How to Get Back in Shape After a Long Workout Hiatus

Step #1 – Get into the right Mindset

Essentially, you need to ask yourself an importantMindset is the first step on your journey to get back in shape and will help you strengthen your motivation and keep you disciplined during the times when you want to give up and stuff yourself with cakes and biscuits.

Essentially, you need to ask yourself an important question, which is “Why?”.

It’s usually the first question you ask yourself when you think of giving something up, so knowing the answer and having it be strong enough to keep you going will be paramount.

I’m sure you’ve been there before: “God, why am I doing this?”

If your answer is a flimsy one, like “Because I want to look good”, it will only keep you going for so long.

There is no emotion there and once you get to looking ‘pretty good’, you’ll probably be happy and will have no drive to fulfill your potential.

If your answer has substance behind it though, like “Because I want to show all the people that poked fun at me for being overweight, that I can be in great shape and look amazing”, you have an emotional connection to your goal and nothing will stop you.

Knowing why you are starting a weight loss program, or a muscle gain program will empower you and every time you ask yourself why you are doing it, you will have a solid answer to remind yourself.

Prepare a 30-day mission statement

Firstly, think about what your current habits towaTo get yourself in the right mindset and to give yourself your true ‘Why’ answer, we recommend preparing a 30 day mission statement, detailing exactly what you want to achieve and why.

Firstly, think about what your current habits towards healthy eating and exercise are costing you. Think about the emotional cost, the physical cost and the time cost.

Then, visualize and imagine what the benefits will be if you change your habits and achieve your goals. Add these to your 30 day mission.

An example could be:

“In the next 30 days, I will focus on improving my eating plan and exercising 2-3 times per week, so I can create the habits necessary to lose weight, improve my health, have more confidence in myself and be in a better state of mind.

I’m sure this will make me a happier and more positive person, which will have positive effects on my relationships at home and at work. I accept the costs of spending the time to prepare nutritious meals and to exercise, as it will give me the benefits of better health and longevity.”

Having your mission statement written or printed out and put in a prominent place, where you will see it daily, will be really helpful to keep your focus on why you are undertaking this journey.


Congratulations on your new-ish exercise habit! But if you’ve hit pause on your trips to the gym, don’t take too long to hit play again. Consistency is key for building new habits, and it’s as true for the body as it is for the mind: If your body hasn’t been enjoying exercise for long, it can be easier to lose the progress you’ve made.


Get clear on your why

“Spend a little time contemplating and understanding your 'why' for working out,” suggests Thomas. “It may have changed after a break, especially this particular break, because your priorities may have shifted.”

Try reflecting on what types of exercise you really enjoy and how you want to feel in your body. Then, build your workouts around what you’ve discovered, Thomas says. “Motivation comes from within, so make sure you know what’s driving you, what’s important to you, what actually fits into your life. If you ease back into working out from this place of self-awareness and kindness instead of guilt, shame, and panic, you’ll end up not only feeling better physically and mentally, but also with the foundation for lasting motivation.”

Define your goals

How do you define ‘getting back in shape’? A few pounds, just toning up, losing a few stones or a whole radical body change? To put it simply what do you want to achieve and what will make you happy and in shape. My get in shape may be totally different from my neighbours’ so make sure that before you decide how to do it that you know what is that you want to get. In order to set a program or make a plan you need to know what you want. 


While your fitness level is key to how quickly you get back to your fitness baseline, there are a few other variables that also come into play.

First, age plays a role in your bounce-back time . When looking at 41 people who were either 20 to 30 years old or 65 to 75 years old, the older subjects lost strength almost twice as fast as the whippersnappers during a six-month “detraining” period in one study .

And again, why you’re taking the break is also a factor. When scientists injected inactive volunteers with hormones that mimicked the stress of trauma or illness, they had a 28 percent decrease in strength over 28 days—a higher rate than average  .


Whether you're on a relaxing vacation or stuck on the couch with an annoying chest infection, there are a few ways to stay strong during downtime.

Recruit a workout buddy

“Sometimes having a family member or friend to join you can help with accountability and motivation,” Mago says. “You’re less likely to cancel on a session if there's someone else expecting you, and you can bounce off each other’s energy and progress. It can also make your workouts more enjoyable if you have a good support system around you.” (And by the way, virtual workout buddies — ones you work out with over FaceTime, Zoom, etc. — count, too.)

Step #5 – Add supplements to your plan to boost the benefits

Once you have got the 4 key principles above, under your belt, you can introduce supplements into your plan, to help boost the benefits further.

At the Fit Father Project, we recommend 5 core supplements that will help your efforts.

These are:

  • A quality Multivitamin or Greens powder
  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin D3
  • Probiotic
  • Protein powder

Multivitamin: Although you should be getting everything through your natural diet, a quality multivitamin or Greens powder is a backup solution to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body in good health.

Fish-oil: Fish oil supplementation has an abundance of health benefits, including decreasing inflammation, lowering LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol, and enhancing brain function to name a few.

For more information on the benefits and see our product recommendations, check out our article titled The 4 Best Fish Oil Products for Men. 
Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as your body produces it naturally when subjected to sunlight.

However, supplementing with it can be beneficial, especially for stronger bones, improved muscle function and less muscle atrophy, decreased risk of certain cancers and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Probiotic: Your body will thank you for supplementing with probiotics, especially your gut.

Probiotics help with improving digestive function, healing inflammatory bowel conditions and boosting your immune system.

If you suffer from any symptoms of an uncomfortable stomach, then you need to supplement with probiotics today.

Protein powder: Protein powder can be used to prepare shakes that will replace a particular meal, possibly breakfast, as a convenient way to make sure you are getting enough protein each day to support muscle growth or maintenance.

Motivate yourself

It is easier said than done. If you haven’t got the motivation to achieve your goals you will not go very far. Start from your goals; how important are they to you and what does it mean to get there. Write a list of the reasons why you want to get in shape, looks, health, and an outfit well anything that rocks your boat. Look at the list every time you are in doubt.

Put up a picture of yourself when you used to be in shape or a picture of someone’s body you want. Keep it realistic though. There are a number of motivational prompts and ideas to use which suit you. 

Benefits Of Getting Into Shape

The same way a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, each workout  and healthy eating is one step in the right fitness direction. Dieting, exercising, and a healthy lifestyle may contribute to:

  • Less stress and there is a positive impact on your blood sugar (19).
  • Possible immediate relief from chronic pain caused by arthritis.  
  • Maintenance of the right weight.
  • May prevent chronic illnesses. 
  • May make you more energetic.

Enjoy It

The number one reason people give up exercise is boredom. When choosing an activity to ease back into shape, choose one that you will enjoy and even look forward to. Find a friend to work out with you. You can keep each other accountable and on track. If you have a dog, consider daily walks — it’s good for both of you. Another way to enjoy working out is to catch up on your favorite television shows or read a good book while on the treadmill or stationary bike. Varying your routine and alternating activities can also keep your workout session fresh and exciting.


How long does it take to get into shape and how should you go about it? The answer is that it varies based on a number of factors mentioned above. Avoid fad diets and routines that promise short-term quick fixes because getting into shape is a continuous process. If you put our tips into practice, be prepared to say hello to your dream body. Consult your dietician, general physician, and a qualified trainer before getting into any new diet or exercise routine.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!