So you had to have a break from your fitness journey, how do you get back in shape as fast and as efficiently as possible?

The first thing to know here is that your fitness journey never ends. It might take a few breaks along the way and that is normal. Always keep in the back of your head why you are doing this, it is for a better, stronger and healthier you.

If you once were in shape, an athlete or even trying to get there but had to stop for some reason, I am here to help you do or get back up there again. If you were on that path once, you can get back up on that path again.

Lets see how!

Start with the basics and start small:

I know that when you are thinking of getting back in shape, you probably had in mind a movie training montage, like Rocky IV training in Russia lifting logs of trees, but no.

We want to start with the things that we can control the easiest first. Your first step and the one that will have the most impact starting out will be to get back on track with Dieting!

  1. Find your maintenance calories
  2. Determine your goals and
  3. Plan your meals

Remember, we are here for the long run so we are after small changes at a time. Make it easy for you to stick to the changes you are about to make. Take control of your diet first, spend some time determining how much of what you need. Find the day of the week when you will be meal prepping.

What works for me is to input all the meals that I am planning on having on My Fitness Pal. Once I have everything in, I adjust according to my goals, macros and calorie intake.

Once you do that and have figured your plan of attack, stick to it and then move on to the next part.

For some tips on doing just that, have a look at Counting calories and How to diet.


Get back in shape with your training:

Probably the part you were after the most, training! It is essential when it comes into getting in shape anyway.

If you have been putting in some hard work, chances are that you once reached a level of fitness and performance that you are looking to regain. The good news is that you can totally do that. In fact, not only you can get back to where you were, but you can go even further!

The bad news is that you will not be starting at the level that you left off if you had to take some time off. It should make sense that absence from training will affect your performance, but that is nothing to be afraid of.

Lets see some of the things you could be doing, to get back in shape as efficiently as possible.


When it comes to lifting we are most likely referring to training at the gym.

For resistance training, there is a better way to train when you are starting off as a beginner, or just starting back again after taking a break. The best way to get your muscles back in training shape is with training frequency.

Frequency is referring to the number of times you train each muscle group in a week. 2-3 times for every muscle group in a week is going to be ideal for hypertrophy as well as strength.

The workout split I would recommend for getting back in training shape, is no other than the Full Body Training Split.

Unless you are already familiar with this regime, I would recommend that you check out the Beginner Edition here.

The full-body regime is going to be ideal for adjusting the frequency of your training to your needs. The amount of times that you train each week, is also the number of times that each muscle group has been targeted.

Getting back to lifting after a break should be done with caution. Adjust to what your body can handle right now, not what it was once capable of doing. When it comes to weight, always choose the one that allows you to perform each exercise with perfect form.

Training three days a week, combined with two days of cardiovascular exercise, will get you back in shape in no time.


For my fighting enthusiast out there, I got you.

It has been so many times by now that I had to take a break from training. I may not be a professional fighter, but martial arts have a special place in my heart.

The lock-down due to the Corona virus has been the most time I have ever spent not-training martial arts. It was not fun.

What was also not fun was going back to training ready to give it my everything, and gasping for air 15 minutes in!

Well, it happens. Other than the physical things that can be done to get back in shape for fighting, being mentally prepared is the first step.

Going back to training after a long break is never easy. Running out of breath and the capacity to push through is going to be normal. The first step requires that you understand that it will take some time to regain your stamina and endurance.

The second step will be to do some work on your own. If you want to go back to the gym a little more prepared, I recommend that you widen your options a bit.

  • Go for a run
  • Shadowbox
  • Home Workouts
  • Strength training

These are the four top choices that you can start doing them right away. Martial arts will be benefitted from all of these anyway, but for now, there is an extra need for taking some time to work on yourself first. Especially strength training can give you the advantage you need over a fight.

Get back in shape at home:

Yes, that can be done!

This is more a matter of creativity rather than equipment. Have a look here for Jeff’s super educational video on home workout equipment.

Getting in shape should not be something that is limited by your access to a gym. There are just so many things you can do at home with the things you already have. Here are some of your best options:

With the addition of a few everyday things, you can take your workouts to a whole new level. But for now, any of the above options combined with some cardio will be great.

Do not forget!

Your body takes time to adjust, right now it is far more important to ease your way back into fitness.

It is vital that you:

Warm-Up: Before each and every workout! Warming up is going to prepare and protect you from unnecessary injuries. It will also enable your movement and flexibility, making it possible to utilize your body more efficiently.

Stretch: After each and every workout! Stretching will also play its part in protecting you from tense and tight muscles. Strengthening them is not enough, taking the time to make sure that your recovery is also on track is important.


Get back in shape NOW!

As with anything, there is no better time to start than now!

Keep in mind, that it is not a huge change that will bring you to the result that you are after. It is the consistency and the ability to create long-lasting good habits. Take it easy and slow, small steps that keep on coming.

This is not a race, you are doing it for you. Start with your diet, educate yourself on dieting and your body’s needs. You are soon going to discover that knowing a thing or two about dieting, will enable you to never have to make a radical change ever again.

Go for a run, listen to some great music, stretch afterwards and call it a day. Keep it up, read the posts on Self Developer and your progress is guaranteed!


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