How to Get Back in the Gym – Reignite the Fire

It’s January , the first month of the year and gyms are at maximum capacity once again. You along with many others may be wondering how to get back in the gym after time-off. For whatever reason, it stopped becoming a regular part of your daily routine. Our mission is to reclaim it again.

The truth is most of the new recruits in January will be gone by March. Their 12 month membership plan will continue but they will not. These are the folks that pay the bills for the facilities. They also help reduce the fees for the rest of us.

While this is nice, I would much rather those 3-month warriors didn’t quit. It would be much more gratifying to have them stay on. It is only when you see how powerful training can be at changing lives that you truly appreciate this.

A “cheat day” may have turned into a “cheat week” which spiralled into a “cheat month” and into a “cheat year”.

Do you want a repeat this year?

Do you want to look back and be nowhere closer to your fitness goals than you were today?

If you do then this post isn’t for you. 

This post is for those who actually want to follow through with their words. Talking the talk is one thing but walking the walk is a different beast altogether. 

This year can be different. It can be the year you finally take control of your health and bring vitality into your life.

How can you avoid being one of these 3-month warriors again this year?

Friedrich Nietzsche​ stated “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” 

You need your why.

​To obtain it, the benefits of training need to be known.

how to get back in the gym

The Why of Training

There are an infinite number of benefits to lifting weights physiologically. There are others you may not have considered however.

Getting in shape can be an incredible catalyst for change. Our physicality is something ingrained deep in all of us.

The transformation that occurs can create waves that reach out to other facets of our life. Your Health is your wealth. Once it is reclaimed, everything else will become much more achievable.

Training can bring down bad habits that have followed you around for decades. When one aspect of your health becomes in order the rest can follow suit.

If you are lifting weights but not sleeping well, much of the benefits are being lost. Therefore it would be in your best interest to improve the quality of your sleep. This may mean you finally stop staying up until 2am every night watching Netflix.

Diet is also a huge part of building muscle. If your post-workout meal consists of cheetos and a can of soda there isn’t much hope for you. To reap the rewards of your hard work, changing to a high protein diet would be the best way.

It may be the case you’ve smoked like a train for the last 10 years. No matter how hard you try it seems like you can’t quit.

The truth is smoking will impact your training performance massively. Your ability to recover between sets will be impeded. During sets you will be weaker and fatigue much faster also. 

This will result in less weight lifted and ultimately less gains overtime. Could your training be the spark which leads you to never spark again? Quite possibly.

​Is it becoming clear how positive lifestyle changes can follow when one leads?

Whatever it is you do in life, physical training will enhance it. Whether that means being fit enough to play with your kids or being strong enough to defend yourself.

Growing old and the threat of violence are both realities that will come your way eventually. When the time comes you need to be ready for whatever is thrown at you. 

Your ability to handle stress will be greater. It will be harder to break you down. It will take longer for you to crack under pressure. We all have limits imposed on us. If yours are ever met, it will be easier for you to bounce back. The first bouncing egg, amazing.

Hold up weight like Atlas

The How of Training

​If you have struggled to even keep any sort of exercise schedule then your expectations should be realistic.

You are not going to turn into the “I go to the gym 5x a week” person overnight. Trying to do so will more than likely end in failure. This will leave you frustrated and asking “what’s the point?”.

More sensible expectations are preferred. Simply going to the gym consistently should be the goal in the beginning. The mere aspect of “turning up” will put you in good stead.

By building a habit early on, it will leave you set up for bigger things to come.

Keep Your Workouts Short and Snappy

 There is no point leaving completely exhausted every time. This could potentially create feelings of disdain. The goal is not to make you hate training but actually enjoy it.

Over time the length can be increased once you have adapted. If you are ready for a proven program once you know how to get back in the gym, I have found one.

Make it enjoyable

Your workouts should be made as enjoyable as possible within reason. Bring your favorite music along and create an energetic atmosphere.

Just remember to avoid social media/texting. Wasting time on your phone will result in feeling like you have accomplished nothing, not good.

Slow It Down

Take things slow if you are coming back after a long time. If it is your first time going to the gym, the same applies.

The last thing we want is an injury. This will completely ruin any sense of routine or progress. Once you have nailed down proper form, the weight can be increased. 

Prioritize the Best Exercises

For the sake of efficiency, the exercises that provide the most value should be prioritized. This will help keep exercise selection low while optimizing the benefit gained.

For example, the squat can be performed instead of three separate leg isolation movements. As well as squats – deadlifts, overhead press, chin ups, rows and bench press should all be included.

“Set SMALL goals short-term and BIG goals long-term

 Why? Most people overestimate what can be done in a day and underestimate what can be done in a year.” That was actually a tweet of mine this week, you should take a look. 

Whatever goal – losing 50lbs or deadlifting 500 lbs, requires patience. Fat will not fall off overnight and strength requires innumerable reps to build.

It may seem like nothing is happening day to day but trust must be given over to the process. After a year is past, the results will be clear providing you have moved forward every day.

Never give up

 There are inevitably going to be some hiccups along the way. Don’t let one bad day ruin your whole year.

Get up, dust yourself off and move on. That is the most important thing. You will always regret it if you choose to give up. 

Remember the fire in your belly the day you said you would start going to the gym. 

Maybe you glanced in the mirror and weren’t happy with the person staring back.

 Maybe your son was playing on the monkey bars like a champ while you couldn’t hold your own body weight.

Whatever ever it is, channel it and remember how it felt. Also check out the section on discipline.

Thanks for reading,

Stay tuned.

P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think.

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2018-01-14T09:03:30-07:00 By |Fitness|4 Comments


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  3. oscar19855 January 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Peter,

    what a great insight into how to get back on track if you have not been very active for a while. It is interesting that most New Years resolutions are forgotten by 15 days, and that weight loss and fitness are the top three on the list. I am also one of those who does not go to the gym. I dislike it strongly. I had to drag myself to the gym every time I went, back a few years when I went 3 times per week for well over a year, and believe me, I have not missed it yet.

    Yet, there are some good points that you outline in what one should do in order to stay on track. I believe I did not find the correct fitness program, also I took it to hard. I worked very very hard every time I went, and after that I would eat unhealthy to “compensate” my hard work. You gave me some tips on how to do it to go back to that program.


    • Peter January 20, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Hi Oscar thanks for commenting. You made some great points here. Something that stood out to me was how much you disliked going to the gym. My guess is you haven’t found your “why”. Powerful motivators to go to the gym can be found in our offspring. Going to the gym will put you in the best possible position to watch them grow up and play a part in their life.

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