I returned from my 2.5 week vacation two Saturday's ago. I lifted for the first time in 3 weeks on that Sunday. I took it nice and easy and aimed for an RPE of 4-5/10. I knew that even though I wasn't pushing it, I would likely be sore the next day. Sure enough, I was sore on Monday. Not detrimentally sore, but like I hadn't lifted in 3 weeks. I treated my next 3 workouts like this, too. Monday, I also lifted at an RPE of 4-5/10. This time I was sore for 2-3 days... Whoops! Maybe I did a little too much volume on my upper body day. I continued this cycle the remainder of the week to ease back into lifting. As for cardio, I felt comfortable picking up where I left off since I walked A LOT in Europe. As they say, "when in Rome". (I did not go to Rome). I also ran once and hiked 6 days of the 2.5 weeks I was there, a few of them being pretty intense hikes. I kept my first week of cardio at a low intensity since I knew my body would be readapting to lifting again. Years ago, if I were to have taken three weeks off from training, I would have done one or more of the following things: 1. Not let 3 weeks pass without a lift, let alone 3 days. 2. Gone balls to the wall with workouts to "make up for lost time". 3. Tore my body image apart piece by piece. Nowadays, what I recognize and preach is that: - movement is still movement even when it’s not a structured lifting session - taking time off from lifting can be productive - consistency isn’t just weeks; it’s years. When you do something consistently for years, it’s *relatively* easier to get back into a routine. What I recommend doing when returning to training after time off: - reevaluate your goals for the next season - aim for an RPE 4-6/10 for the first few sessions - ask yourself how things feel - prioritize your recovery (sleep, nutrition, stress management) Coming back to weights after a hiatus doesn’t have to be overwhelming, whether it’s 3 weeks, 3 months, or longer. Your body will remember what to do, just ease back into it to allow adaptation.
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