The Cure To A Long Break From Fitness

Kidd Campbell Vegvisir CrossFit Coach

I and almost positive that each and every single one of us has been in this situation:

You take a break from the gym. Whether you go on a long vacation, have a tough month at work, or just got wrapped up in something. You check your phone and it’s a text from your coach going “where have ya been?”

Now, before ya start to think, “here comes a gym owner about to preach to me about routines,” I have been there as well. I’ve been in a relationship where I didn’t wanna go to the gym anymore. I would work out for 3 days and then just disappear again for months. My friends at the gym would text me and I would say I would go, but was always worried about how sore I would be and just didn’t wanna go through the hurt to get to my end goal (which at the time, was I wanted to have abs).  

It’s a tale as old as Isaac Newton. An object at rest, stays at rest. When we lose our inertia in the gym, we actually kinda follow the laws of physics. If we get used to staying resting all day, it becomes harder to get the momentum that go us going in the first place, again. But, once we get back into motion, our work sees and equal reaction! We start to feel better, our minds are less foggy, and we have got more energy to accomplish everything else we want to in life.

Even with that thought though, it was still hard for me to break the friction of being at rest. So, what is a good way to get through this funk?

1) What is your why?

Now, when you started your fitness journey you had a why. For most people this why is “I wanna feel healthier” or “I wanna get toned” but, if we think of just this, it isn’t usually reason enough for most people to head to the gym after a long day at work. There are reasons that we wanna be healthier beyond just the feeling itself. What will these goals bring?

A great reason for getting off the couch takes looking deeper inside and asking why you wanna feel healthier? All of us have this deeper reason. It could be wanting to be there to do more than just see your grandkids, it’s to get down on the floor and play with them! Wanting to be able to do the movements you never could as a kid, to prove it to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to (that was mine!). What ever it is, you have to dig deep and find that emotion that makes you want to run outside and start reeling in that goal.

If you found that deep seeded why before, then you have just gotta find it again and remind yourself why you started you journey in the first place!

2) Small Steps

I want you to now view your goal as a finish line that is on flat ground about 10 miles away. In order to get there you have to push a giant concrete filled barrel. You look at the barrel and you push it a bit and feel it move but it’s going to take a lot of effort to get it going. Now, you’ve decided that you want to push that barrel again. Now, if you attack that barrel by taking a big run at it and giving it your all, you will get that barrel moved a little bit. But, you’ll look up after an hour of work to only look back and seeing that the start line is still within arms grasp. You’ll look at all the results you got vs. the goal you expected to hit with the energy you put in and become discouraged. I would too! 

This is what happens to a lot of people who try and rekindle/start their fitness journeys. They hit it hard, burn out, and lose their inertia. Not realizing length of the journey they are on.

Now what if instead of looking at the 10 mile trek and pushing as hard as you can to start off, you instead set your shoulder against that barrel and start churning your feet with small steps. You continue to push noticing how hard it is in the beginning. As you continue to push, you realize that the barrel is getting lighter as it gains momentum from the force you put in. You look ahead and see you’re at the mile marker, you push ahead to that goal and realize that you are getting pretty good at moving this barrel! You hit that mile and celebrate that amazing feat! Most people stopped pushing the barrel 3/4ths of a mile ago and here you are! 

This is the route that sees the most success when we want get our routines started! We can start out by just walking 30 minutes a day for 4-5 days a week. If you do that for a month and look back at where you started, you too will celebrate like imaginary you pushing the barrel!

3) Make That Next Goal!

Let’s get back to our amazing feat of strength, pushing a concrete barrel 10 miles.

Here we are at the 1 mile mark and we have momentum stored in our barrel. We have new found energy after celebrating our win and we keep our feet churning. We set our sights on the 2 mile marker and keep pushing. The process is the same as before, we keep our heads down and churn our feet, but we are taking slightly bigger steps as we have grown stronger over the course of our journey and momentum is helping us keep pushing! Before we know it, we look up and we are there at the 2nd mile marker. We celebrate and get ready to repeat the journey all over again. 

With your goals, it is the same. You’ve set a large goal (something like I want to lose 40 lbs for my daughters wedding) and you started with a small goal of walking 30 minutes a day for 4-5 days a week for two weeks. You look at the scale and you lost 3 pounds! That’s awesome! You are now invigorated and feel ready to push the barrel farther, so you talk with your Vegvisir coach and you decided to come into the gym 3 times a week along side your walking routine. You aren’t there with the idea of being the fittest person on earth, but putting in the same effort you did to get you to Mile 1, just with more momentum so you can take on a little bit more volume. You follow this routine and look down at the scale again a month later and you’ve now lost a total of 7 pounds and now you’re gaining muscle so your wedding day attire feels even better!

4) Repeat 

By the time you hit that second milestone, you are no longer thinking of your fitness like seeing your dentist (who doesn’t dread going to the dentist?), you view it like any other aspect of self care in your life. It becomes a part of your routine and it feels weird not to have it. You are in motion and you will have the tendency to stay in motion, GREAT SCOTT MARTY! YOU DID IT! You are now on the other side of that tough starting point and are now on a collision course with your end goal because you are in a routine. Along with this, you have a mindset of celebrating smaller victories! These victories are the energy boosts you need to keep cruising on your path to victory. And once you are there, you can find a new goal and your coach and momentum will help ya get there too!

Whether you are starting your journey or are on your 4th major goal, keeping the mindset that you just gotta keep moving with small steps and celebrating milestones is an amazing toolset to have. It will take you farther than you ever thought possible and with the help of friends on the same journey, it’s even easier to keep reeling in the miles!

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