T Nation

10 Days Off and I Feel Like Shit!


I've just had 10 days off lifting for the first time in probably a decade, but instead of feeling all fresh and recovered (all those little niggles we lift through on a regular basis sorted) I feel like I've been run over by a truck.

First few days I felt fine then after 3 or 4 days off I developed a pain in my knee in a place I've never had one before, my back started to spasm and felt like it could go at any moment, the area around my collarbones (upper pecs) started to ache, not to mention my neck and shoulders and all from doing nothing.

Does anyone else experience this sort of thing during a layoff or is it just me? could there be a physiological reason behind it? something to do with spinal and joint unloading maybe?



Yes, I start to feel like I am going to fall apart. Both mentally and physically. I am in some level of pain from training most of the time, but it is better than the alternative.


Sounds like you do no active-recovery or do anything besides weight lift for your exercise?

I would add in chinups/pushups/bw sqauts daily ---just start real easy on the volume


Obviously I'm a newbie, but I have had nearly a week off due to work commitments, and I had exactly the same upper pec/clavicle pain yesterday.

Back to the gym tomorrow!


^ This.

Farmer you know what I have done the past 6 months, WHY cause I went through the same thing you are describing. Listen to Fish he can help you.


Blood flow. As Fischer says, active recovery when not lifting is key -keeps the blood flowing.

Think of your crazy-assed lifting (that's a compliment!) and being bed-ridden as opposite ends of the spectrum. People that can't move at all and are bed-ridden have to be moved around because otherwise muscle tissue dies from lack of blood flow. If you'd been bed-ridden for 10 days, you would actually expect to feel like shit no?


Nah, generally I always do hill sprints or cycle at least 2 or 3 times a week, but this (because I was away from home) was the first time I have done absolutely nothing for a week besides walk.

Funnily enough (I haven't posted it yet) I just started a pull up/push up everyday programme tonight!


Active recovery is big, which I do none of, again why this section is so awesome, I gotta start doing it, in the times where I have taken 3-5 days off the first day at the gym starts out slow but ends feeling awesome, missing 10 days would be brutal the only time I have missed that much time were due to hospital stays.


Guys here is a big secret. I deload by doing only bweight exercises for a week to 10 days then I go and get some big time PR's.

I was taught this by Ernie Frantz (for lifting) and by Pat Miletich for fighting. It is called tapering and when done right works awesome. It allows for super-compensation to actually happen.

I work up to a 95%er on the lift and do 2 doubles then take a week off (with active-rest) then come in KILL IT!

I just hit a 5 year PR on seated Millies by 20 pound for reps!


I hate taking more than four days off, I feel weak when I come back and DOMS are insane.


Add in burpees or free weight squats as well --then your golden.


I'm experiencing this right now!

Have only lifted once since September 23. And I feel tired and achy. Like I'm getting the flu. Maybe I am?


I was wondering what was up, glad your back at it farmer.


Good stuff, I would also add foam rolling and ankle mobilzation to that list. I do this as a warm up every weight training session.


Let me clarify: Besides mobility work daily I also do some form of Active-Recovery,GPP whatever you want to call it <--DAILY. Either Kbell swings,Bweight complex, Bar Complex--Do something. This is in Addition to the Heavy stuff.

I know some here have real busy lives but 2 minutes here and 2 minutes there add up.

If I had a choice if you can do only 1 exercise for your GPP it would be AB Wheel rollouts.

All my clients get Ab Wheel as gifts from me. They do them Daily.


Fischer is right

a small amount of bw and or conditioning work daily
makes a big difference


or you could just be fat and old like me


I wondered what happened to you! Have you begun your big OE???

Someone said something about how they don't take days off because if they take days off they get injured. I'm definitely like that. If I don't do my mobility work every single day my body starts to seize up. miss a day and i need to spend 2x as long the next day for 1/2 the effect.

You got a foam roller?? Dare I say gently does it??

Push-ups, pull-ups, unweighted squats (or you gotta have something you can hold or put on your back. your wife or something), lunges, one legged squats... Probably just moving around would help.

Didn't someone tell you to pack a barbell for your trip??


Nice to see you back and hoping you enjoyed the luvverly south-west.

As you know i have nothing like the experience to offer any suggestion as to why you are having it so rough after a decent break.

Some thoughts though :
1. Sleep-you were sleeping in the van..yes..is that as comfortable as home or does it give you any problems ? . Bizzarrely i sleep much better in a tent (or under a bivvi) on my super comfy camp mat than i do at home !! and have much less recovery problems due to same.
2. Travel--sitting in a car driving (france=12hrs) really makes me stiff in all the wrong places and takes a couple of days to work the kinks out.

for your trip is it worth carrying some basic kit to train with .

If you could pm me your postal i have something for you that might help you on this--and the trip.


Thanks for the feedback all. I'm glad it's not just me then.

Funnily enough the knee pain that prevented me from sleeping on Sunday night until I took some painkillers, went away immediately after I squatted on Monday. No bullshit. Honestly.

Convincing proof that squats are good for your knees I think.

Alexus - This has made me realise that I'll have to do something (bw circuit?) while on the road just to be able to function.

BN - You're right we were sleeping in the van which does have quite a hard bed. So probably the back issue could be attributed to that, but I'd be surprised if the clavicle and knee pain were, IDK.