Don't Let a Layoff Get you Down: How to Successfully Return from a Layoff

Return from a Layoff

The Path Back to Success is Not an Easy Road

Dear readers, don't let a layoff get you down! There is a countless amount of people who have been in the iron game a long time but have, for one reason or another, let themselves slack off with their workouts. Here at fitFLEX, we generally addressed the subject of getting back into training and were stunned by our reader reaction. We knew that the subject was a concern for some, but we had no idea how many trainees really needed some guidance in that area.

Our correspondents, in essence, said, "I know I'm out of shape and I know how great it felt to be in shape, but I'm just not cranking up the machinery to make a go of it. Please go over the right way to get back into training."


First, don't panic. I mean that. The idea of panicking over not training may sound melodramatic to someone who isn't involved, but it's a real problem.

Remember that panic won't help and isn't necessary. Hold off the desperation and realize that occasional periods of "falling away" are normal. Hell, some people have stopped training for a year or more and come back smoking. If you force yourself to take the following steps, you'll be back to regular workouts before you know it.

1. Relax.

2. Map out a very simple and manageable routine for yourself. Make the program so easy that you breeze through it, even if you're a bit out of shape. If you recall that you last pressed 100 pounds, start out by using 50 or 60. If you did four sets of eight to 10, go back to two sets of six. Resolve to break back into training over a three- or four-week period. Do it slowly and easily, so enthusiasm and confidence can return and grow.

3. Follow your schedule religiously. Never miss a workout.

4. Try to make each successive workout just a tiny bit harder than the previous one. I don't mean huge weight increases, just add 11/4- and 2 112-pound plates. Wait a week before adding a set, but try to add a rep every session or so.

Before you know it, you'll be back to your previous condition - and maybe better.

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