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4 Ways To Overcome A Setback And Get Back To The Gym

A woman overcomes fear while standing triumphantly on top of a pole with her arms outstretched.
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You go on your week-long trip overseas and plan to do Instagram-worthy fitness posts on the beach and in the mountains while hiking. The goal is to take a vacation and come back even stronger. Yet, when you get back, you realize that this fitness dream did not go according to plan.

The vacation was a blast for the whole family, with lots of fun. However, the resort gym was maybe used twice, and you ended up eating out on the go with whatever food was available. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad either.

Life happens, and this is no big deal. Seven days in the scheme of things, isn’t make or break your long-term fitness goals. You will inevitably have setbacks. No matter how hard you try to stay healthy during the holiday season and throughout the winter months, you could eventually succumb to one or more health problems.

After a setback, it can be helpful to start your workout routine again. Here are some tips to get started.

Tip #1 – Ditch the Fatalistic Attitude

The health of your mind is essential to working out and is a key part of staying physically and mentally fit. The fatalistic attitude is all about defeat and giving up. So, you eat one cookie, might as well eat them all now? Or I woke up tired today; I might as well just skip the gym. Do this sound like you?

You might feel that everything is over just because of one minor setback. The first step is to understand that your inner negative voice needs to quiet down. 

Think of your favorite fitness influencer. Do you think they never have a bad day?

Everyone has setbacks, some are major, but most are minor. The key is to learn from them and move on. Focus on where you want to be, not where you are. You will be surprised at how quickly you get there.

Tip #2 – Go Slow the First Week Back

The first week back at the gym can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary. Settle in, let your body adjust to your new routine, and don’t expect too much too soon.

If you have been out of the gym for a while, your break might have been due to business or illness, you may only need to reduce your weight during the first two weeks. This is also the week to get back on track with your macros. It will be a bumpy ride, and you will feel sore, but let me assure you that it will be much better by the end of week two.

After week three, you should feel better and return to your regular routine. However, I don’t have high expectations; this first week may be a rough patch. Instead, try not to worry about what happened in the past and focus on getting through this week with a calm and comfortable mindset.

Tip #3 – Know When Not to Push Yourself

It is best to walk if you experience coughing fits when running on a treadmill. If you have migraines, it is best to stretch. If lifting something makes you feel like you are about to injure yourself, it may be wiser to pull back and start from scratch.

Innovative training can help you work around your injuries and not cause something worse to come from them. It is okay not to PR every workout. Work for long-term goals.

It is essential to avoid relapse and injury while leveling up your game, as these will slow down your progress. 

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Tip #4 – Know When to Push Yourself

You don’t want to take things too easy and stagnate. Progressing takes time and effort, so be patient and work harder as you get more comfortable.

If you feel you can handle a little more effort, go for it. If you survived your last sprint, permit yourself to do another one. You’ll get better results if you keep pushing yourself, even if it means taking some risks early on in the program.

Listen to your body, not those who don’t encourage you to push through and take action. They only try to placate you and keep you from making the necessary changes. It is more important to listen to what your body tells you than to listen to others. Call yourself out on your excuses when the time is right and get started.

Final Thoughts

You may have a few bad moments during the day, but one moment does not determine a full day or a week of training. Your inner voice might give you doubt and have you thinking negatively. Just take a few minutes and wait until you feel a bit better. After the setback, use what you learned to move forward and become the person you want to be.

Editor’s note: The content on Base Strength is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns. Please also see our disclaimers.

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