After an extended break from the weight room, these workouts can help you get reacquainted with the gym so you can start rebuilding your path to success!
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    General Fitness
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
    Beginner
  • Program Duration2 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    4
  • Time Per Workout60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

After an extended break from the weight room, that initial feeling of walking in, seeing the iron, and being ready to crush it in your bare hands can be addicting. It could also make you want to pick right up where you left off before that extended sabbatical. 

Related: Getting Back Into the Gym: How to Plan Your Return

If it was only a week or two you were away from the gym, then you could probably get right back into the routine. And if that applies to you, then this isn’t the workout for you. This is for those people that had to take several weeks or even months away from training. A proper plan can go a long way in helping you make the most out of this new opportunity to achieve greatness in the gym.

If you haven’t read part one of this series yet, go back and check that out before you continue here. Doing so will greatly increase the chances of you being successful. If you have read part one, then let’s turn the conversation to how you’re going to reintroduce yourself to the iron grind.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

Stick to the Schedule

In part one, I suggested setting a schedule that you would keep up to a week before you actually started training. If you did that, then you’re ready to start this brief two-week program to get back into a lifting routine.

Only two weeks? Yes, two weeks. During this period, you can follow the workouts here while taking personal time to find a program that will be more suitable for your long-term goals. Remember in part one when I suggested taking the same amount of time you took away from the gym, plus two weeks, to reach your initial goals? These are those two weeks. During this time, do research and find a program that you can start following to help you reach that first set of goals after this period is over.

Related: How to Set Up Your Diet Based on Your Goals

Female working out outside doing bodyweight walking lunges.

Week 1: Full-Body Workouts

The first week of training will include full-body workouts. Workout A starts with the lower body, transitions to the upper body, and then focuses on the abs. Workout B starts with the upper body, transitions to legs, and then finishes with abs. Perform each workout twice in the first week for a total of four workouts.

An example weekly schedule can look something like this:

Week 1 Sample Schedule:

  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Workout B
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Workout A
  • Saturday: Workout B
  • Sunday: Off

The movements are simple, and that is by design. The goal is to contract the muscles and feel resistance. Use weights that require 60-75% effort. You shouldn’t reach failure at any point, but you should know when you have to start giving greater effort at the end. The ultimate goal for this week is to do three sets of 10 reps with one-minute rest between sets. If you had an extended absence from the gym, then there’s a good chance you will have delayed onset muscle soreness for a day or two following these sessions.

Week 1: Full-Body Workout A

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell or Dumbbell Deadlift 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Leg Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Leg Curl 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Dumbbell Bench Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Dumbbell or Machine Lateral Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Curl 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Straight Bar Tricep Extension 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Crunch 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Lying Leg Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min

Week 1: Full-Body Workout B

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Dumbbell Bench Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Dumbbell or Machine Lateral Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Curl 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Straight Bar Tricep Extension 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Barbell or Dumbbell Deadlift 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Leg Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Leg Curl 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Crunch 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Lying Leg Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min

Brunette man leaning over doing a dumbbell single arm bicep curl.

Week 2: Upper and Lower Body Workouts

Hopefully, that first week of workouts satisfied some of the cravings you’ve had to get back into the weight room. That said, you should still feel like you’re ready to take on more. That’s a good thing. The hunger for more is what can fuel you for this week. Now we’re going to shift the focus to upper and lower body workouts.

You will still do four workouts in a week – two for the upper body and two for the lower body. Abs will be included in both sessions. Start with whichever workout you like, but alternate the workouts. Some movements will be more challenging this week, but you should be able to execute them with proper form and without reaching failure.

An example weekly schedule can look something like this:

Week 2 Sample Schedule:

  • Monday: Upper Body Workout
  • Tuesday: Lower Body Workout
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Upper Body Workout
  • Saturday: Lower Body Workout
  • Sunday: Off

The goal here is the same as the first week – three sets of 10 reps, with one minute of rest between sets.

Week 2: Upper Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Incline Barbell Bench Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Low Incline Dumbbell Flys 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Bent-Over Barbell Row 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Arnold Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Single Arm Lateral Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Concentration Curl 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Lying Tricep Extension 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Weighted Crunch 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Hanging Leg Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min

Week 2: Lower Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell or Dumbbell Deadlift 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Walking Lunge 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Barbell Squat 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Single-Leg Press 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Seated Calf Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Standing Calf Raise 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Standing Side Bend 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
V-Ups 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Reverse Crunch 2-3 8-10 1-2 min
Plank 2-3 30-60 sec 1-2 min

Other Activity

Remember that this is a time to make the muscles get reacquainted with working. So make them work. Another thing you can do while training is flexing the muscles in between sets. Don’t stare at a mirror and go into quarter turns like you’re in front of judges. Simply contract the muscle on its own (like a bicep flex in between sets of curls). 

You should also be stretching everything out as well. Elongate the muscles and feel that burn. This can help maximize the range of motion that you have, which is very important. That said, don’t overstretch and subject yourself to injury. 

Cardio

You should also be doing cardio on a regular basis. Do one round first thing in the morning for 20-30 minutes. It can be a moderate effort for now. Wait until you’re back into a full routine before you start implementing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into the plan.

If the schedule permits, go for a walk or hop on a cardio machine for 10-20 minutes after the weight training is done. This can help burn some extra calories and elevate the heart rate for a short time before you’re done for the day.

After Two Weeks

If you did your research and have found a suitable plan to help you reach those initial goals during this two-week period, then week three is the time to start following it. Your body should be ready for a regular training plan, and your motivation is likely higher than it’s ever been. Channel that energy properly and get to work. Those goals are waiting, and you’ll be in a great position to succeed.

0 Comments
Free Workouts & Expert Advice

Get a weekly email with the latest workouts, tools, expert guides and deals from M&S.