PDA

View Full Version : Q: Time Off?



Hfit
07-03-2006, 07:05 AM
I will be the first to admit that I can barely make it 2 days without going to the gym. I realize the importance of taking time off (from everything -cardio & weights) but have a hard time doing it. When I read a lot of these threads I can't help but think we are all so obsessed with working out, training and eating that we forget to take a break (me included). As with most of you I have goals of losing just a few lbs and maintaining leanness but can't pinpoint why my progress isn't happening. I eat perfect I train perfect (by the book)the only thing I don't do is take time off...here's a few questions for you

How often do you take time off from the gym?

How many days in a row do you take off?

Has anyone taken a full month off- did it help?

OldEnuf2BYoMama
07-03-2006, 07:45 AM
I am probably UNlike most people on this board as I don't really "enjoy" working out...I do, however, enjoy how my body looks because of it, so I do it.
I work out every other day and have at most taken a week off completely...even after only a week, I was suprised at how hard my lifts became...I felt so weak! I don't think a month off is beneficial....good luck!

DUMB BELLE
07-03-2006, 11:51 AM
I must agree. I think a MONTH off is somewhat extreme.

You say you do everything "by the book" and you don't enjoy training. Maybe this is part of the problem.

Terracotta raised a really important issue in a previous post and i couldn't agree with her more! She said you should find some training method that you actually ENJOY! Logically, the more you enjoy something the harder and better you'll want to do it.

Also, by doing things (diet, training etc) SO strictly, it's easy for your body to adapt especially when your methods become predictable and your body no longer has to keep adjusting.

I would say: TAKE A WEEK OFF!!!!!! Do nothing and eat what you want. Your body will thank you for the holiday - ever seen the quality of school kids work at the end of a term compared to the beginning of a new term when they've returned from a well deserved break? Same priciple.

When you come back from your time off, try to freshen things up. You can try a new training split or something. You'll find your body will be "shocked" and excited into high gear again and you'll probably find you achieve better results than before your break.

While you are having a break,you can take comfort in the fact that you are NOT "being lazy" but doing what's best for your mind and BODY!

terracotta
07-03-2006, 12:40 PM
Thanks Belle ;)

I agree, don't take more than 1 week off.. I have before, and you get really far behind. 1 week off can be beneficial - make sure you are still getting adequate protein though to encourage your body to keep its muscle!

darkangel
07-03-2006, 01:10 PM
On the program I'm on, I believe we take a one week break after the first 12 weeks of massing and two weeks after the second 12 weeks. But this is a program for ectomorphs who really have to guard against overtraining.

OldEnuf2BYoMama
07-03-2006, 03:43 PM
You say you do everything "by the book" and you don't enjoy training. Maybe this is part of the problem.


No, DB...I am the one who doesn't "enjoy" working out...

The Original Poster can't get enough!

WillDeadliftForFood
07-03-2006, 06:03 PM
Taking a week off is EXTREMELY beneficial, especially if you've been training hard. In fact, it's a key component in many programs, where in the week before the break you push yourself harder than usual, then take that week off to recover and reap your gains.

Just because it's a "rest week" does not mean it has to be "veg out on the couch week". You ARE allowed to exercise, but at much lower intensity AND volume, and preferably doing something you haven't done lately. I've heard recommendations of biking, swimming, playing a friendly sports game. The key is to absolutely avoid pushing yourself. Increased blood flow can help muscle recovery, and being active will help keep you from feeling like you've fallen off the wagon, so-to-speak.

Happy lifting!

Edit: In My Opinion (and unresearched), a month off would only be necessary if you severely overtrained. Men can take a break month without such a loss in muscle due to higher testosterone, which slows catabolism a great deal. Women, being at a test disadvantage, would probably see a decline in performance more quickly. Once again, this is My Opinion, and derived from various readings and basic endrocrinology.

imperfectly_lou
07-03-2006, 06:55 PM
I take a week off usually every 12-15 weeks. Usually I KNOW when it's time. I get tired, cranky, stop seeing gains in the gym and often just don't want to go. I used to be terrified of taking time off but my experiences have shown me a few things

a) If you don't feel tired and needing a break at least every 16 weeks, chances are you aren't working hard enough in the gym

b) When I get back into it, my energy levels and strength skyrocket!

Dogmama
07-04-2006, 04:29 AM
I take a week off usually every 12-15 weeks. Usually I KNOW when it's time. I get tired, cranky, stop seeing gains in the gym and often just don't want to go. I used to be terrified of taking time off but my experiences have shown me a few things

a) If you don't feel tired and needing a break at least every 16 weeks, chances are you aren't working hard enough in the gym

b) When I get back into it, my energy levels and strength skyrocket!

Great post - couldn't agree more. Plus, all the little nagging injuries have a chance to heal - you know - the ones that are annoying but not bad enough to stop lifting.

mykidsmom
07-04-2006, 04:56 AM
I have never enjoyed working out. Perhaps due to the sweat, sore muscles, and having been the most out of shape in the gym. However, since I have been working out consistently for the past 6 months, I feel really fat and gross when I miss 2 days in a row now.

I had to take Sunday off because I realized I'd been in every day for three weeks and it was catching up with me. I was very sore and had a lot of housework to do. But then yesterday the kids were sick so I couldn't leave them in the kids area and we have no equipment at home. This morning I can't wait to get back in (thankfully my gym is open for a while today).

Anyone else start feeling flabby after just two days? By the way, now that I am not the most out of shape and actually pretty strong, and I know some nice people at my gym, I actually DO look forward to going in.

Hfit
07-05-2006, 12:26 PM
Thanks for all the good advice! I'm on my 4th day off - thank you for helping ease the anxiety! Hopfully i'll get out of this "lull" soon.

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 07:52 AM
No, DB...I am the one who doesn't "enjoy" working out...

The Original Poster can't get enough!

Oooops! Sorry bout that. Anyway, I think Terra's advice still applies though.
I can't IMAGINE training everyday if I didn't know I was really going to enjoy it (once I'm there). How DO you do it?
I understand that you enjoy seeing the RESULTS but have you NEVER enjoyed the actual WORKOUT? Don't you ever get a kick (DURING your workout) when you improve on your PM or feel liberated and proud when you lifting weights better than most of the chauvinistic men in the gym?
I know I sometimes don't enjoy the schlep of pulling myself off the couch and getting in the car and getting to the gym but once I'm actually there I have a blast!
Isn't excercise supposed to release endorphines (happy hormones)which make you feel good DURING your workout?
Curious.

sherdi
07-07-2006, 03:30 PM
Taking a week off is EXTREMELY beneficial, especially if you've been training hard. In fact, it's a key component in many programs, where in the week before the break you push yourself harder than usual, then take that week off to recover and reap your gains.

Just because it's a "rest week" does not mean it has to be "veg out on the couch week". You ARE allowed to exercise, but at much lower intensity AND volume, and preferably doing something you haven't done lately. I've heard recommendations of biking, swimming, playing a friendly sports game. The key is to absolutely avoid pushing yourself. Increased blood flow can help muscle recovery, and being active will help keep you from feeling like you've fallen off the wagon, so-to-speak.

Happy lifting!

Edit: In My Opinion (and unresearched), a month off would only be necessary if you severely overtrained. Men can take a break month without such a loss in muscle due to higher testosterone, which slows catabolism a great deal. Women, being at a test disadvantage, would probably see a decline in performance more quickly. Once again, this is My Opinion, and derived from various readings and basic endrocrinology.


Great post!!! It's so important to have a week off every so often (I usually take one every 8 weeks) as it gives the central nervous system a break from all that heavy lifting we do usually!

I am about to take a week off from 8 weeks of training hard and heavy, and I am ready for it! However, as this post states, I am not going to be just sitting on the couch, I am going to get in some daily walking sessions as well as some long stretching sessions. I find that doing lower intensity exercise like stretching and walking is perfect for active recovery!

Don't forget, when taking a break, nutrition is just as important! Don't skimp too much on the calories and make sure you are getting in all your protein, good fats, and most importantly, fruit and veggies!

stealth_swimmer
07-07-2006, 03:51 PM
After every 8 weeks I take 2 weeks off, and my strength doesn't suffer at all. The first week I'm back in the gym I do lift lighter and I pretty much go for a pump more than anything else just so i can ease my way back into training. The second week however, I go all out and my training phase begins.