Flower – NUS 2012
It has been a rough couple of days. Sustained a running injury, fell down the stairs and had a fever over the weekend. Suffice to say exercise was left off the agenda for a bit. So roll on Monday morning and I decided to test the waters with an easy workout. The target was: 100 burpees, 100 KB swings, 2000 rope turns and 100 unanchored situps. Something I could usually do in 40mins.
After the first 10 burpees, I was smoked. My heart was pounding against my ribs while I copped a squat gasping for air. I knew I needed to re-strategise. Broke up the reps into smaller sets and grinded my way to the finish. Took me way more than 40 minutes.
This served as a reminder that no matter how short the layoff, always expect a drop in performance. For the first workout back, my advice would be to go in with no expectations. Schedule an easy day (eg. Dan John’s tonic workouts, bodyweight movements, lower-weights or reps), and go into the gym just wanting to have fun, to enjoy the feeling of exercise and work up a nice sweat. Take breaks if you need to, stop if you’re feeling horrible. As Josh Hillis puts it:
The number of times I’ve told my clients it’s ok to do 3/4 of the workout, 1/2 the workout, or even 1/4 of the workout, is the reason they get such amazing results –
They get workouts in really consistently. Way more consistently than if every single workout had to either be 4/4 or 0/4.
All the work adds up. The full workouts, the 1/2 workouts, even the 1/4 workouts add up.
And the partial workouts when they are busy add up to more total work than what most people get in being “on their program” or “off their program”.
We massively outwork the people who are really strict about how it has to be.
You might be thinking of going on an extreme exercise plan to quickly regain your lost fitness. But this will just lead to more injuries and further downtime. Take your time to rebuild your base and fully recover from your injury. Relearn the proper form, strengthen the necessary musculature and take all the necessary actions to prevent that injury from re-occurring. Remember that you are in this for the long haul. There is no need to leave the gym a wobbly mess every single time. Train smart and stay healthy.