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Your Summer Holiday Gym Guide

Is there any point starting a gym programme before going on holiday?

It’s common that you might avoid starting a fitness or gym programme because you have a holiday in just a few weeks’ time. But in reality, there will always be something coming up, whether it’s a holiday, birthday Christmas or some other event. So instead of creating an excuse and ultimately kicking the fitness can further down the road. You need to learn how to better manage these events within your life in a way that doesn’t punish you for them happening.

A good training programme should allow for you to live your best life and not take things like holidays away. So 100% yes there is a point to starting a fitness programme before your holiday. The only exception would be if you were looking to start a programme one week before your holiday. At this point I’d suggest committing fully to the programme but with the intention of starting it once you’re back.

That last ditch effort before your holiday.

The closer you get to the summer holiday season the more you think to begin that about that last ditch effort. So you join a gym or a programme with the view to look and feel your best on the beach. But a fitness programme shouldn’t really be viewed in this way. Following a training programme and completing your gym sessions should become a part of your regular weekly routine. Then during certain points of the year you might slightly change your level of focus or intensity.

The best way I can explain this is through the example of school, where you’ll study all year round. But there will be certain points like in the run up to exams. Where the intensity or work volume increases in order to achieve a certain score or result. Your gym training should work in a similar way. 10-12 weeks before you want to look and feel your best. You might increase the amount you train and the focus you have on your diet and nutrition. Can I not do this all year round? You might ask, well technically you can. But quite often strict dieting and intense bouts of exercise can take it’s toll if you attempt to do it 52 weeks of the year so its best done in phases.

Should you pack your gym kit for holiday?

We’ve all packed our gym kit into our suitcases with the intention to use the hotel gym facilities. Only to let them go unused, you then feel like you’ve let yourself down. I suggest that you don’t even take them. Like with everything, there are points where our body needs a rest, and holidays are the perfect opportunity to allow your muscles, joints, bones and head to get the rest it deserves. Remember to apply the 80/20 rule with everything you do. As long as you’re training consistently and hitting the gym 80% of the time. Then you can use the other 20% for holidays, special occasions and even Christmas week. If you are still wanting to maintain some level of activity whilst on holiday then why not go swimming, play a sport like tennis or go for a nice hike somewhere you’ve never been.

5 Tips to get back into the gym after your holiday.

Remind yourself how good exercise can make you feel and the impact it has on your day.

“I didn’t want to come today but I’m really glad I did”. This sentence is one that all my clients have said at some point during their programme. I get it, the thought of going to the gym can be off putting for some people. Particularly if you’re not feeling in the mood, maybe a little sluggish or overworked. I tell all my clients to remember how they feel in this moment, remember how you feel now after you’ve completed the workout you didn’t want to do. Cling on to the joy you feel and the accomplishment you’ve made and use it the next time you’re about to talk yourself out of going to the gym.

Prepare and plan.

Don’t just tell yourself that you’re going back to the gym this week, because that will lead you to put it off until tomorrow, then the next day and then suddenly it’s Sunday and you’ve not been all week. Make sure you map out a clear plan for the week ahead and decide on which days you are going to commit to and how many days you aim to go. For example you might aim for 3 workouts per week, and commit to Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Make sure it’s something enjoyable.

The easiest way to get yourself to do something is to make it enjoyable, so when you’re trying to get back to the gym, design your workout around your favorite exercises. Perhaps if you don’t have any particular favorite exercises, then look for other areas of enjoyment. Maybe invite a friend or download an episode of your favorite podcast.

Set yourself new targets.

Before your holiday you probably had bags of motivation to hit the gym. But now you don’t understand where it’s all gone. Well, the difference is in the run up to your holiday your training and nutrition had a purpose because there was something to achieve from your efforts. Which was to look and feel your best, and this was enough to give you that little push. But after your holiday that purpose behind your training dies down a little. So, you need to set yourself some new targets to give your training and nutrition a new purpose. This could be a performance related goal or trying to learn something new.

Remember it takes more than one week to lose it.

It’s important to remember that it takes more than just one or two weeks to lose any progress that you’ve made. So don’t be disheartened by having a short break from your normal exercise routine. After a week or two off training, you might feel a little weaker or unfit, but this is more psychological than physical. Once you’ve got your that first training session out of the way it will feel like you never had any time off.

Written by – Rob Jackson – Coach and owner of RJ-Fitness
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