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Ten tips for mastering the art of the comeback

Become a comeback queen with these tips to get your exercise routine back on track


If you take a break from fitness, the shocking truth is that your hard earned results can start to be lost in as little as 72 hours and, the longer you leave it, the longer it takes to get back to your previous level.

We’ve all had times when it seems impossible to exercise when, before you know it, a short break turns into a long layoff. Whether it’s pressures from work, family, travel or illness even the most perfect workout schedule can be interrupted and, before long, you’ll start to notice things getting that bit softer and climbing those stairs seems just a little bit harder.

Follow these simple tips to take the pain out of starting and ensure your comeback sticks.

Don’t break the habit in the first place - the easiest way to keep on track is not to stop. If you find your few days off regularly turn into weeks take a tip from the world of athletics and try ‘tapering’. Instead of stopping completely, try one session in a week just to keep on it. If you’re away do a couple of the Fitin5 virtual workouts on our Youtube channel. That way you’ll maintain your fitness levels and easily get back into your regular workout pattern.

Something is better than nothing - our mantra is '80% of success is about showing up’. Don’t worry about how much you do, just do something. There are some weeks where you just need to take everything down a notch - less sessions, shorter time or not as intense - you decide what works, however small. It’s so much easier to keep it going than starting up again.

Don’t beat yourself up - you’re in this for the long run so don’t confuse a temporary setback with a defeat. You may be uncomfortable about coming back after a break but don’t be. We want to help you succeed but we can only do that if you come in!

Find the cause - if long breaks from exercise are a regular thing you may want to have a think about the patterns that lead up to the layoff and work out some strategies to combat those patterns. For example, before taking a short break make sure you book a workout beforehand, so that your break has an end point already.

Match your mood - it’s unrealistic to think you can go full tilt all the time. Motivation and energy levels ebb and flow and the key thing is to recognise this and work around it. If you’re feeling low on energy, don’t cancel your session and flop on the couch, change your booking and try something like Jagati yoga instead.

Commit for 30 days - forming a habit means you spend less energy on willpower and motivation to get it done. 30girl is perfect for making a comeback and really helps to form your exercise habit again in the shortest possible time.

Two heads are better than one - If you’re serious about getting back it’s really useful to do it with a friend. That way you make sure there’s someone waiting for you so it’s much harder to get out of. Ask our trainers and they’re happy to contact you to confirm your attendance on a session you book. When they put in so much effort and preparation to setting up a session it’s disappointing for the trainer when people don’t turn up.

Enjoyment first - When starting back don’t dive in with the toughest workouts and end up stiff for days - focus on what you enjoy doing, rather than what you think you should be doing. That way your enjoyment levels will be high until your habit kicks in and you can move on to more challenging sessions.

Schedule it - Whatever system you use to manage your day, make sure your workout is scheduled and has an alarm set to give you enough time to get there. Be realistic and schedule when you think it’s achievable - before work, after school drop off, lunchtime or early evening - whatever works best. If you have to change your behaviour too much, chances are it won’t get done.

Measure it - regular measurements are the best way to stay on track and take into account those times when you take a break. Scheduling a benchmarking session every two to three months will not only enable you to check your progress but also provides a focus and structure to your exercise routine. For example try a measurement session and then commit to 8 weeks of workouts. Take a one week break but make sure you have another measurement session booked for the end of the week, ready to start your next 8 week block. Simple!