We just returned from a two-week vacation to Ireland to visit family and that followed nearly two weeks of me skipping the gym out of lack of motivation. That means I’ve been out of the gym for four weeks and for two of those four weeks, I ate whatever I wanted (and I wanted chocolate and wine and bread).
Yesterday I returned to the gym and got beat down—literally. My conditioning is in the dumps and my technique has suffered and to add injury to insult, I hurt myself with a wild kick to the heavybag that bruised the top of my foot and left it sore enough to keep me out of the gym today.
It’s depressing to realize that it is much easier to slide out of shape than it is to get into shape. It took me months to get to a decent level of physical conditioning and skill in Muay Thai but it only took a few weeks to regain a belly and love-handles.
It only takes a few days of inactivity to see the effects on conditioning and after just a couple of weeks you start to lose muscle mass.
While seeing flab in the mirror is a good motivation to get back into the gym, an even better one was the multiple beat-downs I recieved during sparring sessions on my return to the gym. I was so tired I had a hard time defending myself and even worse; the guy who did the most damage was also one who hadn’t been to the gym in a while.
My advice to myself; next time I return to the gym after a long break, 1) take it easy! Don’t try to fix everything in one day and 2) don’t go so long without maintaining conditioning! As our coach said; if you’re going to be out of the gym for a while, do some basic maintenance work; shadow box, do some calesthenics, etc.
Put simply; use it or lose it!