T Nation

After How Long Should You Take a Break from Training?


I have been training intensely for 5 months now. Got really strong a lost aroung 30 pounds. However after so many months of training I am burnt, I just want to stop. Is it ok to take a couple of weeks off or is it not recommended.
Kind of planning of taking 2 weeks off after December 15.


You’ll be fine, make sure you come back though haha

Also, dont freak out if the first day (or week) back feels terrible.

You may want to take scheduled deloads when you return.


I read that I should deload 10% when I get back. The fact that I am considering deloading is a testament of how burnt I feel lol.


If you are training with any sort of intensity, you will need lighter weeks here and there. That’s part of the process.


There are actually 2 schools of thought here. One is you take periodic week or so long breaks in your training where you only train at 50% or so of your max. These are frequently built into the program you are running, like 5/3/1 does. Another is you adjust your volume, intensity, and frequency so that you in theory never need a deload week. I tend to do better on the second approach I have found, but everyone is different.


5/3/1 has built in deloads for a reason.

Just saying.


I do 531. Deloads is not 100% resting. You are still lifting.


Taking a couple of weeks off is a terrible idea. Taking one week off is something experienced lifters can get away with after a focused period of peaking (like right after a competition).

Taking a couple of weeks of less stressful training to recharge your mind and let your body recover can be a good idea if programmed properly. Taking one week of less stressful training is a very common approach that many, many lifters follow.

Doing no exercise for two weeks, especially around the holidays, is a great way to put back on some of those 30 pounds you just lost.

What has your training and diet looked like these past 5 months?


definitely don’t take 2 weeks off AND a deload after that. If you really don’t want to train for a week, then don’t. I know a lot of people who NEVER take a week off. They avoid getting burnt out by utilizing their deload weeks properly.

I would take 1 week off, not 2. And don’t deload after.



Are you physically or mentally burnt out?


Yes man! Feel like I just want to chill. The body feeling tired. However, looking at my calendar, my deload week would be on the week of December 18. Basically I would take the last week of December off and come back January 1. I train 2 days a week 531 and 2-3 bjj.


No. You are not.

Look at everything also. Not just tired of lifting.


You are right lol


Doing 531 2 days a week on top of anything(outside of inseason athletes really) shouldn’t burn you out. It’s very simple with very little heavy weight moved especially in the first 3 or so months. I don’t even think Jim says to deload on the 2 day. And he says to condition 2 times a week I think so just take a break when you need it. Make sure you’re eating enough and sleeping enough for yourself.


Arnold, after Olympia wins used to to what he called, active rest.

He did not go to the gym but kept busy being active. I think he mentioned archery once.

After a couple of weeks, he would get the itching to go back to the gym, so he did.


My only suggestion is dont let two weeks become 3 than 4 and on and on


I suggest you just ignore the program for a week or two. Go to the gym like normal and do whatever you want. Just walk in and wing it for a week or two. You’ll be using your body but freeing your mind.

I never take planned breaks but life happens. I took about two weeks off earlier in the year and I hated it. I did a couple of body weight circuits during that time and then I had two weeks of intermittent training. To me it felt like a four week break and it took a month to get back my strength. Nothing like deadlifting 5 plates and then struggling to move 4 plates six weeks later.


From what I have read and experienced most would recommend that you take off a week or two. Many believe its better to deload than take time off. I found it a struggle to get back into the gym and a routine even though I really want to hit my goals. I have had about 6 weeks off from an injury so I didn’t have a choice but it was still a struggle to get back into it. I found when I was younger I would sign up for a year contract at a gym go for a day get sore and never come back. I have since found to enjoy that pain and push through for the goal. Depends what your goal is I guess.