training after missed workouts.

Training After Missing Workouts

Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi talks about how traveling to The Arnold changed his training schedule and what people should do to get back into barbell training if they have to miss a few workouts. This is a clip from The Okay Podcast episode 011.

Training After a Layoff: Getting Back Into the Groove

When life gets in the way—be it travel, work, or illness—it's common to take a break from your regular training routine. It's also common to overthink your return, making unnecessary adjustments or dropping weights too drastically. Here's how to navigate your comeback without overcomplicating the process.

The Temptation to Over-adjust

After a break, the instinct is often to significantly reduce the weights you lift, under the assumption that you've lost a lot of progress. This is rarely necessary. For example, if you're used to training consistently and take a week off for a work event or vacation, you don't need to drastically reduce your weights upon your return.

The Right Approach to Returning

The key is not to overthink it. Whether you're a novice or intermediate lifter, the approach can be similar:- *

For the Novice: If you were squatting 225 lbs before a week-long break, don't jump straight to 230 lbs upon your return, but also don't drop back to 175 lbs. Aim for a weight close to where you left off, but for less volume—consider doing just one set of five at the weight you last lifted successfully.

For the Intermediate: The principle is the same. If you're coming back from a break, reduce the volume but try to stay close to your last successful lift weight. This helps maintain progress without overwhelming your body.

Special Considerations for Sickness

Recovering from an illness like the flu involves additional considerations, as your body has undergone stress unrelated to lifting. In such cases, it's wise to slightly reduce the weight from where you left off but maintain a focus on lower volume to ease back into training.

Managing Soreness and Volume

Upon returning, it's crucial to manage soreness by adjusting volume. Soreness often results from the eccentric phase of lifting, which your body might not be accustomed to after a break. By reducing volume—such as cutting down from five sets of five to three sets of five—you can mitigate excessive soreness while still engaging in productive training.

The Difference in Pressing and Deadlifting After a Break

For exercises like the press and bench press, a simple reduction of 5 lbs from your last successful lifts can be enough to get back on track without significant setbacks. The deadlift, interestingly, often retains its strength well after a layoff, with some lifters even seeing improvements.

The Bottom Line: Just Get Back to It

The most important thing after a layoff is to simply get back to the gym. Avoid overanalyzing or getting too hung up on the numbers. Your strength hasn't vanished in a week or even a month. Ease back into your routine, listen to your body, and adjust as necessary without making drastic changes. Remember, the goal is progress, not perfection from day one.Training after a layoff doesn't have to be complicated. By approaching your return with a focus on manageable adjustments and listening to your body, you can quickly get back into your training groove and continue making gains. The key is to miss as little as possible. 

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