T Nation

Coming Back After Time Off

I normally am very serious and consistent with working out but things got hectic during the last month of school before break and then break was a month where I was away from the free gym. Basically, I haven’t worked out in two months. Breaks remotely this long are so unusual for me I am completely unprepared for what’s to come when I step back in the gym tomorrow.

Can anyone tell me what happens to your body when you quit working out? Do you lose strength first for a couple weeks and then size too or what? How long does it take to get back to where you left off 2 months earlier?

I was thinking that I should start off pursuing primarily structural gains through 8-10 rep sets on compound exercises in order to get some mass back to work with later when pursuing neural gains. Does anyone have additional suggestions?

I really wish someone would write an article about what processes your body goes through when you quit for a while and then start up again. Does anyone know of any programs I could find that are designed for coming back after time off?

I think this question deserves a bump. I’m curious about it as well.

I’m actually in a similar situation myself, 2ms, having been out of the game for 6 months due to various medical problems. Here’s how I’m approaching my return, as well as a question for any of you gurus out there. I planned on doing ABBH I followed by ABBH II, which would amount to twelve weeks of training. Afterwards, I wanted to graduate to a few rounds of TBT, then finally some QD. It’s about time I gave some of Chad Waterbury’s programs a whirl. I’ve spent the last few weeks doing some low-volume multi-joint exercises just to get my body back into the groove, and to get the initial soreness out of the way (i.e. Squats and Pull-Ups on one day, Deadlifts and Military Press on another, Bench Press and Barbell Rows another).

My question is this: I have three cycles of MAG-10 to use, which amount to 12 weeks of 2-on, 2-off usage. Would it make more sense to do the 12 weeks of ABBH I & II WITHOUT the MAG-10 since there’s a good chance that I’ll see some rapid “regaining” of lost muscle first, and I might as well not waste the MAG-10 in this situation, thereby saving it for the TBT and QD workouts which are arguably more demanding (due to the three and four full body workouts per “week” respectively)? Or does it make the most sense to use the MAG-10 right out of the gate to really accelerate those initial gains (which has the psychological benefit of big, rapid gains). Motivation has been a major issue for me of late.

I don’t mean to hijack this thread by any means. Please respond to either question if you have any input.

I took about 3-4 months off of working out once, and it seemed like the majority of my strength came back in a few weeks, 3-5, and the initial soreness wore off after a month or so.

From what I have read the first 4-6 weeks of training you will see little in the way of structural gains, most of the gains will be in a more efficient CNS. However these studies are more often then not based on complete newbies, and one could think that a person with a significant history of consistant training would rebound quicker.

So this subject seems murky, and I’ve been doing all the research on as I’m in a similar position. My plan is to spend at least a few weeks working the basic lifts with moderate intensity/volume and work on general fitness. This way I hope to insure I gt back what I had quickly and I’m not wasting time trying to gain back muscle and overeating in the beganing.

I have been in the vary same situation of dealing with long breaks, either breaks during college or breaks during moving time. I have battled these situations by starting light to get my body back into the routine, then start to pick up the volume. I have in the past relied on nutrition and protein supplment to get back to my former glory. But, I usually have no problems putting on mass naturally. I’m just getting back from a break and will naturally get back to were I was before the last break, then I will use a couple of cycles of M1T and 4-AD-EC to blast through to a new all time best. So to answer some questions, I would not start MAG-10 untill you were back to about where you left off or your personal best, you pick. I think it would be a waste to start MAG-10 early, just my opinion. Answering the first question, I’m not sure what goes first during an extended break, but if its only a month or so I wouldn’t imagine it would be to hard to get back judging from my personal experiences.

[quote]NatX wrote:
I have been in the vary same situation of dealing with long breaks, either breaks during college or breaks during moving time. I have battled these situations by starting light to get my body back into the routine, then start to pick up the volume. I have in the past relied on nutrition and protein supplment to get back to my former glory. But, I usually have no problems putting on mass naturally. I’m just getting back from a break and will naturally get back to were I was before the last break, then I will use a couple of cycles of M1T and 4-AD-EC to blast through to a new all time best. So to answer some questions, I would not start MAG-10 untill you were back to about where you left off or your personal best, you pick. I think it would be a waste to start MAG-10 early, just my opinion. Answering the first question, I’m not sure what goes first during an extended break, but if its only a month or so I wouldn’t imagine it would be to hard to get back judging from my personal experiences.[/quote]

he’s right, it will take you 2 weeks to get back into what you know as your lifting groove. keep the volume and intensity low, and try to build with each workout. It may be better to switch to a Waterburty TB workout, and that way you can pick up the intensity of all your muscle parts in a proportional manner. After about two weeks, you can go back to whatever program you wanted or keep waterbury’s program, thats up to you. Contrasting showers and kyrotherapy always help me battle DOMS after extended breaks, and make sure you get plenty of sleep so that you aid your recovery as best you can.