We’ve all been there – you’ve had a few weeks off training and the thought of coming back to boot camp is just too hard. You’ve lost your spark, you’ve lost your motivation and all you can think of is reasons to avoid training. Then the logical part of your brain kicks in and you know deep down that as soon as you get there, you’ll feel a million bucks, you’ll actually love it, you’ll laugh your butt off and you know it will set you up the right way for the rest of your day.
But still, you can’t seem to get yourself there.
And the more you put it off, the harder it becomes.
So how do you make a return to boot camp after you’ve had a few weeks off? Or maybe a few months, or longer?
I get this question all the time and in general, most members tell me they feel a little anxious coming back to a session after having some time off. The most common reasons are that they feel they’ve lost ALL their fitness, they’re worried they won’t be able to keep up like they used to, that others in the group will notice how much they’ve gone backwards or that they’ve put on weight and feeling self-conscious.
I know what it’s like, I’ve been there too. We all have. And it is daunting coming back to your first session. But the thing to remember is that firstly, all these beliefs and doubts about yourself are purely psychological. Yep – sometimes that little voice inside your head can get in the way of progress.
So you’re feeling a bit anxious right? Well here’s the kicker. By changing your mindset, you can convert that anxiousness into excitement and motivation. Whaaaa?? OK let’s take out the fluff. Anxiety and excitement are determined by your interpretation of the event (these emotions are produced by the same chemical in the brain). So it’s how you look at a situation & interpret it that determines whether you deal with it anxiously or excitedly. In other words, you have the power to change how you feel – you are in control. Cool huh! All you have to do is think of the positives and benefits of training rather than dwelling on the negatives.
Secondly, maybe you have lost a bit of fitness. But your body will bounce back (it’s pretty amazing in that way). Yeah it might take a few weeks, but the time will pass anyway right? So you may as well be using that time to chip away at building up your fitness again – at your own pace.
So I’ve put together a few tips on how to make the transition back to boot camp a fun one!!!
TIP 1 – BOOK IT IN
Make an appointment with yourself (yep, put it in your calendars!) to book in 2 boot camps during the week that you promise yourself you’ll get to.
Only pick 2 x sessions which you know you’ll be able to make. Don’t book in anything else that might overlap with this appointment – think of your training as a priority and a non-negotiable, non-movable appointment.
So only pick 2 x sessions to start with - don’t go overboard here and try to start back with EVERY single class. Because chances are, you won’t make all the sessions. And when you don’t get to every session like you wanted to, you’ll probably feel disheartened or guilty for not following-through and you’ll possibly even chuck in the towel and tell yourself you’ll ‘start again next week’….and the cycle continues. Plus you want to avoid this “all-or-nothing” mindset, you want to make your comeback a safe one and start to create that habit again where you can consistently make training part of your lifestyle.
TIP 2 – GENTLE EXERCISE ON NON-BOOT CAMP DAYS
On 3 x NON-boot camp days, go for a gentle walk. If you only have 10 minutes spare one day, then go for a brisk 10 minute walk. If you have 30 mins spare, try alternating your walking pace with a brisk walk for the first 10 minutes, then a gentle walk for next 10 minutes and back to a brisk walk for the final 10 minutes. (Remember to warm up first, and stretch & cool down at the end.) You can even alternate one or two of these days with doing some of our 5-minute home workouts from our Member's Treasure Chest website.
TIP 3 - 70% RULE AT BOOT CAMP
Keep your effort levels to no more than 70% RPE at boot camp sessions. (RPE is rate of perceived exertion). Don’t work at your 100% effort level on your first week back. Drop it back to around 70% effort – you should be able to talk in sentences at this level.
TIP 4 - TAKE LOTS OF REST BREAKS
It’s absolutely one thousand percent ok to take more rest breaks than you used to. You need to build up your fitness gradually and this means taking as many breaks as you need. Over time these rest breaks will get shorter and shorter as your fitness increases, but ýou need to give your body enough time to build this fitness back up again.
TIP 5 - LOW IMPACT AND BEGINNER OPTIONS
Stick to the lower impact options and allow yourself to do the beginner options. Do squats instead of squat jumps. Do push ups from your knees instead of toes. Do walk-out or kick-out burpees instead of chest-to-ground. You get the idea.
Going out too hard on your first week will be really tough and will only make you feel like you can’t complete the session. You want to finish each session feeling amazing, like you just nailed a great workout and you want to still have a bit left in the tank at the end.
Follow these tips for the first 2-5 weeks then gradually start to increase your boot camp sessions to 3-4 per week, gradually introduce the high impact options again and before you know it, you’ll be back in the swing of things, full steam ahead.
But most of all, have some fun!!!
We’re super lucky to have such amazing members in our group who encourage each other and make each session so much more than just a workout.
So what are you waiting for?
Get your gear ready, lock in those sessions and we’ll see you at training kicking goals!