T Nation

How Often Do You Take a Week Off?


Not a deload week, but a sit-on-your-ass-and-do-nothing week? Maybe some light stretching and soft-tissue work, or even a massage, but no lifting or training whatsoever...

Personally, I like to throw one in every 6-8 weeks if I'm training for pure strength or cutting, and every 12 weeks when the focus is hypetrophy. Perhaps this is a bit more frequent than a lot of you here, but that's really what works for me. It seems to be what I need, and I find no reason to try and convince myself otherwise.


I take Ian Kings/Dan Johns advice and have a lay week every 8 - 10 weeks(8 being the norm).

I wont touch the iron for the entire week but I will keep up some form of cardio like sprints or weighted walking.

Like the big guys says "Settle down, twitchy and Grow!"


If I get sick, and not just a head cold, then BAM! That'll most likely be a week off. Maybe 6 days.


Never. Ever. I will go fucking insane


Only if:

-I'm sick.
-It's Xmas & I'm imbibing heavily on a daily basis for a week or so.


Occassionally, if I'm getting super-frustarted/bored with my training only happens maybe a few times a year


I just took 2 weeks off for sickness (1 week down and 1 week too weak to do anything physical) and I trained for 2 days at the end of the 2 weeks and now I'm relapsing. If you don't count the 2 days that I got back on the wagon, this is possibly 3 weeks without training and the longest dry spell I've had since I started training of any sort.


How are you finding the lay off?

I'm taking a week off this week and I'm feeling bigger and stronger as the weak goes on, my enthusiasm has shot through the roof and I'm dying for my dead lifts next week:)
I will admit, I'm getting a tad itchy at this stage for my squats etc but I know it will be worth it in the long run. Or at least I hope it will be.


There's no need to go by the typical week though really. Sometimes I'll take Sat/Sun/Mon off...or you could take 4 days off.
I'm not sure if you really need 7 days off when you take a layoff.


You have the best avatar ever....I can't stop watching it!!

That being said, I never schedule time off anymore except for the annual family vacation - with three teenage kids, I miss too many workouts as it is.

In the old days, I used to schedule a week off whenever I started to lose my enthusiasm for going to the gym, probably once every 3-6 months. After I week off, I couldn't wait to get back to it.


I never plan to take one off just for the sake of it. All my time comes off from:

Vacations: I will never lift weights while on vacation.
Getting Sick or Injured: This speaks for itself.

I'd say I take about 4 full weeks off every year due to the above.


The lay off blows chunks. I'm dying to get back to training but I can't till I recover sufficently. My enthusiasm to get back on it has made me jump the gun once already. I'm getting antsy.


I don't plan an off week. Usually if I'm sick or something comes up and I have to work a different shift or have some engagement that I can't shedule workouts around. Other than that, I'd say mabey between 2 to 3 months if I feel stale I'll take a week.

I usually feel quite guilty about the 3rd or 4th day and get all antsy and start planning a new strategy or approach to my training. It definately does something to your psyche (body too). It's like Christmas morning when you return to train all fresh and eager!


Take a week off once every 6 months or so - usually when I go on vacation for a week somewhere. Even if there's a gym, I'll step inside just to check it out for curiousity's sake - but I won't touch a weight. Lay by the pool, do a couple of lazy laps, plenty of nookie, plenty of stretching. Freshens me up mentally and physically and does my training a world of good for when I get back.

Otherwise, deload every 6-8 weeks. Drop my working weights to about 75%, and my working sets by the same (4 sets become 3, 3 become 2 etc).


Good thread, but in conditionning?

I never take week off. Even when I couldnt lift not long ago I tried to push my limits and see what I could do.


I agree with Nards, I will never voluntarily take a full week off but I will take plenty of "long weekends" comprising of 3-4 days if I'm feeling beat up.
Jskrabak, that is the most epic avatar I have ever seen... hypnotic!


I occasionally take a week off from lifting, but i go crazy just sitting around, so i always pick an activity that i enjoy, or think i might enjoy, and try it out for a week. I'm currently taking a full week off, but i'm going for a swim every day, alternating between doing lanes and just playing around with my kids. my joints are feeling great and i imagine i'll be itching to hit the weights pretty hard on thursday. this is my first planned off-week in five months, but i've been doing a 50% week (volume and intensity) every 7th week.


I'll third that, I like long weekends. But occasionally I'll take a week off by doing things that are physical but have nothing to do with weights. Swimming, massage, hiking, biking etc. At the end of the week I can't wait to get back to training.


I couldn't really think of a better place. Where would you have posted it?


I haven't taken more than 6 days off since i started training over 4 years ago, but i think 4-5 days off goes a long way in terms of getting re-amped about training.


Whenever I'm starting to feel beat up and the thought of the gym doesn't appeal, like really doesnt, and stuff starts feeling heavier than it should do....

this gives a few ideas which i like -