By Coach Kris
If you’ve been away from the gym for even a little while, sometimes getting back into the routine of working out can seem daunting. Perhaps it’s because of an injury; other times, it might be that a vacation, a work trip, or just a long, lazy weekend with one or two too many beverages, burgers, wings, pizza, and chips. Maybe it’s just “life.” All of these can lead to feelings of being set back, or having lost ground in the progress you’ve made.
Don’t worry about that; we’ve all been there. Here’s what to do:
Plan ahead. Commit to the decision of getting back to the gym by preparing in advance. Lay out your gym clothes, shoes and water bottle the evening before, and/or put them in your vehicle. You’ll be much more likely the follow through with getting back at it if you’ve made the decision well ahead of time, and you’re fully prepared to attend. One less excuse.
Don’t be dissuaded. Except perhaps in the case of coming back from an injury or surgery, getting started again is probably more a mental and emotional challenge than it is a physical one. Your CrossFit training to date has been as much about mental toughness as anything. Use this. Steel yourself against your anxiety, and use that willpower—that drive to overcome adversity—to get you back into the building. Think or whisper to yourself: you’ve got this.
Phone a friend. Get in touch with a gym buddy, and commit to getting a WOD or Metcon done with a him or her. Maybe even ask your buddy to hold you to it, so you aren’t tempted into ditching your workout (and, therefore, your pal). Think to yourself: they’re counting on you, even if it’s just to hang out and get a sweaty for an hour, and that means something to to them. Don’t let them down.
Don’t be a hero. Coming back may mean that you have to lower your expectations of performance temporarily. That’s okay. Do what you can do, and scale the rest. Doing even a little exercise is better than skipping the gym one more day. Getting back to (and maintaining) a routine is just as important as doing the work in the early days of getting back at it. Remember, health and longevity are what we’re aiming for at Crux. If you come back planning to hit it hard, you might be setting yourself up for an injury. Take it slow and focus on form. Remember, injury is the opposite of fitness.
Talk to your coach. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your coaches and let them know how you’re feeling. Every one of us at Crux is happy to hear from members, and if you’re worried about some aspect of returning to regular training, let us know! We’re here to help, whether it’s with tailored scaling options or even just gentle encouragement.
You don’t have to pursue every one of these items above, but use them as you see fit. You know what will work best for you. Unless you’ve been away for a long, long, time, you probably haven’t lost as much ground as you think, so get back at it, yeah? Remember, there isn’t a single person at Crux, whether it’s the coach or your fellow athletes, that doesn’t want to see you succeed. Returning to a community such as this should be the easiest part!