Bulking

Find out how to Get Again Into Weightlifting After a Break from the Health club (With a Coaching Program!)

The central theses

Your main goal in the first few weeks at the gym should be to exercise just enough to improve your muscles' ability to withstand pain and improve your technique.
To do this, you want to train with relatively low weights, low volumes, different repetition ranges and a higher frequency than normal.
Read on to find out exactly what your workout should look like and to get a free four-week workout program to help you lift weight again!

So here we are and hopefully nearing the end of these dangerous quarantines.

Open restaurants, Stonks rise and. . . at long last . . . Gyms open their doors.

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And that means a few things to us fitness people:

If you're crazy Body weight workoutsand the idea of ​​doing pushups instead of another set Bench press If you paint and want to chew someone's face, your salvation is near.
If you were lucky enough to grab dumbbells or other exercise equipment before this thing went down (or had enough commitment to sell one of your kidneys in return for that exercise equipment), you are well prepared to jump back into your old routine .
Either way, you can look forward to a heaped bowl of old-fashioned fashion aching, something you've been doing since Newcomer wins Days.

I speak with a rusty butter knife stabbed in the thigh. . . Pecs struck by Sauron's mace. . . Spine erector so delicate that you can sell it in the Outback Steakhouse. . . kind of sore.

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And that's not a good thing.

While sore muscles can be a fun novelty, you want to avoid them in a strange, masochistic way as much as possible when you return to the exercise routine.

Why?

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Because sore muscles make it difficult to exercise with heavy weights or at all, which means that it takes you even longer to regain the muscles and strength that you lost during the lockdown.

So how should you go back to weight lifting when your gym reopens?

How should you adjust your workout to minimize sore muscles?

How long does it take to get back to your old routine?

The answers to all of these questions can be found in this article.

The short answer is that you want to train just enough to help your muscles become resistant to sore muscles and improve your technique, but not so much that you cause significant muscle damage.

The longer answer? Read on to find out!

Should you go back to the gym when it's open?



This primarily depends on your health.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory diseases, or think you have recently been exposed to someone who has the virus, stay at home.

You may be familiar with a rule of thumb called "neck control." This says that it is safe to start exercising again as long as your symptoms are over your neck.

That is, as long as your symptoms are confined to your head – runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, etc. – you can start exercising. However, if your symptoms are under your neck – like a deep chest cough – you should rest until you are better.

There is very little scientific evidence for the "neck check", but it has been used successfully by athletes for many years.

That said, you shouldn't rely on the neck check now.

Unless you have been tested and you are sure that you do not have a COVID-19. Be on the safe side and at least stay at home until your symptoms go away. Not only is this right for those around you and for society as a whole, it also reduces the likelihood that your gym will be closed.

And what if you tested positive for COVID-19 or think you have COVID-19? When can you train again?

Two studies by scientists Royal Brompton Hospital and the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute offer some helpful guidelines:

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or think you have COVID-19, do not exercise for at least ten days while you see your body respond to the disease (most people have mild to no symptoms).
Then rest for at least a week or two, even if your symptoms have gone. On the one hand, this serves for complete recovery and, on the other hand, to minimize the spread of the disease.

One of these articles recommends seeing a doctor after recovery from COVID-19, while the other does not list it as a recommendation.

It's probably fair to say that you should see a doctor if you're particularly concerned about how the virus might affect your health. If you've been symptom-free for at least a week or two and don't need to see a doctor, you probably don't need to.

And what if you have symptoms similar to COVID-19 but test negative?

The authors of these two studies say that you should still follow the same guidelines as if you had COVID-19, which is probably good advice. Even if you don't have COVID-19, you can always suffer from another respiratory disease, such as the flu. So it's still a good idea to play it safe and stay away from the gym a little longer.

And finally, what if you don't have COVID-19 and are worried about getting it out of the gym?

This is, of course, a personal decision that depends on your health and risk tolerance. At this point, however, it can be rightly said that most healthy, relatively young to medium-sized people have little to fear.

For example, a current one study Research conducted by Indiana State University scientists showed that the infection mortality rate – the total number of people who died after a positive COVID-19 test – was only 0.58%.

In addition, the study found that 45% of those infected showed no symptoms at all.

Although this study did not investigate how infection mortality rates changed with age, the vast majority of these deaths were likely in the elderly (70+) and infirm was the case more or less around the world.

According to the Centers for disease control (CDC) As of May 28, 2020, only 2,057 people under the age of 44 died in the United States after being diagnosed with COVID-19. This corresponds to only 2.5% of all COVID-related deaths in the United States.

Even then, this doesn't tell the whole story, since many of these people were likely to have pre-existing diseases and health complications (obesity, diabetes, etc.), so it is likely that the actual mortality rate in healthy people is much, much lower.

While you obviously don't want To get COVID-19 if you can avoid it, your risk of developing severe symptoms or dying when you are a young, healthy, active person is negligible.

Still, it's always possible that you pass the disease on to someone else who isn't as robust. So it is still worth taking steps to avoid getting the disease.

Some of these precautions include:

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after your workout
Trying to go to the gym outside of peak hours, e.g. B. early morning, late morning, or late evening
Maximize your physical distance from other people in the gym (six feet is a good minimum, more is better)

Summary: If you are healthy and symptom-free and have not knowingly been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 in the past week, you can safely return to the gym after opening.

How quickly do you lose muscle and strength after you stop lifting?

"I definitely lost something," a friend told me when he kneaded his biceps after returning from a week-long Christmas vacation. "I have to go back to the gym."

Most of us can relate.

After not lifting weights for a few days or weeks, many people say that they look and feel smaller and weaker. You know, something like that. . .

And although a couple of weeks off don't make you look so frail, yOur muscles will likely look a little smaller and you will likely feel a little weaker after a week or two outside the gym.

But does that mean you really lose muscle?

What if you exercised at home? Surely that must have at least reduced the amount of muscle you lost?

The truth is that even if you stop lifting weights completely, your body holds up remarkably well to muscles and strength, and you're unlikely to lose a lot of muscle during the lockdown if you continue to exercise at home.

One of the best examples of this is a study carried out by scientists from Brunel University. In this case, the researchers had 33 untrained young men and women lift weights for 10 weeks and then stop exercising for three months.

Researchers measured participants' leg muscle size and strength at various points throughout the study:

Before the weight lifting program begins
Weight lifting after 5 weeks
Weight lifting after 10 weeks
After three months with no weight lifting or formal movement

The result?

Although participants lost part of their strength and muscle gains after three months without weight lifting, they haven't lost as much as you might think.

Check out this graphic:


Muscle size after 30 weeks without training


As you can see, in the first 10 weeks of the study, participants gained weight in gaining muscle mass and started losing muscle when they stopped lifting.

But here's where it gets interesting: after three months of no lifting, her muscles were still about the size of five weeks of weight lifting.

That means they only lost about five weeks of muscle gain afterwards three damn months Do not lift weights.

The researchers found the same result when they looked at the strength:


Muscle strength after 30 weeks without training


Again, after three months without weight lifting, the participants lost about five weeks of strength gains.

Ohio University scientists found similar results in another study on women. In this case, the researchers had six young, untrained women lift weights for 20 weeks, stop lifting weights for 30 weeks, and then lift weights again for 6 weeks.

In this way, the researchers were able to measure not only how much muscle and strength the participants lost when they stopped lifting weights, but also how much they could regain after resuming training.

Researchers measured participants' muscle size and strength throughout the study to see how the training, training and retraining phases affect their results.

Here's what happened to your squat strength:


Squat-One-Rep-Max


After 20 weeks of weight lifting, her strength increased by 67%.

After 30 weeks without weight lifting, it decreased by 13% (compared to where they were after 20 weeks weight lifting).

And after another 6 weeks of weightlifting, it increased another 40% (again compared to where they were after their weightlifting break).

In other words, even though these women didn't lift weights for almost eight months, they lost only a small fraction of their squat strength. In addition, they not only regained what they lost after just a few weeks, but also launched new PRs.

The same was true when the researchers looked at their muscle fibers under a microscope.

Your muscle fibers grew significantly larger after lifting weights for 20 weeks, shrank a little after 30 weeks without weight lifting, and became larger than ever after another 6 weeks of weight lifting.

The conclusion:

It takes much longer to lose muscle and strength than most people realize.

Now it should be noted that all of the people in these studies were beginners, which means that their bodies overreacted to the effects of strength training. The closer you are to your genetic strength and muscle potential, the more effort is required to make progress.

Read: Everything you should know about Newbie Gains wins, according to science

If these people were well-trained weightlifters, they would probably have noticed a greater decrease in muscle and strength after taking a few months off the gym.

How much?

Well, there are no long-term ones revoke Studies (the technical term for a break from training) about well-trained weightlifters, so we don't know for sure. one study 20 male weight lifters were found to have lost no muscle after a two-week break from weight lifting, but we don't know what would have happened after four, eight, or more weeks without training.

However, based on the research we have, it is unlikely that they would have lost enough muscle to see a significant difference in their looks.

There is one more thing you should know about all of these studies: These people have not lifted weights or done formal exercises for months.

research shows that you can maintain strength and muscles with just a fraction of the effort required to gain them at all. If you've done some type of bodyweight, band, or barbell / kettlebell workout in the past few months, you probably haven't lost much strength or muscle.

Read: The best home workout routines when you can't go to the gym

It is therefore impossible to predict exactly how much muscle you will lose if you do not lift weights. This can be greatly affected by your level of activity, whether you are weightlifting or not, your diet and other factors.

Suppose you lose some muscle and strength during your break. How long will it be before you get it back?

Again, there are no studies on well-trained athletes that could help us answer this question, but Dr. Mike Zourdos, a professor of exercise science at Florida Atlantic University, powerlifter, author and coach, estimates that this takes about half as long to regain your lost strength and muscles as it did to lose them.

That said, if you have 4 to 6 months off, you may need 2 to 3 months to get back to where you were.

Read: How quickly you lose muscle when you stop exercising

In my experience, that's a reasonable guess.

So if you go back to the original question, how quickly do you lose muscle and strength and how quickly can you regain it?

If you stop lifting completely, you will likely lose very little muscle or strength even after a month or two.

If you exercise even a little bit, even if it's not optimal (body weight training, etc.), you probably won't lose much muscle or strength for many months.

And even if you lose muscle and strength after a break from heavy weight lifting, you will regain that muscle pretty quickly – probably in a few weeks.

Okay, okay, you might think that's cool and everything, but when I look in the mirror, I can see I am smaller. What does your high falutin science have to say about this?

A little bit!

As you can see, it is quite possible that you have lost muscle size since you stopped lifting weights, but not because you lost your actual muscles tissue.

Instead, you will likely see muscle loss Glycogen Levels. Glycogen is a form of carbohydrates that are stored in muscle cells for energy, and every gram of glycogen is saved with three to four grams of water.

This means that 100 g of glycogen are stored with about 300 to 400 g of water.

Train very well increases Your muscles 'ability to store glycogen, and when you stop exercising, your muscles' glycogen levels drop sharply (along with the extra water attached to that glycogen).

For example, consider this diagram from a study conducted by Ball State University scientists on well-trained swimmers:


Muscle glycogen level without training


After just one week without training, the athlete's muscle glycogen level dropped by 20% and after one month without training, it dropped by almost 50%.

Every little decrease in glycogen stores slightly reduces the size and appearance of your muscles, which is why depriving your muscles looks and feels smaller.

In other words, it's normal for your muscles to look a little smaller after a break from weight lifting. Assuming you took a short break from weight lifting, this is most likely due to a decrease in glycogen stores, not an actual loss of muscle.

When you start exercising again, your glycogen stores and muscles swell to their previous, larger size.

Read: What every weight lifter should know about glycogen

Finally, there is another major limitation: your diet has a major impact on your ability to maintain muscle during a break from training.

If you severely restrict calories or don't eat enough protein during a break from weight lifting, you will lose a lot more muscle than if you follow a moderate calorie deficit or eat enough to maintain your weight and protein.

If you want to regain muscle and strength as soon as possible after you return to the gym, you should also eat enough to maintain your weight or a slight excess, and enough protein.

Read: This is the best macronutrient calculator on the internet (updated 2020)

Okay, enough time in the past.

Stop talking about how much muscle or strength you may or may not have lost and what you could have done to prevent it.

The gyms are reopening, which means it's time to look into the future!

Let's talk about how you should exercise when you get back to the gym.

Summary: You only start to lose muscle and strength after a few weeks of no exercise, and you can probably avoid losing muscle or strength by exercising at home, eating maintenance, or having a mild calorie deficit, and eating enough protein. You will regain most of the muscle and strength that you lost in a few weeks after you started lifting again.

How to return to weight lifting after a break


best workout split for fat loss


When you return to the gym, your first inclination is to go back to your old workout routine.

That is probably a bad idea.

First and foremost, your muscles have become much more sensitive to the effects of weight lifting, which has advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand, you quickly regain strength and muscles that you may have lost. On the other hand, this also means that your muscles are far more susceptible to muscle damage and you get a lot more pain after training.

This also applies if you have exercised at home, because heavy barbell training creates a lot more tension in your muscles and thus causes considerably more muscle damage and sore muscles.

Read: Do you actually want sore muscles? (Does it mean muscle growth?)

In addition, your compound lifting technique, such as squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and overhead presses, is rusty, which increases the risk of injury and limits lifting.

And finally, you will probably not get any faster if you go back to your old workout routine than if you would go back to heavy barbell workouts for two reasons:

As you learned earlier, your muscles will be prepared to get bigger and stronger, and you don't have to train as hard or as hard to get fast progress in the beginning.
Sore muscles during your first training sessions are likely to affect your ability to gain weight and improve your technique, and may even force you to skip a few training sessions.

Ultimately, the downsides of going back to your old weight lifting routine far outweigh the benefits.

What should you do instead?

During your first few weeks in the gym, your main goal should be to exercise in a way that prepares your muscles for heavy weight lifting and improves your technique.

That means you want to gradually reintroduce your muscles into strength training and work to improve your squat, bench press, deadlift, and military press forms. After a few weeks of this type of training, you can safely and productively return to your old training routine.

Here's how you want to workout in your first month at the gym:

Use 50 to 80% of your maximum reps for your compound exercises.

Thanks to a phenomenon called repeated combat effectYour muscles will become much more resistant to damage from strength training after just a few training sessions.

This is why you became incredibly sore after weight lifting when you weren't familiar with weight training, but didn't get sore after the first few weeks.

Many people don't know the following: You don't have to train too hard or hard to take advantage of the repeated combat effect.

That is, training with relatively light weights protects your muscles from damage from heavy weight lifting. For example in one studyNational Taiwan Normal University researchers divided 24 untrained young men into two groups:

Group 1 exercised with only 10% of their maximum voluntary strength (ie about 1 in 10 in terms of intensity on a scale of 1 to 10). They trained almost all major muscle groups in the body, including biceps, triceps, chest, quads, hamstrings, calves, lasers, abdominals and spinal straighteners.

Then, two days later, everyone returned to the lab and did another workout with 80% of their maximum strength, exercising all of the same muscles.

In this way, the first session two days later acted as an introductory session for the harder session.

Before and after both training sessions, the researchers measured participants' muscle damage and pain in a variety of ways, including blood tests for muscle damage markers, subjective assessments of sore muscles, and how much each person could contract their muscles.

Group two did a training with 80% of their maximum voluntary strength, however Not Do a simpler workout before training. The researchers took the same measurements as for the first group and then compared them.

The result?

Group one had significantly less muscle soreness and less strength loss than group two after training with heavier weights.

Here's the coolest part:

The participants in the first group had no significant increase in muscle soreness or decrease in strength after their light weight introductory training.

By simply training with light weights, the participants in the first group could protect their muscles from muscle damage if they only used heavy weights two days later. That is, their muscles "overreacted" to a relatively simple workout by becoming much more resistant to muscle damage and pain caused by a difficult workout.

what does that mean to you?

During the first few weeks in the gym, you should use lighter weights. This will result in very little muscle damage or soreness, but will reduce the amount of muscle damage and soreness that occurs when you use heavier weights again.

How light should your weights be?

Well, the people in this study were completely untrained, which means that they were much more sensitive to muscle damage than people with weight lifting experience, as you are likely to do. Even if you take a few months off, you will still be more resistant to muscle damage than someone who has never lifted weights before.

This is especially true if you exercised at home during the suspension. Therefore, you may want to use heavier weights than the people in this study to better prepare your muscles for the demands of heavy weight lifting.

I recommend how much weight you use for your workout in your first week in the gym:

Use approximately 50% of your maximum number of repetitions (1 rpm) for your compound exercises.
Use 5 repetitions in reserve (RIR) for your isolation exercises.

If you are not familiar with the concept, RIR indicates how many repetitions in a set you could do if you absolutely had to.

If you're like most experienced weightlifters, talk about your weightlifting kits. After a series of hard barbell curls, for example, you could say, "Man, that was a grinder – I might have had a repeat in the tank," which corresponds to a RIR of 1.

So an RIR of 5 means you can do five more repetitions if you absolutely have to.

After your first week in the gym, increase the intensity of your composite exercises to 60% of your 1RM and the intensity of your isolation exercises to 4 RIR. At week three, use 70% of 1 rpm for your compound exercises and 3 RIR for your isolation exercises. In week four, use 80% of your 1RM for compound exercises and 2 RIR for isolation exercises.

Do 1 to 3 sets per compound exercise and 2 to 3 sets per isolation exercise.


start lifting again after a long pause


How many sets you do in each workout (your workout volume) also determines how much muscle damage and sore muscles your workout causes.

And just like with intensity, you don't have to do a lot of volume to protect your muscles from damage and pain.

In addition, a relatively short, low volume workout is also a great way to improve your weightlifting technique. If you only do a handful of sets, you never get tired enough to let your shape fall apart, so the overall quality of your repetitions tends to be higher.

When your body gets used to weightlifting again, you also want to gradually increase your training volume to make your training more challenging. (Gradually increasing the volume in this way is also the best way to avoid overuse injuries.)

Here is the plan:

In your first week at the gym, do only one set per compound exercise and two sets per isolation exercise.
During your second week in the gym, do two sets per compound exercise and three sets per isolation exercise.
During your third and fourth week in the gym, do three sets for all of your compound and isolation exercises.

This ensures that muscle damage, pain and fatigue never get out of control, reduces the risk of injury and helps you to quickly improve your weightlifting technique.

Machen Sie 2 bis 5 Wiederholungen pro Satz für Ihre zusammengesetzten Übungen.

So wie zu viele Sätze in einem einzigen Training zu übermäßigem Muskelschaden, Schmerzen und Müdigkeit führen können, kann zu viele Wiederholungen in jedem Satz einen ähnlichen Effekt hervorrufen.

Dies gilt hauptsächlich für zusammengesetzte Übungen wie Kniebeugen, Bankdrücken, Kreuzheben und Überkopfdrücken, bei denen Sätze mit hohen Wiederholungszahlen überproportional schädlich und ermüdend sind.

Sets mit geringen Wiederholungszahlen sind auch ideal zur Verbesserung Ihrer Technik, da Sie mit minimaler Ermüdung viele hochwertige Wiederholungen erzielen können.

All dies ist der Grund, warum ich empfehle, dass Sie in Ihrem ersten Monat im Fitnessstudio nur Sätze mit 2 bis 5 Wiederholungen für Ihre zusammengesetzten Übungen machen.

Und was ist mit deinen Isolationsübungen?

Sie könnten niedrige oder hohe Wiederholungen für Ihre Isolationsübungen verwenden, aber ich empfehle Ihnen, zunächst höhere Wiederholungen zu verwenden und dann niedrigere Wiederholungen zu verwenden.

Why?

Verwendung einer Vielzahl von Wiederholungsbereichen ist wahrscheinlich besser für das Muskelwachstum.
Viele Isolationsübungen (wie Hantelseitenerhöhungen und Lat-Pulldowns) eignen sich besser für höhere Wiederholungen als für niedrigere Wiederholungen.
Es verleiht Ihrem Training eine angenehme Abwechslung.
Es setzt Ihre Muskeln mehreren Wiederholungsbereichen aus, wodurch Sie gut auf das Programm vorbereitet sind, das Sie nach Ihrem ersten Monat im Fitnessstudio absolvieren möchten.

Insbesondere empfehle ich Ihnen, Ihre erste Woche im Fitnessstudio mit 12 Wiederholungen pro Satz für Ihre Isolationsübungen zu beginnen, dann 10 Wiederholungen pro Satz in Woche zwei, 8 Wiederholungen pro Satz in Woche drei und 6 Wiederholungen pro Satz in Woche vier.

Kniebeugen und Bankdrücken zweimal pro Woche und Kreuzheben und Militärdrücken einmal pro Woche.


nach 3 Monaten wieder ins Fitnessstudio


Ihre Trainingsfrequenz bezieht sich darauf, wie oft pro Woche Sie eine bestimmte Muskelgruppe oder Übung trainieren.

Normalerweise ist eine gute Faustregel zur Maximierung des Muskelwachstums zu train each muscle group at least twice per week, and a good rule of thumb for maximizing strength gains is to train each compound exercise you want to improve at least once per week.

That said, one of the best ways to get better at any movement, whether it’s swinging a golf club, swimming laps, or squatting a heavy barbell, is to practice frequently.

And remember, one of your goals during your first month back in the gym is to improve your weightlifting technique as quickly as possible. Not only will this help you get back to lifting heavy weights, it will also reduce your risk of injury.

So, during your first few weeks back in the gym, I recommend you bench and squat twice per week and deadlift and military press once per week.

The reason I recommend you deadlift only once per week, is because it’s the least technically demanding of the three lifts and tends to cause more muscle damage, soreness, and fatigue, all of which you want to minimize.

The reason I recommend you military press once per week, is it doesn’t allow you to move as much weight as the bench press, and it’s generally not as important to most people.

Squatting and bench pressing, though, are more technically demanding, tend to be less tiring, and are responsible for the lion’s share of your whole-body muscle and strength gains.

Once your squat, bench press, deadlift, and military press technique is back up to snuff and you’re no longer getting sore after your workouts, you can switch back to your regular workout routine.

The Legion 4-Week Retraining Program

Let’s quickly recap the key tenets of this program:

Use 50 to 80% of your one-rep max for your compound exercises.
Do 1 to 3 sets per compound exercise and 2 to 3 sets per isolation exercise.
Do 2 to 5 reps per set on your compound exercises.
Squat and bench press twice per week and deadlift and military press once per week.

Here’s the general outline of what your sets, reps, and intensity should look like for your compound and isolation exercises:


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I’m also going to give you three different workout routines, depending on whether you want to train three, four, or five times per week.

Here they are:


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And a few more notes on how to get the most out of these programs . . .

Warm up before each workout.

Before your first set of your first exercise of each workout, make sure you do a thorough warm-up.

A warm-up accomplishes several things:

Es helps you troubleshoot your form and “groove in” proper technique (which is particularly important when you’re relearning an exercise).
It can significantly boost your performance, which can translate into more muscle and strength gain over time.

In weightlifting, a warm-up consists of doing one or two light sets of an exercise, followed by one or two heavier sets until you’re using a weight that’s about 70% as heavy as the heaviest weight you’ll use that day for that particular exercise.

Here’s how to warm up properly:

Do several warm-up sets with the first exercises for each of the muscle groups you’re training in that day’s workout.

For example, in Workout 1 in the 5-day workout program outlined in this article, your first exercise is the barbell bench press, which trains your chest, triceps, and shoulders.

Thus, warming up for the barbell bench press will also warm up all of the muscles trained by the triceps pressdown, but not the barbell squat.

So, in this case, you can do a few warm-up sets for your barbell bench press, then your hard sets, and then you’d warm up for the barbell squat and do your hard sets for that exercise. Then, you can do your triceps pressdowns without any additional warm-up sets (since the muscles trained in this exercise will still be warmed up after the bench press).

Here’s the protocol you’re going to follow for the workouts in this article:

Estimate roughly what weight you’re going to use for your three sets of flat barbell bench press (this is your “hard set” weight).
Do 10 reps with about 50 percent of your hard set weight, and rest for a minute.
Do 10 reps with the same weight at a slightly faster pace, and rest for a minute.
Do 4 reps with about 70 percent of your hard set weight, and rest for a minute.

Then, do all of the hard sets prescribed for that exercise.

Now, you may be wondering, do you really need to warm up for your workouts for the first two weeks of this program? After all, you’re only using 50 to 60% of your 1RM.

Well, no, you don’t, but it’s probably still a good idea.

I recommend you do a modified warm-up with only two sets. Do one set with just the bar, and then one set with about 70% of the weight I’ll be using that day.

For example, if I’m working up to 160 pounds for my bench press (about 50% of my 1RM), I might do one warm-up set with just the bar (45 pounds), and then one warm-up set with 115 pounds.

Once you enter Week 3 of this program, though, you’ll want to follow the normal warm-up protocol.

If you want to learn more about the importance of a proper warm-up and how to warm up for different workouts, check out this article:

Lesen: The Best Way to Warm Up For Your Workouts

Rest 3 to 4 minutes in between each set.

This will give your muscles enough time to fully recoup their strength so you can give maximum effort each set.

If you want to learn more about how long you should rest between sets, check out this article:

Lesen: How Long Should You Rest Between Sets to Gain Muscle and Strength?

Switch to a different strength training program after four weeks.


getting back to fitness


This retraining program is meant to do exactly that . . . help you retrain your muscles so you’re ready to follow a more challenging workout routine again.

Although you can stick with this routine, you’ll make faster progress by following one with more volume, intensity, and exercise variety.

If you’re looking for a workout routine that will help you build muscle, get stronger, and lose fat, check out these articles:

⇨ The 12 Best Science-Based Strength Training Programs for Gaining Muscle and Strength

⇨ The Definitive Guide on How to Build a Workout Routine

⇨ The Definitive Guide to the “Push Pull Legs” Routine

⇨ This Is The Last Upper Body Workout You’ll Ever Need

⇨ This Is the Last Lower Body Workout You’ll Ever Need

⇨ How to Get a Bigger and Stronger Chest in Just 30 Days

⇨ How to Get Bigger and Stronger Legs in Just 30 Days

⇨ How to Get Bigger and Stronger Biceps in Just 30 Days

⇨ How to Get Bigger and Stronger Shoulders in Just 30 Days

⇨ How to Get a Bigger and Rounder Butt in Just 30 Days

⇨ How to Get a Bigger and Stronger Back in Just 30 Days

The Bottom Line on How to Get Back Into Weightlifting

Although you may feel significantly smaller and weaker after the lockdown, you probably didn’t lose much of any muscle or strength to speak of.

Research shows that even if you quit weightlifting completely, you still retain most of your strength and muscle mass several months later. What’s more, if you did home workouts during the quarantine, you probably didn’t lose any of your gains.

That said, even if you trained at home, your muscles are likely much more susceptible to damage and soreness caused by heavy weightlifting.

As a result, you want to gradually ease back into barbell training.

During your first few weeks back in the gym, your primary goal should be to train in a way that prepares your muscles for heavy weightlifting and polishes your technique.

To that end, here’s what you should do:

Use 50 to 80% of your one-rep max for your compound exercises.
Do 1 to 3 sets per compound exercise and 2 to 3 sets per isolation exercise.
Do 2 to 5 reps per set on your compound exercises.
Squat and bench press twice per week and deadlift and military press once per week.

Follow one of the programs in this article for just four weeks, and you should have no trouble transitioning back into your old workout routine (or a new, more challenging one!).

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you like to hang out online! 🙂

+ Scientific References

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Fradkin, A. J., Zazryn, T. R., & Smoliga, J. M. (2010). Effects of warming-up on physical performance: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(1), 140–148. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0
Gabriel, D. A., Kamen, G., & Frost, G. (2006). Neural adaptations to resistive exercise: Mechanisms and recommendations for training practices. In Sports Medicine (Vol. 36, Issue 2, pp. 133–149). Sports Med. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200636020-00004
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Huang, M. J., Nosaka, K., Wang, H. S., Tseng, K. W., Chen, H. L., Chou, T. Y., & Chen, T. C. (2019). Damage protective effects conferred by low-intensity eccentric contractions on arm, leg and trunk muscles. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119(5), 1055–1064. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04095-9
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D L Costill, W J Fink, M Hargreaves, D S King, R Thomas, R. F. (n.d.). Metabolic Characteristics of Skeletal Muscle During Detraining From Competitive Swimming – PubMed. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3160908/
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 S N Kreitzman 1, A Y Coxon, K. F. S. (n.d.). Glycogen Storage: Illusions of Easy Weight Loss, Excessive Weight Regain, and Distortions in Estimates of Body Composition – PubMed. Retrieved June 3, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1615908/
Bickel, C. S., Cross, J. M., & Bamman, M. M. (2011). Exercise dosing to retain resistance training adaptations in young and older adults. In Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Vol. 43, Issue 7, pp. 1177–1187). Med Sci Sports Exerc. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e318207c15d
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