Life gets in the way of the best intended plans to exercise often enough that it is not uncommon to miss a few days of training. When life happens, and you absolutely miss the full workouts you had planned there are some ideas that will help you get back into it depending on the amount of time in between workouts. If just busy and not ill, the challenge to get back into the weight room is typically a battle of the mind and balance of mental stress. Getting over this hump quicker than not can prevent a downslide of your fitness levels as a few days can turn into a week, and a week can turn into a month of skipping workouts. The goal of these workouts below is to help you find a quick and easy workout that will not take up a lot of time, stress you out even more, and make you overly sore on your new Day 1.
However, if illness is the root cause of you missing workouts, then by all means, you should take it easy when you come back to training. Depending upon your illness, you could still be somewhat weaker, still congested, and even dehydrated which can lead to more soreness and discomfort while trying to jump back into your normal challenging workout program. This can be rather discouraging and be the catalyst a long-term phase of inactivity. After illness, I personally recommend
1 – The PT Pyramid is a classic workout for intermediate / advanced level athletes who prefer calisthenics. It is also a great workout to do a quick jump start to a busy travel week or crazy work week that keeps you from getting enough time to train. It is recommended to not go all the way up the pyramid until you fail. Keep this first workout at a sub-max effort and focus on stretching and foam rolling to loosen any tight joints from too much previous travel or inactivity. Pick a push exercise like the pushup or military press, a pull exercise like the pullup or the pulldown or row, and a core exercise from a mix of crunches, situps, leg levers, flutterkicks, and planks.
2 – If overly sore or stiff, the best Go-To workout plan is the Mobility Day. The Mobility Day is a relatively new addition to my personal weekly programming. If you ever miss more than a week due to long days in the field, travel, work or other challenges, it is recommended to start off with the easy mobility day. This mobility day requires some form of non-impact cardio option and stretching and foam rolling usually in five-minute sets of each.
3 – Easy Cardio Day - If stressed from days of challenging hours, deadlines, and hectic travel and work schedule, sometimes all you need to do is an easy 30-45 minutes of easy calisthenics. The mobility day does a good job of that in small sets, but sometimes you just need to get away and turn off the brain with some light stress relieving activity such as an easy long walk, jog, bike, elliptical, row, or swim. Check out the Stress Relief article. By far, this is the best remedy to fighting a stressful day. Many like to exercise after work. This is a great way to burn off the stress even if it is as simple as a 20 minute walk before or after dinner.
4 – Sleep Reset – Sometimes the day goes deep into the night and if you can get to sleep and sleep well, that will be the best medicine to a several days of over-busy / over-stressed schedule. Especially if you can do a quick de-stressing walk 15-20 minutes after your last meal and prior to shutting it down for the day, you may find living to fight another day a viable option. Get a good night sleep and start off with one of the easy workouts above.
In conclusion, the answer of getting back to your normal workout routine (regardless of why you missed your training days), is to try to do something even if easier than you prefer. If you follow the options 1,2, or 3 above, you will have a few go-to workouts that will get you back rolling again and feeling better and less guilty from missing training days. Regardless, a sleep reset night will be even more beneficial to you and help re-charge the batteries and back on track.