T Nation

How Do You Start After a Layoff


#1

If you take some time off, how do you restart? Balls to the wall with whatever your favorite program is, whole body for a while? directly to body part splits wither 1/2 and 1/2 or one a day....


#2

Sort of depends on how long was the layoff, and what were you doing before. I wouldn’t recommend starting balls to the wall though.


#3

I’m always hesitant in terms of pushing strength wise. Sometimes a layoff will allow you to fully recuperate and come back with surprising strength levels. Other times, you may see more de-training occur and have a serious reality check when you go for the weights you used to move.

Volume is something I always try to keep a lid on that first week back. The crippling, almost debilitating soreness I first experienced after trying an Arnold-esque work out over 20 years ago isn’t something I wish to revisit -lol. I’m also more aware of my age now too.

As far as full body or split work, I’ve never really been a full body trainer. I may combine two different workouts together due to the lesser amount of volume being done for each that first week back, but I honestly enjoy training too much, and have benefited so much from traditional bodybuilding splits that I don’t think I could mentally accept any similar gains from the amount of work done per bodypart in a full body approach. Just my thinking.

S


#4

I just did it recently. Don’t go hard. Do 2 sets of 10 light for each muscle and do total body. Once you feel you can recover better turn up the volume and weight and split your workouts for a 2-3 day split. Should take 2-3 weeks in total body prep mode.


#5

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I’m always hesitant in terms of pushing strength wise. Sometimes a layoff will allow you to fully recuperate and come back with surprising strength levels. Other times, you may see more de-training occur and have a serious reality check when you go for the weights you used to move.

Volume is something I always try to keep a lid on that first week back. The crippling, almost debilitating soreness I first experienced after trying an Arnold-esque work out over 20 years ago isn’t something I wish to revisit -lol. I’m also more aware of my age now too.

As far as full body or split work, I’ve never really been a full body trainer. I may combine two different workouts together due to the lesser amount of volume being done for each that first week back, but I honestly enjoy training too much, and have benefited so much from traditional bodybuilding splits that I don’t think I could mentally accept any similar gains from the amount of work done per bodypart in a full body approach. Just my thinking.

S[/quote]

I am slowly learning something about myself. In my early 20’s I trained exclusively 5 day BB split and made great gains in my upper body but was never happy with my lower body. After a five year layoff I returned to training and started out with the idea to rebuild my strength base with SS. Squatting 3 times a week with a little left in the tank has caused my thighs to grow far beyond where they were when I obliterated them once a week. I don’t have the definition (striations and some vascularity) but the muscular size is much greater.

I have been bitten by the powerlifting but so that is what I am working towards now but if I were to go back to BB training I am unsure how I would use this newfound knowledge to design a program.


#6

so 10x10 is out…
Basics for now. My layoff has been about 3 months, although I have snuck in a few workouts here and there.
I’m going low calorie for a while too. Look, I’m old and I recently dropped about 25 lbs…(from my arms, shoulders, chest and back to my belly.)

Oh well. I guess I am a beginner again for a while.


#7

Perfect timing!

I’m just finishing up a 13-week post graduation travel trip (literally waiting in the airport right now) and am desperate to hit the weights again. I’ve NEVER taken time like this off before (5 years lifting with the max of a two week layoff), so I’m very interested in how others got back at it after such a long period of time


#8

I am doing what I thought is best. An induction week. First day was whole body and I went silly light. Some lifts felt fine, some were just bad. That’s OK. I went 1 set of 10 for a variety of lifts, sets of 10-12 trying to keep a set going for around 40 seconds.
I went back the day after and repeated with minor weight increases. 3 day just warm up stretching a few recumbent bike sprints of 20 seconds with 40 recovery, same on the upper body bike. The only lift I did was a set of light rear delt raises and one set of lying face pulls, holding the weight at the bottom for about a second. Today is day 4. total body again, changing some of the machine work for free weights. It’ll be fine. I’ll get the fire back. Need to work on shoulder range of motion and do about 3 pulling to 2 pushing or higher.