Maybe you missed a day or two of training? Maybe you missed an entire week or more? Either way, you aren’t quite sure how to re-engage in training. The thought of being behind, makes you hesitate about where to jump back in.
This is completely understandable given the amount of progressive overload content. I even post about it occasionally so I'm not hating at all. The message is that you have to follow a well-thought-out progression each week in order to make gains. If your reps or weights aren’t going up then you aren’t going to make progress.
While this holds true, the reality is that life gets in the way for most people. If you miss a workout every now and then, or even a week of training, then you are among the majority. This message of unwavering consistency as the only way to get better can be overwhelming. Now, don’t get me wrong, progression and overload are VERY important, it's just not an all-or-nothing mentality.
Our bodies are highly evolved and they fight change. Both change for the positive and change for the negative. It is why we can’t ruin our results overnight by overindulging on a night out, but also why we can’t grow muscle without progressively overloading.
So when does progressive overload miss the mark? It misses the mark when it keeps you from doing the right thing after a couple out of the gym. The right thing is to get right back into the gym, and just do the best you can on that day.
Say you’ve been following a solid workout plan for the past month. You’ve been making slow but steady progress toward your goals. Then a well-deserved vacation rolls around. You eat and drink in excess, you don't go to the gym, and you don't get that much movement in. By the time you come back to reality, you feel sluggish and feel that you've lost some of your progress. What should you do? Say screw it and keep taking days off from the gym? Nope. The right thing to do is realize that those 2 days, 5 days, 7 days, or whatever it was doesn't negate the last 30 days of consistency and quality choices.
Now back to the original question "Do I go back to the beginning or do I continue with where I left off?" Continue with where you left off. You are capable of more than you think, even after a long break from the gym. The biggest hurdle is the mental one. Prioritize quality movement and lift with effort and you will feel back to your normal self in no time.
When people say consistency is key, they're talking about long-term consistency, not short-term. Long-term consistency isn’t measured over days, weeks, or even months. It is measured over years. A good training program, like the ones on the PR Training App, are designed in such a way that you can jump in and out at any time, and if you follow these steps, you can be on a path to progress, and build robust health and fitness in no time.