Pro-Tip – as anti-hardcore as it sounds, take it easy on the return to the gym. We’ve been back for one week and ended up sleeping all weekend from a destroyed CNS.
One of the team also managed to tweak his shoulder during benching. Its very easy to forget, but this is a skill sport, and you are relying on a huge series of stabilisers.
Here are some practical tips
1. Practice bracing again – really mentally think pushing out into that belt
2. Add a little overhead work, keep your shoulders down and back, rebuild the positions you may not have stressed with at-home training
3. Hit reps in the early weeks, the musculature will come back at the same time as neural recruitment
4. Cap workout times
5. Consider running high bar for a while, unless you have a comp upcoming
6. Consider conventional for a while, unless you are a naturally stretchy person
7. Don’t force yourself to train, or get bummed about what's on the bar, this is a pretty odd set of circumstances
Many many many people forget that powerlifting and strength are skill sports. Squat, bench and deadlift technique may have felt ‘locked in’ when you left the gym, but when you return, you are going to forget the hundreds of tiny little movements that made everything feel perfect.
This is often said but – altered mechanics -> expose weaknesses -> compensation -> injury
To put this in really simple words, come back to squat, your heels are tight, you tip forward, your lower back is not strong, you get dumped forward hard, you round your back, you are injured. The same thing on a bench, you fall out of groove, touch too high, try to press it out, ping your rotator cuff.
The main thing to remember on your return, strength is a marathon, not a sprint. Take a month or two to ease you way back in, leave your ego at the door, and just relax. Enjoy it. You are going to be angry if you waited months to return to gym, then are out straight away with an injury.
Technique -> Technique at volume -> Technique at building intensity.