T Nation

Coming Back After a Break?


Hey everyone,
I have some questions about coming back after a long (2.5 Month) break. How much strength is normal to lose in that time frame? and how quick can I expect to get it back. I tried to take 10% off my training max, but could barely get the prescribed reps (actually couldn't on the squat). Should I try to grind through this cycle and hope it all comes back to me, or deload even more?

For example:
Press: 115X5, 135x3, 145x3
Press: 95x5, 105x5, 115x5 (struggled)

Squat: 225x5, 245x5, 275x7
Squat: 175x5, 200x5, 235x4 (failed the 5th rep)


Why did you take a break? Was it an injury or illness?

There is no way to tell how much you will lose or how long it will take to come back. My guess is that it could be a 1:1 ratio regarding the time it will take to come back.

If I were you, I would use the weights above and Jim’s formula to calculate a new training max. So use 235x4 on the squat and 115x5 on the press to calculate a max, use 90% of that for your new training max and start your cycle over.

Will you surpass the required number of reps with ease? Possibly, but look at it as a cycle to go for some volume and size with the extra reps on the PR set.


Not an injury or illness, I had just came back from Korea, and used the time to get reacquainted with my family. That sounds like a good plan, I really didnt even think about starting over with those numbers!


I did a similar thing recently, coming off a 4 month break when I started back to the gym in April. What I did was take a few weeks to do whole body workouts a few times a week just to get used to being under weights, tested for a conservative 1RM on the main lifts, and started over from scratch.

My tested maxxes turned out being very conservative, but I’m on the second week of cycle 6 since coming back and clearly stronger than I was before the break. Starting light is never a bad thing, and I do joker sets on 3’s week to feed my ego and get a good idea of where my maximal strength is sitting.