 3-5 gym sessions per week (depending on your exercices) where you push yourself but do not go overboard. Just be consistent. Enjoy !


If you gained a lot of body fat while off the gym it might be the reason, you would be heavier, your metabolism slower, etc... one would assume that having a lot of stored energy would make us more energetic, stronger but I experienced it first hand in my teenage years, the fatter you get, the harder it is to lose weight and every exercise feels like torture.

Now, it can just mean that you are changing your habits again and is always harder in the beginning, but in this case, research shows that it takes 21 days to form a habit (http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/09/how-long-to-form-a-habit.php), just work out and be patient.

  • 1
    When you said "..the fatter you get, the harder it is to lose weight.." I'm assuming you meant that it's harder to workout and stay active and not lose weight. In most cases, the fatter and heavier you are, your body burns more fat calories than a skinny person would. (healthyliving.azcentral.com/…)
    – MB41
    Aug 11, 2015 at 19:21
  • Yeah, I didn't expressed myself correctly, the proportion of fat to muscle affects the performance. Thanks man. Aug 11, 2015 at 22:50

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