There are many things that life can throw our way which may derail you from your fitness program: sickness, an injury, a life changing situation, a post contest rebound that de-motivated you, and many others. The good news is that no matter what circumstance got you away from your fitness program, you can always use your strong will to come back to it.
With that said, there are 3 mistakes that you need to avoid to make a successful comeback:
1) Don’t punish yourself for your current condition:
It is easy to feel bad and beat yourself over and over again for regressing and going back to a “Before Picture” condition. Yet, this is not productive. The best thing to do at this point is ACCEPT the fact that you are in whatever shape you are in and KNOW that with the plan you will implement the “After Picture” condition will be just around the corner.
2) Don’t embark into an overly ambitious program:
The worst thing you can do at this point is try to get back to the same program that you were doing before and use the same amount of weight that you used to lift. This is a rapid way to get excessively sore, and possibly injured as the joints need time to ease back into training. At the same time, you are opening yourself up to getting extremely frustrated as chances are that you cannot lift the same amount of weight that you used to do before. Remember, that at this point, the key is to not overwhelm your body with a complicated program that will send your cortisol hormone levels through the roof. Your comeback program should be one that focuses on getting you back into the swing of things, retraining your nervous system on how to activate its muscle fibers with each movement and getting your joints back into fighting condition.
3) Don’t embark into a fad diet:
Many girls who (and guys do this too) who get back after a layoff embark into a fad diet to speed-up the process. This is a sure way to fail as fad diets, like zero carb diets, cripple your thyroid levels and increase your cortisol levels. The end result is a lowered metabolic rate which means that it will be much easier for you to gain fat at a lower caloric range! And once your thyroid production is compromised it will take time to bring it back up to optimal levels.
How To Make a Successful Comeback
Now that we know what the 3 biggest mistakes to making a successful comeback are, here are my training and diet suggestions to making a successful comeback:
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Successful Comeback Diet Guidelines:
Thus, ease back into a program where you are consuming a diet composed of 40% of its calories from protein, 40% from mainly complex carbs and 20% from good fats. This can be easily achieved by taking your approximate fat free mass (lean body mass = total bodyweight in pounds – approximate fat weight in pounds) and multiplying that number by 1. That gives you the total amount of carbs (in grams) that you need to consume per day. That also gives you the total amount of daily protein (in grams that you need). To calculate your good fats, simply multiply your lean body mass by 0.33.
So assuming a lean body mass of 150 lbs you are looking at 150 grams of carbs, 150 g of protein and 50 grams of good fats per day. That will give you the grams of fat that you need to consume each day. If you follow these simple formulas you will follow the perfect 40/40/20 diet plan suited to your body.
SAMPLE DIET for WOMEN:
• Meal 1: 3/4 cup of oatmeal with 1 packet of Meal Replacement Powder
• Meal 2: 3 rice cakes / Faye Greek yogurt (1 cup) / 1 cup strawberries.
• Meal 3: 4 ounces (120 grams) of chicken measured cooked, 1/2 cup of rice (brown or white), 1/4 cup avocado, any combination of vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, onions, peppers, lettuce and tomatoes.
• Meal 4 (post workout meal): 1 packet of Meal Replacement Powder / 1 scoop of Power Carb
• Meal 5: Wild Atlantic Salmon (85 grams), 150 grams of potatoes, any veggies (as above)
• Optional Meal Before Bed: 1 cup of Greek Yogurt around 30 min before bed with 1/2 tablespoon of almond butter
Additional Comeback Supplements:
One of the biggest complaints people have when they get back into a fitness program is muscle soreness and even joint soreness. However, there are some great natural supplements that can greatly help with your recovery making the process much more efficient while reducing soreness significantly. (Note: It is not essential to take these supplements in order to achieve success from this program. The key to success is the training and the diet. However, if you can add any of these supplements you will see a marked improvement in your recovery capacity and soreness levels.)
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Additional Tips For Making a Permanent Comeback:
Be sure to track your progress properly. Do not rely solely on the scale as the scale does not tell you how much muscle you have gained and how much fat you have lost. And remember, muscle weighs more than fat so if you gain 2 pounds of muscle and lose 2 pounds of fat in the same week, the scale will not move. However, your measurements should show an incredible amount of difference! Note: For more information on this subject, check out my article on“Why The Scale Can Be Your Biggest Enemy.” Also, be sure to check out Hugo Rivera’s article on “Tracking Your Progress.”
Be sure to lose no more than 2 pounds of fat per week. Any more fat loss than that can compromise your ability to gain muscle. If you see that you are losing too fast and losing strength at the gym, increase your carbs and protein by 15 grams per day and the good fats by 3 grams. Remember that the goal here is to make a successful and permanent comeback. In order to do that, slow and steady wins the race. You need to convince your body that it is OK to burn off the extra fat while gaining new muscle. To do that, you must prevent the body from entering into emergency mode as when that happens, cortisol levels rise and the body begins to try and retain body fat while burning muscle. Therefore, be sure to not overt-rain and to follow the diet as I advised above.
So there you have it: all my tips on how to make a successful comeback. Just remember that like Rocky said “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” So let’s access that inner strength ladies and make this transformation happen!
Cecile Bayeul is a Registered Nurse, International fitness model/author and natural female bodybuilding champion who beat anorexia by embarking into a fitness program. She believes that by embarking into a fitness program you can not only achieve any body that you want but you can take control of your life and take it anywhere you want! You can follow Cecile via her fan page: www.facebook.com/cecilebayeul, her twitter: www.twitter.com/cecilebayeul, her YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/cecilebayeul or her personal site: