T Nation

How Long to Come Back After Extended Break


#1

I took about 3 months off lifting and my maxes seem to be 70ish lbs each below where they were. They were 455, 305, and 545. I wasn't sitting on my ass doing nothing. I was doing landscaping. I didn't lose much muscle, but did lose between 5-10lb and am a lot leaner in my waist.

Mostly, the weights just feel shaky and slow so I'm thinking it's mostly just a matter of honing in on my form and learning to be explosive again.

I get there's no universal answer, I was just wondering if people had any at least somewhat similar experiences they could share.


#2

I’d say 3 months again to be conservative (equal time training vs. off). If you go with higher frequency and push it a bit harder, more like 4-6 weeks; either way, not too long compared with the time taken to get there initially. Be sure to hit plenty of 85-95%+ weights and practice singles if you want to maximize your progress / comeback.
I had 5 months off most proper lower body training with my back; my best squat beforehand was 215kg, and after two weeks squatting I was hitting 170kg+ for triples. Two months and I was pretty much back to normal.


#3

That’s kind of what I thought and it’s good to hear and a relief. It’s kind of an ego hit when the numbers are so drastically down haha.


#4

Thanks to muscle memory if you were prepared to eat like a total pig for 2-3 weeks and push most of your workouts very hard then you could get it pretty much all back within a month, maybe even less. Main con is you will lose the new slim waist/gain fat/feel bloated as hell.

Realistically pick one workout per week to go really balls out and then have a huge refeed afterwards like double or triple portion of carbs, maybe a little bit of junk even, like small icecream etc also


#5

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I took about 3 months off lifting and my maxes seem to be 70ish lbs each below where they were. They were 455, 305, and 545. I wasn’t sitting on my ass doing nothing. I was doing landscaping. I didn’t lose much muscle, but did lose between 5-10lb and am a lot leaner in my waist.

Mostly, the weights just feel shaky and slow so I’m thinking it’s mostly just a matter of honing in on my form and learning to be explosive again.

I get there’s no universal answer, I was just wondering if people had any at least somewhat similar experiences they could share. [/quote]

I took 8 weeks off this summer. It doesn’t take long. Just be patient and work up. You might find more strength in the next 12 weeks that you didn’t have before you took the break.

Like the guy above said: higher intensity or higher frequency will get you back sooner, but stick w/ what worked before. Take your time.


#6

You only have control over your commitment to training and recovery, not how quickly you return to where you where.

If we tell you it will take a year, will you just forget about lifting?
If we tell you it will take you two weeks but it takes you 12, will than be a kick in the guts?
If we tell you 12 weeks but you make it in 4, will that stroke your ego?

So, I think the best answer to your question is, you can return stronger than you were if you want to.

Sorry for the asshole response :smiley:


#7

[quote]tsantos wrote:
You only have control over your commitment to training and recovery, not how quickly you return to where you where.

If we tell you it will take a year, will you just forget about lifting?
If we tell you it will take you two weeks but it takes you 12, will than be a kick in the guts?
If we tell you 12 weeks but you make it in 4, will that stroke your ego?

So, I think the best answer to your question is, you can return stronger than you were if you want to.

Sorry for the asshole response :D[/quote]

Haha, that’s fair.