Bringing Mojo Back

Posted: June 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm

You would think not being able to do anything all day long wouldn’t leave me so exhausted. You would be wrong. I was cooped up in our house without a car again today and apparently having nothing to do but entertain a toddler all by myself drains me like nothing else can. Or it could also be fatigue from a good workout late yesterday afternoon. I couldn’t make it to my usual Power class so I opted for my own full body weights workout that went like this:

Body Part Exercise Weight (total) Sets Reps
Legs Leg Press 90 3 15
Back Wide Lat Pulldown 70 3 10
Chest Chest Press Machine 55 3 10
Shoulders Overhead Press 30 3 8
Legs Bench Step Ups 20 3 10/leg
Biceps DB Hammer Curl 20 3 15
Triceps DB Kickback 20 3 10

Followed up with 20 minutes incline walking on the treadmill. It was kind of weird not just going to a class. Making up my own workout routines and detailed plans is something I thoroughly enjoy doing and this workout made me really miss it. I still think I am going to mainly stick with classes right now and save the creative-workout-plan juices for after the baby. I will do my own things on occasion, but when I’m not trying to make any strength gains or physical progress I prefer to not have to think much about my training. Classes definitely provide that option.

One notable thing about my own workout…I am feeling it today. I am taking a rest day today, but I will be ready to get back in the groove tomorrow. I have my mojo back. Something I was hankering for after a few too many weeks of it missing. Between vacation time, a sick kiddo, battling morning sickness, and other issues I have not been to the gym much at all over the month of June. In fact, Monday was my first workout in about 2.5 weeks! That is a long hiatus for me and I was worried it would be difficult to get back in the swing of things. So I took some time to consider how to get myself back to working out and came up with the following ideas. They are working so far and I hope they can help you when coming back from vacations, illnesses, life getting in the way, etc.

1. Ease back into it. If you have taken close to a week or more off from your regular training, don’t expect to pick up right where you left off. It might take a few days to a couple weeks for your body to get back in the swing of things. Try to schedule in an extra rest day or two the first week back. Lighten up your normal weight load for strength training workouts. Cut back intensity or length on some of the cardio. Wouldn’t you rather take things a little slowly for a week over injuring yourself or blasting your body into soreness oblivion that leaves you sidelined for weeks? Yea, I thought so.

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2. Pick a workout you can get excited about. Don’t expect to motivate yourself back into the gym on Monday morning if your regular Monday plan is that long elliptical session that makes you feel like pulling teeth. Choose something you know you love doing, whether it be a run, a spin class, a lifting session, or some yoga. Make it fun. You can even opt for a new workout you have been dying to try, like that Zumba or Kettlebells class your gym just added.

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3. Find a workout buddy. If you have accountability from another person that will help you get your butt off the couch quicker than relying on your own self would. Since Peter has to use my car this week, I knew I would not get myself to the gym in the afternoon after he came home unless he went with me. Being able to go workout with him helps me be sure to get in a workout and it makes it fun.

4. Schedule to go at a time you are least likely to skip going. If it is already going to be extremely tough to get back into the early waking habit, it might be better to plan your workouts for after work until you readjust to your normal schedule. If stress is wearing you down, make a point to get things done first thing in the morning so you can feel better. Don’t make fitting in your workout harder than it could be.

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5. Don’t delay or start excuses. Upon returning from a vacation or fully overcoming that cold, return to your training routine asap. If you start making excuses for why you can’t go at the beginning, it will just continue to get harder to return to your fitness plan. The first couple of workouts are always the hardest after a break. Get them out of the way quickly so you can feel better and rejuvenated.

6. Remember why you love getting your sweat on. Consider the goals you are striving towards, the race you are training for, that accomplished feeling you love after a workout, or the health you enjoy. Think about what got you to the gym or out pounding that pavement before your break. Use those same things to motivate you now.

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And if all else fails, buy a new workout outfit you want to flaunt of take such a long break that you really cannot wait to return to the gym! For the record, there really should be something called sarcasm font. 😉

  • What helps you get your motivation back after a workout hiatus?
  • Do you prefer morning or afternoon workouts? I am definitely a mid-morning workout person. Going anywhere from 8-10 am is the best time for me. One of the perks of being a stay at home mother!

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16 Comments to “Bringing Mojo Back”
  1. homecookedem says:

    Great tips for getting back in the workout groove! I can’t really remember the last time I really took a long hiatus from working out. Maybe when I had my wisdom teeth out 4 years ago? Every now and then I’ll go 2 days without any kind of exercise and it just bugs me so much that I have to do something. I’m quite sure that a hiatus is bound to happen though once I get towards the end of my pregnancy and then recover from the birth, so I am going to bookmark this post so I can refer to it when I need ideas on how to get myself back in the game!!

    It’s weird – I like mid-morning workouts on the weekends, but afternoon workouts during the week. Even when I have nothing to do (like now) I still would rather do my workouts between 3-5pm.

  2. Yay on getting your mojo back!!! What is it about doing nothing that can be so darn exhausting???? I would love to be a morning workout person, but my body disagrees.

  3. Heather says:

    i am definitely more of an afternoon workout kinda gal, but i LOVE yoga in the mornings! my biggest thing is easing back into it…jumping right in and killing my body doesn’t do anything but make me sad that i stopped in the first place. usually walking or biking for 30 minutes is a good way to ease back in for me 🙂

  4. If I could, I’d do the mid-morning, too (which is why I love working out on the weekends). Ideally, I’d get to work out at 9 in the morning every day….

  5. Run Sarah says:

    Great tips! I find that jumping right back into it after a hiatus helps me a lot, and choosing a workout I really love. Remembering how great I feel afterwards really helps, too!

  6. Great tips! Its funny, before my trip to South Africa I had not gone more than… two days in a row without exercising for a LONG long time!!! And then there, I did run every other day or so but it was nothing like my normal routine, so getting back to exercise these last few days has been really hard! But seeing a ton of (bad) physical changes in my body from two weeks of less than optimum workouts is the motivation I need to get my strength and stamina back. Just depressing that it all went away so quickly 🙂 here´s hoping it comes back fast, too!

  7. Holly says:

    COMPLETELY agree about the sarcasm font. 🙂

    Those are all great tips, and I think we’ve all been there at some point with a hiatus from working out! For me, I just tell myself it’ll take a few days of going in a row to really set up that habit again. Once I am back in the gym I remember how good it feels, so it motivates me to continue going.

    I am definitely a morning workout person – which is SO strange because I’m not a morning person…at all! I love to get to work at 8 (okay….8:30) and know that I’m done for the day. I do, however, love to do my yoga in the evenings. Helps to relax right before bedtime. 🙂

  8. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually prefer morning workouts. It gets exercise out of the way first thing in the morning!

  9. Rachel says:

    Yup. I also love to go mid-morning. Around 9-11 works best for me. But working a full-time job doesn’t allow for that so the best time when I’m working is RIGHT AFTER WORK, or I will not go. Unfortunately, it is so hot in Texas right now that it isn’t safe to run outside until 8 or 9 pm. And by then I’m full and sleepy and don’t want to run at all.

    So, its the treadmill for now. And exercise classes. And brisk delicious runs first thing in the morning on weekends.

  10. I am a morning workout person. I tend to have a very senstitive tummy and if I eat a lot prior to working out I can’t handle it. So I usually wake up and eat something easily digestible (applesauce has been my go to food of choice as of late) and then hit the road! I am glad you have your exercise mojo back! 🙂

  11. I am definitely a mid-morning work out lover…I just wish I could do it more often than the weekends. I just feel so much more refreshed! I hate getting up super early (even though I always feel so much better afterwards) and going after work is fine but the traffic frustrates me. Glad you got your mojo back though!!

  12. Okay, first of all, I absolutely love the title of this post. A good friend of mine, whose nickname was Mojo, passed away last year. Anytime I see “Mojo” I think of him. But the strangest part is that you posted this yesterday, which was his birthday! Crazy, right?

    Secondly, those tips are SPOT. ON! I especially agree with #1. When I’ve taken an exercise hiatus (or a hiatus from anything in life, for that matter) rushing back into it stresses me out *majorly.* I tend to be an all or nothing person, so taking things slowly doesn’t exactly come easy to me! So making a conscious decision to ease back into a workout regimen is really important for me to do.

    Great post, as usual! 🙂

  13. Vicky says:

    Yay for getting the first trimester over and done with!

    You mav have been sarcastic about not being able to wait to get back to the gym after a long break, but at 33 weeks pregnant i find myself day-dreaming about a normal workout … i know, i’m crazy 😉

  14. […] day. You know how they say you see fireworks when you fall in love? Well, that’s how I feel from reclaiming my fitness mojo. I saw shooting stars, fireworks, and sugarplums dancing through my head after a week of regularly […]

  15. Cristy says:

    Thank you for this. I need to find my mojo again. I have been struggling for months to get back to a schedule. I have worked out here and there but nothing that will help me finish losing the weight. I am going to be 35 in January so I want to be at my goal weight by them.

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