Coming Back To Training After Sickness

So over a week ago I made a trip to San Francisco with my wife and daughter to visit family. A speeding ticket on the drive up was not the only thing I was given on the trip – I came down hard with a stomach flu/virus. This happened pretty much on the second day. Cold shivers, body aches, stomach pains (knives in the guts type of pains), headaches and feeling like I was going to throw up. During this time, I did not feel like eating because I would just throw it straight back up. This whole ordeal lasted pretty much over a week and Monday was the first day I felt better. I asked myself the question “when is the right time to go back to training”? I googled this and found a whole lot of amusing topics in weightlifting and bodybuilding forums.

Now, there is no right or wrong answer here. It has to do with how you are feeling and, everybody is different. But, let’s face it… you’re not getting over major surgery, it’s a stomach bug. So, try it out. Go back to training, but don’t go as hard as you normally would, treat it as a recovery day. See how you feel, if you feel ok then you can pick up the pace the following day. If not, give the next day a miss.

Here’s a three step process on the road to recovery. This process may only take 2-3 days after an illness:
Step 1 – Resume training and gradually increase the frequency of training sessions.
Step 2 – Gradually increase duration or volume of training sessions.
Step 3 – Increase intensity so full training and competition can occur.

And just because you can’t initially train as hard… doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to still get in there and utilize your time well. When I was starting to feel better, I made good use of my time and got stuck into some mobility. Laying down in bed and sitting on the couch sick all week got me wound up. My hamstrings, hips and thoracic spine were really hurting. I found that moving helped with my recovery. Especially since the only movement I had initially was running backwards and forwards to the loo (too much info?).

Here’s some other things to consider:

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself when coming back into training. A cold/flu/illness is just something that life throws our way.
  • While you are sick drink plenty of fluids with electrolytes (in fact, just drink plenty of fluids all the time).
  • Make situations work to your advantage ie: work on mobility and range of movement.
  • Continue to train within the limitations of your current situation and monitor frequency, intensity, and duration of training.
  • Return to your normal workout schedule as soon as you can.
  • Attempt to minimize life stress and try meditating.

My best advice is to stay healthy, but on the rare occasion that you do get sick hopefully the above advice will help.


Wednesday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

Repeat the following pattern through round of 10 burpees

1 Burpee
1 DB Seated Floor Press (45/30)
2 DB Front-rack lunges
25 Double unders
2 Burpees
2 DB Seated Floor Press (45/30)
4 DB Front-rack lunges
25 Double unders
3 Burpee
3 DB Seated Floor Press (45/30)
6 DB Front-rack lunges
25 Double unders
10 Burpees
10 DB Seated Floor Press (45/30)
20 DB Front-rack lunges
25 Double unders

400m DB Farmer carry

And Coming Thursday

A) For quality load:
Working up across sets

B) 3RFQ on the 4:00
20 Air squats 2-1-X-1
5 Squat cleans (60%)


Leave a Comment