Since I’m not unlike other people, life does get in the way of goals and good intentions. I had an extended layoff from the gym and during that time I worked out at home with disappointing results. Of course a good gym has a shitload of machines, handles, weights, etc., and what I had at home was very basic, some free weights and bands. Recently I re-joined the gym and I was very happy to verify something I have long told my clients and friends: once you build muscle, even if you take a long break from a challenging workout routine, your muscles do not forget.
We don’t forget what we’ve learned, in the case of those who have years of experience at the gym, and our muscles react far more quickly than they did the first time. That is, the positive changes you’ll see in your body will occur much faster than they occurred the first time you built muscle.
In my case I didn’t expect to be able to use as much weight as I am, and I also thought I’d be sore and hurting the first month. But neither of those happened. Like riding a bike, it was all second nature, and even though I am more fatigued as I wrap up the day’s workout, my progress has been surprisingly fast.
So if one of the things that has been holding you back from re-upping your gym membership is that you’ll be starting from scratch with memories of limping out of the gym and a long recovery, you should be pleasantly surprised that this is not the case. Once you build muscle, you are much quicker to gain it back even after a prolonged layoff.