T Nation

An Entire Week Off?

I love to train, but after going steady for about 4-5 months without a break I decided my body needs a rest. The problem is last time I took time off all I could think of was getting back into the gym. My question is should I suck it up and take a complete break off, or would cardio and ab work be ok?

taking a week or two off completely from the gym every now and then tends to really rejuvinate me, physically and mentally.

Im taking this week off myself due to spring break and my college gym is closed. And trust me I cant weight to get back and get pumped. I am actually feeling looser and more functional now that im rested. I have been jumping rope every day in the morning just light about 200 jumps,focusing on rhythm and footwork, and taking 3-5 mile walks every day with my dog, so thats keeping me pretty even keel as far as my energy levels. I would leave the ab work up too the skinny club guys , and just take your well deserved rest man.

A week off can make you stronger.

Two weeks might make you weaker.

Yep. Take a week off, it will help after you go really, really hard out for a few weeks or a months.

For me, every now and then, taking a week off or a few days actually allows me to gather myself (mentally) and lift more than I currently have been. For others the results may be different.

Of course, this could just be how my body reacts. Also, I keep my diet in check during this time!

[quote]ty45 wrote:
I love to train, but after going steady for about 4-5 months without a break I decided my body needs a rest. The problem is last time I took time off all I could think of was getting back into the gym. My question is should I suck it up and take a complete break off, or would cardio and ab work be ok?[/quote]

the man in your avatar promoted a week off

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
A week off can make you stronger.

Two weeks might make you weaker. [/quote]

on that note i got a story to share
i got hit with a nasty flu in the midst of my bulking phase and was out for 2 and a half weeks.
i went back to the gym the day i felt good enough to stand without shivering or wobbling.

my ego said to take it easy. use that god forsaken treadmill if you gotta. but then my dumbass superego kicked in and guided me to the squat rack. yeaa doing squats are way too taxing right now, lets do some deads instead. i load 135lbs. easy 12 reps for a good warmup. i feel decent. actually i feel alive because my blood is actually moving around. i throw on 185lbs.

shit, i used straps, what a pussy, put on 225lbs. man, are these straps really helping me that much? threw on 315lbs and pulled 4. well if i made it this far… now i had 4 plates on with some godly confidence that i would be able to put it up. 405 was my max prior to being sick. i took an extra min break and got some water.

i strapped in and preceded to successfully pull it again. now the part that sucks is that i was done. i mean d o n e, done. i tried to do some pull ups and i got light headed like i walked into a garage with a hemi running for an hour.
def my top 10 stupidest things ive done in my life.

Take a week off. I plan my downtime around periods of high stress (work,university,etc.)

I’ll admit its hard to get back to it. But you soon do.

I personally fucked up my goals with trying +5kg on the 3 big lifts upon my return to the gym last week. Failed on all of 'em.

I did get 3 singles at my current max for bench though (used to only get just 1) so I did get stronger I spose…

SET SOME GOALS TO ACHIEVE AFTER THE WEEK OFF.

Cheers,
Spry.

A week off after a long time lifting tends to help me, although im completly desperate to get back to the GYM.
It often seems to have the effect that i can come back and lift more than i was before the break. Sometimes an extended period of rest can let you fully recover and come bak stronger. Just my experience

While it might play with your head (omigawd! I’m shrinking!), the rest of your body will thank you for it. I have to force myself to do this occassionally. When I come back, the small aches and pains feel better, my strength is up, and my motivation is renewed. Don’t let your diet go to hell during the break though.

S

Definitely take the week off. Every bit of you will benefit from it. I take a week off every now and then, usually every 2 or so months, and each time I do it, I come back stronger and more rested. Just don’t go off your diet.

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
Definitely take the week off. Every bit of you will benefit from it. I take a week off every now and then, usually every 2 or so months, and each time I do it, I come back stronger and more rested. Just don’t go off your diet.[/quote]

Agreed…

To add to that I would plan ahead to take periodical breaks from time to time.

[quote]Jhuczko wrote:
To add to that I would plan ahead to take periodical breaks from time to time.[/quote]

Yep, definitely do that. I always plan ahead for vacations, holidays, or just normal weeks off. It helps me to focus on my workouts, knowing that in a week or two, I’ll have a week off to rest. Makes me work harder, I think.

rest is great. get to eat, fully recover, and get pissed of your not in the gym. then you go back and smash the shit out of old plateaus. I’ve always found if I take a week off I come back harder because of the rest. I break every 15 to 20 weeks

When you guys take off do you eat a little less?

alright thanks guys but one more thing, my schedule is usualy mon-fri so should i take next weekend off too to make it 10 days rest?

[quote]ty45 wrote:
alright thanks guys but one more thing, my schedule is usualy mon-fri so should i take next weekend off too to make it 10 days rest?[/quote]

Yeah, I would. So, that would be, take off weekend to weekend, then start again on that following Monday. Remember, keep your diet straight, maybe even up the protein a little (a minor recommendation, just a thought). Hope you enjoy your “vacation!”

[quote]AmandaSC wrote:
When you guys take off do you eat a little less? [/quote]

I don’t know about everyone else, but when I take a week off, like I said in the post above me, I eat just a slight bit more (a definite upside to my diet, which uses “ballpark numbers”).

The whole point of the week off is so that your body rests and recovers. If you deplete your body of necessary nutrients during this period, you’re essentially negating the purpose of the break.

I plan to take a week off, but I’m usually feeling good to go after 3 days.

So I write a new program, and start off easy and go for it.

Life’s for living. So if I feel like lifting, I’ll go lift.