T Nation

How to Handle Breaks


I've been training regularly for close to two years now. My program has become very focused the last 6-8 months. I do regular deloads, but that really just means I take about 4 days completely off. The last deload seemed insufficient, and I'm going on vacation anyways, so I have a planned 8 day trip with no training whatsoever coming up. This will be the longest I've gone without training in two years, so I'm not sure what to expect.

So my questions:

1) Should I really plan on doing NOTHING physically exerting during those 8 days? I mean I'll be in the water and goofing off, but nothing more than that? Or would I be better off taking a day to pound out some pushups/situps/pullups and/or maybe run a few miles?

2) Either way, when I do return to training (because of my split, it will be 10/11 days off between specific training days) do I jump right back into it, or start back a little lighter?



I wouldn’t make too big a deal out of it. Go on vacation. Have fun. If you feel like doing active stuff, do it. Go hiking, diving, rock climbing, cycling, wake boarding stand up paddling or whatever is going on where you’re going. But do it for fun, not exercise. If you want to lay around the pool and get your exercise getting to and from the swim up bar and the buffet and/or reeling in some fish, do it. It’s 8 days. It’s a vacation. I wouldn’t do push ups and pull ups and what not. Either way, I would try to do some light mobility stuff each day to stay loose, get a massage or 2 etc. I find I stiffen up a little if I totally lay around for any length of time.

As far as transitioning back in goes, I wouldn’t expect to lose much in that period of time. You might even be stronger. Listen to your body, see how it goes.

Don’t overthink this thing.


Try doing swimming sprints every few days. Either way not that big a deal.


Don’t plan anything. If you feel like doing push ups for fun - hey, knock yourself out. But eight days of doing nothing at all won’T harm you. Guys are too obsessed about this.

When you get back to the gym, just use the first week to test what you can do with good form. You won’t get weaker or smaller but you may have to get back into the groove.


If you have resistance bands use them; e.g. band face pulls, band pull aparts, band goodmornings, etc.

RKC Planks, Dragon Flags, Superman Floor Hyperextensions.

Perfect Push-Ups or Texas Push-Up Challenge.

Enjoy the down time.