So how was your summer? Was it was the excitingly epic summer of your adventurous-minded dreams? Did you get in some bouldering and kayaking? Or, conversely, was it perhaps a little tamer than you were hoping, leading to far less outdoor fun than you planned? Either way, you may not have been quite as faithful with your studio HIIT workouts as you had been in the winter and spring. Between travel, family visits, and school-free weeks, the regular routine just seems to slip away, and with it go regular workouts. No cringing guilt necessary – it happens to the best of us. However, with summer coming to an end and fall approaching next month, we’d say it’s high time to get back in the swing of things, wouldn’t you?
We know – easier said than done sometimes. Maybe the time slots that used to be reserved for your studio workouts have gotten filled up with countless other things. Or maybe you’re feeling the weeks spent on vacation, eating and relaxing, and are not sure how you’ll hold up in a class?
Just like kids going back to school and feeling a bit rusty, we’ve got some tips to make your “back-to-HIIT” the best it can be.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
A little fitness break may have been exactly what you needed, and perhaps your mental health and exercise enthusiasm will be rekindled because of it. Also, if you were a studio regular, you may still be in better shape than you think or feel. The strength you had built up last winter and spring may remain with you for up to 4-5 weeks, especially if you’ve remained at least semi-active.
- Don’t expect your strongest, fastest self right out of the gate.
Your cardio prowess has likely decreased a bit more rapidly than your muscle mass. Studies show that an exerciser’s VO2 max, which is how much oxygen a body is able to take in and use during exercise, can decrease around 7% after only 12 days of inactivity. Again, if you maintained some level of activity during your hiatus, your loss and recoup time will be less.
- Stretch it out.
Even if you hadn’t spent a lot of time or energy on stretching before, do it now. It’s pretty frustrating to get back to your workouts, only to find yourself having to favor a pulled muscle that wasn’t used to burpees anymore. We recommend doing a light, 5-minute warm-up, and then gently stretching all of your major muscles groups (arms, hips, upper and lower legs, buttocks, back, and neck). Pay special attention to your posterior chain (calves, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back) if your break from the studio involved a greater amount of sitting than you’re used to. The posterior chain muscles get weaker and shorter faster than other muscles with a lot of sitting, and are easier to injure during an over-enthusiastic sweat session. Go ahead and stretch again after your workout. Believe us, you’ll be happy you did.
Fear not, you’ll be back to full beast mode before you know it. And, honestly, we congratulate you on taking a needed break. We look forward to seeing your renewed gusto and passion when you return, and will take pleasure in taking your fitness level even farther than what it was before the summer.
Are you ready to HIIT it at Fit36? Find a location near you!