With the holidays now done and over with, you may be left with a body that isn’t exactly what you had dreamed of. Going into the New Year, you had hoped to maintain your physical fitness and not put on any weight, but if the holidays got the best of you, you took a few weeks off the gym and indulged in some Christmas goodies, not to worry. All hope is not lost. You just need to know how to get back on the bandwagon and do some damage control.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Ease Your Way Back Into Things
First thing first, don’t try to just dive right in, picking up where you left off. Unless you’ve maintained your workouts through the holidays and just took a break from your diet, you will have lost a little fitness. After more than a week away from the gym, you can expect to have to backtrack slightly to get back to where you were.
The longer you were off, the more backtracking you’ll have to do.
Take things slow. This isn’t a race at this point and you don’t want to wind up unable to walk when getting out of bed tomorrow morning. Try using about half the weight you normally use for your exercises and cut the total volume (the number of sets you do) by half.
This will likely feel quite easy, but that’s fine. Next workout, add another 10 pounds or so to each lift. Keep adding until you’re back to where you were before.
By starting slow, you’ll reduce the frustration and discomfort that can come from getting back into it, ensuring that you stick with it this new year.
Set Some New, Realistic Goals
The next step to take to get back to your program this January is to set some new, realistic goals for yourself. Set both long term goals as well as smaller ‘daily’ goals. Give each workout you do a purpose. This way, you’ll be less likely to skip it.
Remember that not every goal needs to be highly admirable. Your goal might simply be to do 10 reps on squats at your target weight. That’s fine – it gives you something to look forward to as you are entering the gym.
The more realistic your goals are now, the more motivated you’ll be to reach them, thus ensuring that you stay on track.
It might also be a good idea to switch gears a little as well. If you have been focusing on building muscle lately, now might be the perfect opportunity to switch over and focus on fat loss instead.
A change of pace is sometimes what’s really needed to help give your workout plan a kick-start for the better.
Revamp Your Diet Plan
Speaking of revamping things, it’s now time to take a good look at your diet plan. Remember, when it comes to making any sort of transformation, your diet matters. If you aren’t eating the right types of foods at the right time, you’ll be hard pressed to see the results you desire.
Diet is nearly everything in terms of body recomposition (fat loss or muscle building). Spend some time figuring out a diet plan that will be both enjoyable and relatively easy for you to follow.
This might mean booking a session with a nutritionist if you have to, but do whatever it takes to get yourself on track. It will pay off in the end.
One thing most people have in common with New Year’s programs is that they start out strong only to fall off the bandwagon a few weeks (or possibly months) into it. Don’t let this happen to you.
One good way to help keep yourself committed is to get a workout buddy to do the new program with. Find one who is just as dedicated and motivated as you are. Then, when one of you is having a hard day, the other can pick you up and ensure you stay on track.
Those who have gym buddies are almost always more likely to stick with it, so don’t overlook how beneficial this can be to your end results.
Try A Few New Exercises
Another great way to do some damage control and get back on track once the holidays are over is to invest in a few exercise changes in your workout program. Try learning a new exercise or two. This is a great way to shock your body into seeing better results while keeping you more mentally engaged in your workout program as well.
If you’re constantly doing the same thing in the gym day after day after day, it won’t be long before boredom sets in and you want to give up.
Rotate through a few new exercises and you’ll find, this won’t be a problem for you.
Take Progress Pictures
Finally, as much as you may not want to take your picture right now, know that if you take your starting pictures, in a few weeks time, you’ll be able to look back at those pictures and see just how far you’ve come.
This can be a great help for anyone who tends to have lagging motivation levels. Take these pictures at the same time each day, preferably wearing the same clothes for best results.
So there you have a closer look at the many things you can do to help yourself get back on track with your workout and nutrition program. Taking the time to ensure that you are doing all that you can to foster positive motivation and commitment will pay off when you are one of those few who actually stick it out in the gym beyond the January rush.