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Thread: Rest week ?

  1. #1
    Registered User blastertech70's Avatar
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    Rest week ?

    After reading a number of training articles, some of them have mentioned a "growth week" After a certain number of weeks of solid training ( 12 weeks as example)

    They reccomend taking a full week of to recover and let the muscles grow.

    Is this myth or good advice ????
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  2. #2
    The show goes on chodan9's Avatar
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    I think it depends on how hard your hitting it on a regular basis.
    I mean if your only lifting a couple days a week you probably are rested enough.
    but if you hit it hard 5+ days a week then its probably a good idea.
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    Registered User HowieSt's Avatar
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    I'm all for a week off to rest and I'll be starting that week June 27th. I figure a week back home in South Florida on the beach should do it.
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  4. #4
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    No one training naturally can train all-out, all the time. You must periodize your training in some fashion, whether it be a week completely off, or a deload week. It's best to do one or the other on a regular schedule; if you don't do it on purpose, your body will do it for you, and when that happens, it's never good.
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    Go Buffs Go !!! paddry69's Avatar
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    I'm glad you asked that question OP. Been interested in that issue myself. I just had a week off myself. Was camping and fishing all last week. I did go on a 4 mile hike, but other than that I was mostly sitting around. Oh, and I had the occasional libation. One things for sure, I was really pumped when it came time to lift yesterday. I actually missed it and was ready to get back in the swing.
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    Registered User psymon101's Avatar
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    Every 6 weeks I try and take 1 week off, I come back the following week rejuvenated and usually get a good increase on how much I can lift.. I think though, personally, its all about how you train and how you feel...
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    No one training naturally can train all-out, all the time. You must periodize your training in some fashion, whether it be a week completely off, or a deload week. It's best to do one or the other on a regular schedule; if you don't do it on purpose, your body will do it for you, and when that happens, it's never good.
    Can you be a bit more specific? What would you consider a "deload" week? How do you figure out when to take a week off or do a deload? Do you do it on a structured basis, or as your body tells you to?
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    Chodan and Ironwill hit the nail on the head. If you're really pushing yourself (and only you know if you're really pushing yourself) taking time off is important to let the CNS reset and let the muscles really do not much of anything other than exchange oxygen for waste. My own training runs in 6-week cycles, so every six weeks I take a week off.
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  9. #9
    Registered User mavrick77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by blastertech70 View Post
    After reading a number of training articles, some of them have mentioned a "growth week" After a certain number of weeks of solid training ( 12 weeks as example)

    They reccomend taking a full week of to recover and let the muscles grow.

    Is this myth or good advice ????
    I think this really depends on how hard you are training and what stage of the game you are in. In my opinion if this is your first year or two of training, you shouldn't need a rest week but maybe once a year.... I have been doing this for 16 years now, and I still only take about 2 a year (one after a contest cutting cycle, and one after my bulking cycle before I cut).....


    other then that Ironwill makes a good point....you should throw a week in there or two of deloading...weather that be going light with higher reps, or fewer exercises (as I call it, just to let the muscles know I still care)
    Last edited by mavrick77; 06-17-2009 at 04:27 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by mavrick77 View Post
    I think this really depends on how hard you are training and what stage of the game you are in. In my opinion if this is your first year or two of training, you shouldn't need a rest week but maybe once a year.... I have been doing this for 16 years now, and I still only take about 2 a year (one after a contest cutting cycle, and one after my bulking cycle before I cut).....

    other then that Ironwill makes a good point....you should throw a week in there or two of deloading...weather that be going light with higher reps, or fewer exercises (as I call it, just to let the muscles know I still care)
    How has this worked for you as far as avoiding injury/etc over those 16 years?

    And just my 2 cents to the OP: 3/4's of the "Eat, Lift, Sleep, Repeat" mantra has nothing to do with lifting.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    No one training naturally can train all-out, all the time. You must periodize your training in some fashion, whether it be a week completely off, or a deload week. It's best to do one or the other on a regular schedule; if you don't do it on purpose, your body will do it for you, and when that happens, it's never good.
    exactly what he said. if your training at full intensity you WILL give yourself a break either by choice or you body colapsing.
    be smart! muscles arnt just earnt in the gym.
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    I'm a firm believer in time off.

    I think everyone should take a week off from lifting every 6-12 weeks. Personally I do it every 6-8 weeks. Your own body should tell you what sort of schedule is best for you.

    I think of it as a time for your body to "catch up" on rest and healing. When you are working out with your weekly routine, you're constantly trying to maintain that delicate balance between lifting/damaging muscle and resting/repairing muscle and usually you never quite get back to 100%. Taking that week off gives your body time to heal completely (something which takes longer the older I get).

    I also like the idea of at least once a year taking a longer break of 2-3 weeks.
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    About every 6 weeks I either rest or do a deloading week. Deloading is doing my same routine with 50% of my normal working weight, same number of sets, and 8 reps for most exercises (12 for calves since do high-rep work for them).

    I've been deloading more often than totally resting because I'm finding more benefits to the active rest. Either way, our bodies need a break if we want to continue to grow.
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    I am on my week off now. I usually run a 5 day split and go heavy all the time. My body was just screaming to me to take a rest. So for the first time in 6 months I decided it was time.

    Listening to your body is the key.
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    Is deloading always 50%? Or is that just a number used by some? I have never done this and wonder if it might make a difference. The last week I didn't have a lot of energy in the gym but got through my workouts anyway. Just curious how that whole thing works as I've seen it a lot here.
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    Originally Posted by GoOrange View Post
    I'm a firm believer in time off.

    I think everyone should take a week off from lifting every 6-12 weeks. Personally I do it every 6-8 weeks. Your own body should tell you what sort of schedule is best for you.

    I think of it as a time for your body to "catch up" on rest and healing. When you are working out with your weekly routine, you're constantly trying to maintain that delicate balance between lifting/damaging muscle and resting/repairing muscle and usually you never quite get back to 100%. Taking that week off gives your body time to heal completely (something which takes longer the older I get).

    I also like the idea of at least once a year taking a longer break of 2-3 weeks.
    And I've been feeling guilty when I take time off for either being sick or vacation.

    I will admit that after time off it really does feel good hitting the gym again
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Tallgntlmn View Post
    Is deloading always 50%? Or is that just a number used by some? I have never done this and wonder if it might make a difference. The last week I didn't have a lot of energy in the gym but got through my workouts anyway. Just curious how that whole thing works as I've seen it a lot here.
    There's no set number. 50% is a good guideline though.

    To me, the idea is that you still get to go to the gym, you still get to move joints through a full range of motion, you still burn some calories and get the blood flowing but the muscles still get to fully heal.

    When you find yourself barely making it through your usual sets, it's definitely time for a break.

    As an aside, you actually should be improving from workout to workout so when you finally plateau, it's time for a break and a change of routine.
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  18. #18
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Klayfish View Post
    Can you be a bit more specific? What would you consider a "deload" week? How do you figure out when to take a week off or do a deload? Do you do it on a structured basis, or as your body tells you to?

    I was introduced to deloading shortly after I began training. It made sense then, and it makes sense today. I make things very simple; I stay on my regular routine, cut all my weights by 50%, and stop the rep count the same as if I were training all-out. For example, if I did 3 sets of barbell rows at 225 pounds for 8 reps, then during deload week I'd use 110 pounds, for three sets of 8 reps. I'd do exactly the same for all exercises. I don't add anything, no extra cardio, or anything else during deload week.

    How often to deload is an individual matter. You need some experience here, in knowing how many weeks in a row you can go all-out, before you begin to feel run-down. Then, simply do a deload week a week or two before this occurs, and do it on a regular schedule. If you wait until you're already run-down, you've caused your body unnecessary stress, and the next time you do so, you may suffer an injury.

    I guess it's okay to just "take a week off," if you prefer, but if I did that, I'd be doing something that week; I'm not into sitting on my hands. I'd rather use the light training week to get "active rest," to give my joints and attachments a break from heavy pounding, and to work on perfecting my exercise form (something that always needs attention). I'll also use that week to work on any new, or long-unused exercise that I'm going to rotate into my routine the following week. Also, over the years, I've personally known a dozen guys who took a "week off," and never returned to the gym.

    Personally, when I started out, I deloaded every 8th week, regardless of whether I felt like I needed it or not. Over the years, it's progressed to every 4th week, on schedule, no questions asked. I've been training this way for 16 years now, with never a gym injury.
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  19. #19
    Registered User Tallgntlmn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GoOrange View Post
    There's no set number. 50% is a good guideline though.

    When you find yourself barely making it through your usual sets, it's definitely time for a break.

    As an aside, you actually should be improving from workout to workout so when you finally plateau, it's time for a break and a change of routine.
    Oh ok. There are some lifts for me where 50% would be pretty low. Is deloading generally for one week of workouts or longer?

    I barely made it through the leg workout yesterday. I felt like I didn't have enough energy in the tank for it and the weights felt really heavy. Only got 6 reps out of my last set of squats when I normally get 8 at that weight.

    I have seen pretty steady increases lately, though some lifts have remained the same.
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  20. #20
    Registered User GoOrange's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tallgntlmn View Post
    Oh ok. There are some lifts for me where 50% would be pretty low. Is deloading generally for one week of workouts or longer?

    I barely made it through the leg workout yesterday. I felt like I didn't have enough energy in the tank for it and the weights felt really heavy. Only got 6 reps out of my last set of squats when I normally get 8 at that weight.

    I have seen pretty steady increases lately, though some lifts have remained the same.
    Most people would probably deload for a week, but (just like taking time off) stretching it out to two weeks would be fine as well. There's no definitive right answer, you just need to find out what works for you.

    It sounds like your legs might need a change of pace or a little time off. Take a week off (or do a deload week). Change up the exercises you do. I change up my routines every 6-8 weeks (right after I come off of a rest week). Generally squats are the one exercise that I always include in my routines but there are variations to mix it up. Try front squats or single leg squats like lunges, reverse lunges, bulgarian split squats or step ups.

    When I take a week off, I still get exercise, I just take a week off from weightlifting. I still do cardio and other recreational activities such as swimming, jogging, biking, hiking, racquetball, baseball or whatever. Just because you're not pumping iron doesn't mean you can't be active.
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  21. #21
    Potentate DaddyR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HowieSt View Post
    I'm all for a week off to rest and I'll be starting that week June 27th...
    Me too! Been working my butt off in the gym 5 days a week and dieting and dropping fat for a while, and my upcoming vacation is coming at the perfect time. I will be at my Dad's on Kent Island with the extended family for our annual get-together. Swimming in the Chesapeake Bay every day - hopefully there won't be too many dead fish!
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    Thanks all, a lot of great comments/advice. I guess it comes back to the "listen to what your body is telling you" and some good "common sence training"

    I been at this whole "weight loss/lifting" for almost 9 months now with no real break. Although the closer I get to my goal and the more small goals I make the more excited I get about doing it.

    I think when I hit my next goal of 285lbs from my original 407lb.. I am going to treat myself to a "cardio only" week.
    9-26-08 407 lbs
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    5-10-09 310 lbs
    6-21-09 308 lbs
    6-26-09 306 lbs
    6-30-09 305 lbs
    7-13-09 298 lbs
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    112 lbs total loss

    Goal weight = 230 lbs

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  23. #23
    Registered User mavrick77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BuckSpin View Post
    How has this worked for you as far as avoiding injury/etc over those 16 years?

    And just my 2 cents to the OP: 3/4's of the "Eat, Lift, Sleep, Repeat" mantra has nothing to do with lifting.
    besides my back problems, wich were not caused in the gym.....I have pretty much been injury free, yes a pull here and there....but nothing major.
    I do not sugar coat things, but you got in the condition you're in by "sugar coating."
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  24. #24
    When in doubt, mumble namtrag's Avatar
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    I can't deliberately take a week off, I might never start again. That's the honest, lazy bastard answer. Taking weekends off seems to be keeping me injury-free so far.
    Yorkshireman I: Right! I had to get up in the morning, at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill and pay mill-owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our dad would kill us and dance about on our graves, singing Hallelujah!
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  25. #25
    Registered User mavrick77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by namtrag View Post
    I can't deliberately take a week off, I might never start again. That's the honest, lazy bastard answer. Taking weekends off seems to be keeping me injury-free so far.
    thats how I try to do it, M-F in the gym...sat/sun are MINE!!!! unless I miss a workout, then I need to make it up on the weekend
    I do not sugar coat things, but you got in the condition you're in by "sugar coating."
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  26. #26
    Registered User drjoe's Avatar
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    I probably should take a week off sometimes, however I never can get myself to do it. I just love training! Instead, if I feel a little beat up, I might take 2-3 days off or just have a week where I cut back slightly on the number of sets I perform. This seems to work well for me.
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