How to Avoid Regression During Time Away From the Gym


Whether it is going on vacation or a serious injury that pops up, time away from your workouts is inevitable (and in the case of vacations, totally needed and deserved).

If you are someone who as worked your butt off for a vacation and are totally freaking out because you don’t want to lose all your progress while gorging on buffets and margaritas, you aren’t alone.

Here are a few tips that might save you some time, energy and cause less stress on vacation:

1) It’s a vacation – so enjoy it. You will be okay, I promise.

2) Enjoyment doesn’t equal gluttony. I have had many trips where I gone overboard on eating (and drinking) food that my body isn’t used to and end up feeling like crap for hours/days afterwards. If you want dessert – great have it – but maybe pass on ordering the whole dessert menu.

3) Be active. This doesn’t mean you need to spend time in a gym, but find active things to do. Hiking and biking are awesome ways to explore anywhere that you can’t see from your car or the hotel bar.

4) Enjoy some relaxation as well. This is why you go on vacation – to relax and recharge. Kick your feet up, take a mid day nap, and enjoy the nature that surrounds you.

5) Try to stick to your normal routine/habits that you have created. Eat breakfast at 8am everyday? Then do that on your trip as well. Have a high protein snack at 3pm everyday, then bring some protein bars along. Staying consistent with habits helps mostly with the RETURN from vacation and aiding you in getting right back to it.

What about missing the gym due to injury?

This one is tougher, as some serious injuries can last a while. When I had my back surgery I was out of the gym for 4 weeks, then another 2 months of no heavy lower body work. This can be brutal on the body physically and mentally.

Don’t stress, here is what you can do:

1)Figure out exactly what you CANNOT do. Then figure out what you CAN DO and keep doing it. Torn rotator cuff? Probably will need to avoid heavy pressing for a while – but leg day is still fair game, rows might be okay and cardio is legit. Talk to a professional if you have questions.

2) Use some of your gym energy to focussing on diet. I know how it is. You just want to wallow in misery and eat ice cream because you can’t go to the gym. What is this helping? Refocus your energy on cleaning up your diet, and getting proper nutrition to also facilitate optimal recovery.

3) Follow your rehab program. I cannot stress this enough. If you get a specific rehab program, DO IT, and DO IT WELL. It’s not worth the prolonged time off because you didn’t feel like doing the PT’s exercises.

4) If it’s a less serious injury, live by this rule – If it hurts, don’t do it. Pretty common sense, but many still want to avoid it. If you have a feeling of stinging, pinching, burning or sharp pain – don’t do the movement that keeps causing it. Apparently there are many ways to skin a cat, and there are also many ways to build killer arms.

So just because you won’t or can’t be at the gym for a little while, doesn’t give you a free pass to become a gluttonous sloth. Take care of your body 24/7 – it’s the only one you get.


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Stay healthy my friends,

Published by Mike Gorski

Registered Dietitian and Fitness Coach OWNER OF MG FIT LIFE LLC