Getting back in the gym can be hard.

Last week was my first week back in the gym in quite a while. Instead of going into details about each workout, believe me they were nothing to talk about, I thought it would be a good time to chat about motivation and how sometimes it’s hard to get back in the gym after being away for a while.

As a powerlifter, not an ordinary gym goer, you and I both know that it’s more than just going to the gym and getting in a workout, that it’s more than just going to the gym for social hour, it is part of who we are.  We long to get in the gym, look forward to it as we go about our daily routines. Though it’s hard and strenuous, lifting weights in some ways is relaxing, a relief from our everyday lives.

What happens when you just can’t get to the gym? Maybe because of an injury, maybe on purpose because you need a break, or maybe because life just gets in the way. Sometimes work and family come first so you miss a day or two at the gym. Then those days become a week. Those weeks become a month. The next thing you know is that you have been out of the gym so long you start to feel not like yourself.

You get to a point where you have to make the time. So you do and you go, and it hurts. You feel weak that you are only lifting a fraction of the weights that you were before. You feel embarrassed. This makes it hard to go back a second time. You look for excuses to not go. “I can go tomorrow,” you tell yourself and you skip the gym. You skip again the next time, and the next and again, you find that another week goes by and you feel weaker and more not yourself. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to get off.

Does any of this sound familiar? I don’t know of any other lifter that has not gone through this. It may seem at the time that it’s impossible to break the cycle but really it isn’t. All you have to do is one simple thing.


You don’t have to go every day. Start out just a few days a week. Just a few days will help you get your motivation back. Remember why you started lifting in the fist place. Treat it like a new beginning. Set yourself some mini goals and use those first days/weeks back to reach them.

Another important thing to remember is that you will be weak. Expect it, so make your workouts and your mini goals easy. Don’t go overboard trying to get back to where you left off, you will end up hurting yourself and most likely be disappointed in your performance enough to keep you from going back.

Continue this until you can get back to your old routine. If you find something keeping you from the gym at this point, don’t feel guilty for missing but try your best to make up for the missed workout. Double up your routine that next workout. The more you lift the more you will want to lift. The whole key to getting out of the “lifter’s slump” is to lift.

You will see that in no time the poundage will go up and you will be back to your old self again. You will feel better, physically and mentally, and be more able to handle whatever life throws at you in and out of the gym.