T Nation

Comeback Routine After 6 Month Lay-Off?


Hey CT,

For numerous life-reasons, I’ve been out of the gym for 6 months and have lost around 17 lbs of body weight, much of which was muscle. I work a part-time job that involves a lot of walking, as well as a good deal of moving heavy, often awkward, items, so I’m not entirely out of shape.

My previous routine was four days a week. Each session started with either bench, squat, deadlift, or overhead pressing following your 5/4/3/2/1 rep scheme/Built for Bad percentages, followed by bodybuilding-type accessory work to target weak points. Two days per week also included some type of strongman event or the Prowler for conditioning.

I haven’t ever been away from the gym this long in the 7 years I’ve been training, and have absolutely zero idea as to what routine I should begin doing right now, or what my short-term goals should be. What little information I’ve been able to find online has been conflicting, and I’d like to ask for your recommendation and your reasoning behind it. The most helpful thing from all of your articles over the years, for me at least, has been your explanations of the concepts regarding what is going on and why that’s important on any given topic, which is why I’ve come to you with this.

Clarification Edit: My overall priority is strength, and I’m 23 years old with no physical hindrances, if that’s useful info.