You've just come back from a cold/flu, tough spot in study/work, a holiday or an injury that has interrupted what was a solid routine. Now two or even three weeks later you are facing your first day back at the gym.
What do you feel you want to do do?
You could go back to exactly where you were at before your immune system was shot to pieces and your nervous system copped pressure with being overworked to simply get better. You could try to hit intensity ASAP, cause heck, you neeeeed to blow off those cob webs. Your recovering back/shoulder/knees 'feel' 100% so let's test it under heavy load.
What would this result in?
A reallllly slow recovery of that niggling cough that's still sitting there, an extra 3-6 weeks on your injury recovery or for those coming back from a holiday, this is honestly the most common time I've seen people over do weights and cause damage.
What SHOULD you do?
Ease back in. Take your time getting back into your routine, getting back in touch with the movements, focus back on technique, slowly bring intensity back in and don't be in a rush to 'get back to where you were'. Be ok with doing a different variation or even a specially made workout tailored for you to help get you back into doing the set programming.
We as coaches want to see your fitness journey progress happily and healthily over time and if we know you have had time off we will always give you a progression that is still challenging but appropriate for where you are at on that day. It's a super important part of our jobs in fact!
Overall, this is just a little reminder that training isn't always a 3-5 days a week, 52 weeks a year routine that is unbreakable. In the same way, progress doesn't happen in a linear direction always going up. Things rift your routine from time to time and the smarter you can be about bouncing back and being adaptable, the more solid and consistent your journey will be over time.