T Nation

Best Workout Schedule?

Im wondering how long it takes to lose strength when on a layoff from lifting.

Tomorrow Im leaving for ohio and will be gone till tuesday. Ill be home wed and thurs and am leaving friday to go to fenway until sunday night. I doubt i will be able to lift during these away times. So, this week looked like:

Mon- ME Lower (squat); Tues- ME Upper (bench); Thurs- DE Lower; Fri- DE Upper.

Im thinking of deadlifting on Wed when I come back as due to my football routine for college next year, we dont really do them. The only problem with this is that if I do this it will be about 10 days where I dont squat, and about 14 days between heavy squats. Is this too much time in between sessions? I have to max on the 15th of august and dont wanna lose strength in a layaway.

unless you’re squating really heavy i bet you could do 3-5 sets of 10-15 rock bottom pistol squats every few days and you won’t lose a thing. that’s my two cents.

Well, people take active recovery/off weeks all the time and come back stronger. Some off-time or easy time every now and then can be very beneficial.

In most cases you will not see much of a difference until you haven’t trained at all for about two weeks. In your case, you will get to train during your “break” just not as much. I can’t see your strength or power decreasing in that time. You just might not progress as much as you would if you continued to train uninterupted. Check out the studies below.

J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Aug;16(3):373-82.

Detraining produces minimal changes in physical performance and hormonal variables in recreationally strength-trained men.

Kraemer WJ, Koziris LP, Ratamess NA, Hakkinen K, TRIPLETT-McBRIDE NT, Fry AC, Gordon SE, Volek JS, French DN, Rubin MR, Gomez AL, Sharman MJ, Michael Lynch J, Izquierdo M, Newton RU, Fleck SJ.

The Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology Unit 1110, The University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269, USA. kraemer@uconnvm.uconn.edu

The object of this study was to examine changes in muscular strength, power, and resting hormonal concentrations during 6 weeks of detraining (DTR) in recreationally strength-trained men. Each subject was randomly assigned to either a DTR (n = 9) or resistance training (RT; n = 7) group after being matched for strength, body size, and training experience. 

Muscular strength and power testing, anthropometry, and blood sampling were performed before the experimental period (T1), after 3 weeks (T2), and after the 6-week experimental period (T3). One-repetition maximum (1RM) shoulder and bench press increased in RT at T3 (p </= 0.05), whereas no significant changes were observed in DTR. Peak power output and mean power output significantly decreased (9 and 10%) in DTR at T2. Peak torque of the elbow flexors at 90 degrees did not change in the RT group but did significantly decrease by 11.9% at T3 compared with T1 in the DTR group.

Vertical jump height increased in RT at T2 but did not change in DTR. Neither group displayed any changes in 1RM squat, body mass, percent body fat, or resting concentrations of growth hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, cortisol, or adrenocorticotropin. These data demonstrate that 6 weeks of resistance DTR in recreationally trained men affects power more than it does strength without any accompanying changes in resting hormonal concentrations.

For the recreational weight trainer, losses in strength over 6 weeks are less of a concern compared with anaerobic power and upper arm isometric force production. Anaerobic power exercise with a high metabolic component coming from glycolysis might be of importance for reducing the impact of DTR on Wingate power performances. A minimal maintenance training program is recommended for the recreational lifter to offset any reductions in performance.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Aug;25(8):929-35.

The effects of detraining on power athletes.

Hortobagyi T, Houmard JA, Stevenson JR, Fraser DD, Johns RA, Israel RG.

Human Performance Laboratory, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858.

We investigated the effects of 14 d of resistive exercise detraining on 12 power athletes. In comparing performances pre- to post-detraining, there were no significant (P > 0.05) changes in free weight bench press (-1.7%), parallel squat (-0.9%), isometric (-7%) and isokinetic concentric knee extension force (-2.3%), and vertical jumping (1.2%). In contrast, isokinetic eccentric knee extension force decreased in every subject (-12%, P < 0.05).

Post-detraining, the changes in surface EMG activity of the vastus lateralis during isometric, and isokinetic eccentric and concentric knee extension were -8.4%, -10.1%, and -12.7%, respectively (all P > 0.05). No significant changes occurred in knee flexion forces or EMGs (P > 0.05). Percentages of muscle fiber types and the Type I fiber area remained unchanged, but Type II fiber area decreased significantly by -6.4% (P < 0.05).

Levels of plasma growth hormone (58.3%), testosterone (19.2%), and the testosterone to cortisol ratio (67.6%) increased, whereas plasma cortisol (-21.5%) and creatine kinase enzyme levels (-82.3%) decreased (all P < 0.05). Short-term resistive exercise detraining may thus specifically affect eccentric strength or the size of the Type II muscle fibers, leaving other aspects of neuromuscular performance uninfluenced. Changes in the hormonal milieu during detraining may be conducive to an enhanced anabolic process, but such changes may not materialize at the tissue level in the absence of the overload training stimulus.