T Nation

Effects of a Week Off

I’ve been training pretty hard for about 7 months now, and have only taken 2 full weeks off. The first was at the end of november and was due to an extremely bad cold. So I was not the least bit surprised that I returned to the gym a little weaker and with less endurance than I had before taking a week off.

This time my gym closed for a week for repairs, luckily I had been planning to take the following week off so it wasn’t that upsetting. Yesterday was my first day back and my normal leg routine just completely wiped me out. My strength only seemed a little reduced but endurance was down quite a bit. Today I can already tell that by tonight i’ll have a major case of DOMS, not looking forward to sitting down for my next shit.

Is this fairly normal after a week off? I thought i’d come back stronger than before. Is it just that your bodies ability to recover gets a boast so I should see increased gains over the next few weeks, even if I declined slightly over the week off?

Ever since I started drinking a protein shake right after my workouts my muscle soreness has gone down.

I had a cold and all my lifts have gone down. I lost about a pound too. :frowning:

Losing a week for an illness is worse that losing a week for other reasons. However, it is normal for a week off to leave you weaker especially if you only train each part once a week. Even is you work whole body Mon, Wed, Fri, taking a week off is 10 days between workouts. Body part splits would be 14 days between body parts. This is too long. Depending on your recovery and training intensity, in terms of supercompensation, you probably peaked at about 4-5 days.

Look at the chart in this site.


The fitness line goes down at first, then up, then down again. It doesn’t show but the fitness level will dip below the start level if left to long. That’s what happened in your case.

Stu

[quote]stuward wrote:
Losing a week for an illness is worse that losing a week for other reasons. However, it is normal for a week off to leave you weaker especially if you only train each part once a week. Even is you work whole body Mon, Wed, Fri, taking a week off is 10 days between workouts. Body part splits would be 14 days between body parts. This is too long. Depending on your recovery and training intensity, in terms of supercompensation, you probably peaked at about 4-5 days.

Look at the chart in this site.


The fitness line goes down at first, then up, then down again. It doesn’t show but the fitness level will dip below the start level if left to long. That’s what happened in your case.

Stu[/quote]

Thanks, that makes a lot of sense.

Why is it that you often hear that it is a good idea to take a week off every couple of months? Is the amount of time off that is beneficial very individual? Would a relative beginner, like myself, not require as much time off as an advanced lifter?

It is a good idea because there is fatique building up in your central nervous system that needs recovery. The little bit of loss you saw will be made up in the next workout or 2. Too much stress buildup will lead to overtraining and suppressed immune system. It’s more of a factor in advanced and elite atheletes but even beginners should take some time off once in a while.

[quote]stuward wrote:
It is a good idea because there is fatique building up in your central nervous system that needs recovery. The little bit of loss you saw will be made up in the next workout or 2. Too much stress buildup will lead to overtraining and suppressed immune system. It’s more of a factor in advanced and elite atheletes but even beginners should take some time off once in a while.[/quote]

Thanks for the help, it is appreciated.