The First Steps Back

Please, please, please be careful: if you have not performed any significant physical activity during your layoff, do not jump back in using this program from day 1.

Instead, take some time to ease back into general activity. I would recommend a schedule like this:

  1. Your first day back, just do some light, low impact cardiovascular work, like incline walking or stair climbing, for 15-20 minutes, along with about 30 minutes of gentle stretching using a combination of static and dynamic movements. Also start to clean up your diet and sleep habits if you've let those fall off during the break.
  2. Your second day, introduce a little more vigorous activity: a moderate-intensity conditioning session with a sled is perfect here. Don't kill yourself — just try to push your heart rate up to the point where you're slightly out of breath. Again, follow with stretching and mobility work if you choose. You can also perform a few sets of the competition lifts using a barbell or about 25% 1RM if you feel confident.
  3. Take the third day off and observe any unusual soreness or fatigue.

From there, you can begin the program, continuing to note any sudden increases in fatigue or soreness and taking rest as needed.

Complete and Continue