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4 Tips to Get Back On Track After A Long Layoff

We have all done it; fallen off the proverbial “deep end” – whether it is in regards to nutrition or our workouts, many of us have had a bad streak. Vacations, weekends, or parties all attribute to diet and training program failures. When this happens, the key is to not let it completely derail your goals. Below we will discuss 5 tips to get you back on track toward achieving your goals.

Start Slow & Steadily Progressrun-2181103_960_720

If you have had a long break from training or eating, right the best way to get back on track is to make slow progress. Imagine you go into the gym after 4 weeks off, you’re motivated and gonna kill this workout!

Let’s say you do, and then the next day you wake up and think, “What did I do? I can’t move.” You are so sore that it takes you 5 days you feel up to going back to the gym, which can be detrimental to success.

The same can be said about diet. Very few people can stick to a 100% clean diet. So when the choice is made to not cheat at all, this blows up into a cheat weekend. The best way to ensure long term change is to start slow with your progress and add one small goal a week.

Once you start making progress, keep making progress. If you have a good week, let that build into the next week. Every week you should strive to put more weight on the bar or do more reps.

Set Realistic Goals

I will often hear people set unrealistic goals within the first week of their training program. This is just setting you up for failure. If you set a goal that is out of reach and you miss it, you are more likely to let that impact your fitness journey in a negative light.

On occasion I have had someone commit to many nutritional changes in one week and stay successful for more than a month. My advice is to set a small realistic goal each week, conquer it, be positive, and set another next week.

For example:

  • Week 1: Drink 80 oz of water a day
  • Week 2: Drink 80 oz of water a day and eat a healthy breakfast
  • Week 3: Drink 80 oz of water a day, eat a healthy breakfast, and on Sunday, prepare your meals for the week for your lunch

Keep building upon these small goals until they become second nature.

Be Prepared

Being prepared can make the difference between success and failure. Preparing your meals for the week ahead of time is a huge time saver. This way, if you are in a hurry there is no fast food excuse. Take a couple hours on Sunday to ensure you have a nutritional plan in place for the upcoming week.

Preparation can also affect your time in the gym. Make sure you know what you want to accomplish for the week in the gym. Have a plan or program and stick to it. If you are not educated in creating a customized workout plan, then reach out to a trainer or find a valid online resource.

Get a program that is customized for you and one that you somewhat enjoy to ensure you compliance is at its peak. By being prepared for the week ahead you are less likely to make excuses to skip a day at the gym because it’s nice out, or go eat fast food because you didn’t prepare lunch.

Find Support

Finally, find someone with similar goals and high motivation to help you get back on track. This is a two way street, so do not put yourself in the position where you are always the sole motivator. You need someone who will hold you accountable when you succeed and when you fail. You need someone who challenges you and who is positive! My advice, do not convince someone to be this person. This person should stand out. Maybe it’s even someone you meet at the gym.

Remain positive in this long journey and accept the fact that you will fall off the wagon at some point. If you follow the above steps you will have the best chance at long term success, and that is what the real win is here.

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