Getting Back into the Gym After a Long Break

Starting back at the gym when you’ve taken time off can be intimidating.

Here’s how to get back into the gym without burning out, losing motivation or risking injury.


Don’t overdo it when you return to the gym. Doing too much too soon will overwhelm you, and you’ll burn out. Be honest with yourself and your fitness level; if you push yourself, you might injure yourself or worse.

And if you’ve unable to train due to injury, check with your doctor or physio before you rejoin the gym. Start with low-intensity exercises and prepare your body for extra activity.


If you’re struggling with motivation, find a way to enjoy exercise, like joining a class.

Our Personal Trainer, Peter says:

“Pick workouts that you know you enjoy in advance. If you turn up with a plan you’re familiar with, you’ll have a better workout. Book a class with an instructor that you know or ask if one of your friends can join you. Training as a group with an instructor is less intimidating than walking back into the gym feeling like you haven’t been there in ages. Even if you just start with a 30-minute class.”


It’s easy to compare yourself to when you were training more regularly. If you’ve not been to the gym in months, it’s reasonable to see a decline in strength or endurance.

It’s vital to stay positive – you will improve and get back to where you left off.

Try following a beginner routine such as this:

  • 20 minutes of strength training and toning – start your routine with strength training, isolating certain muscle groups. Use free-weights, machines or your bodyweight.
  • 30 minutes of cardio – get your heart-rate up with some simple cardio exercises, whether you’re using a treadmill, bike, elliptical or stair climber.
  • 10 minutes of stretching and warming down – stretch and loosen your muscles because if you’ve missed the gym for a while, you’ll feel those aches and pains.


Prepare your workout gear the night before. If you wake up and see your trainers, hoodie, snack and water bottle all ready to go, you’ll feel like you’re too invested to change your mind.

Rather than planning how many sessions a week you are going to do ‘this time’, just aim to go once. Get everything ready the night before. If all you need to do is pick up a gym bag and walk out of the house, you’re more likely to go.


It might feel daunting starting the gym again, but stay positive and manage your expectations. You might not feel your usual self, but don’t let this stop you from working out.

By doing a little exercise, even if it’s a 10-minute walk, you’re improving yourself. If you don’t go and stop exercising, it’ll be easier to skip future workouts.

Getting back into the gym after a break isn’t impossible, but it will take hard work and dedication. Pure Fitness personal trainers are available if you need extra support getting started. Good luck!

All blog posts