T Nation

Ian king cheat sheets

Chris or anyone else do you really take the recovery weeks every 3 or 6 weeks that Ian suggests?I feel that is the hardest pill for most of us to swallow.If so do you feel they help you that much?Thanks

Yes, that’s a tough one and I don’t follow it all the time. I usually take 4 days off after every 6 weeks or so. However, I’ve noticed much better results after adopting Ian’s ideas about not training intensily with weights more than two days in a row. I train an average of four days a week, plus one day for boxing and oddball work (kegs, GPP etc). Workouts hardly ever go over an hour. Results are better now than when I used to train 2 hours at day, six days a week and I haven’t had an injury of any kind in several years.

I have done much better also with less training. I used to do six days a week, too. Trained everything twice a week and didn’t make much progress. Should’ve been smart enough to notice that when I couldn’t lift due to circumstances, I would come back with a better attitude and make gains. However since I cut back to 4 times a week I’ve done much better, and taking off a week in the summer(due to camping) didn’t cause me to lose any progress at all. Boy - was I ready to workout after that week off!

I remember when Ian introduced the one week layoff after a training block of three weeks to Tmag a long while back, and I incorporated it into my training thinking I had nothing to lose. It made the biggest impact to my results and recovery more than any other technique. From the writings of Charles Poliquin and others I was always under the false assumption that one should always train to their limits every workout, and that layoffs should be few and infrequent. Well for me anyway training to failure doesn’t work at all, and allowing that one week every 3-4 weeks allows me better recovery. Bottom line is your’e not going to shrink or lose strength with a week off every three weeks. It’s not going to happen if your diet is still on track and your protein is kept high. I’ve had 3 month layoffs before and the losses in size and strength are negligible even with such a long period of inactivity.

I´m trying to learn to take more time off, it´s hard but I will try a different approch in my next program.
Train whole body week 1-3, week 4 only train the most lagging part of the body. Whole body weeks 5-7, lagging part week 8, whole body weeks 9-11 and during week 12 I dosn´t plan to move a muscle.
I will not make any changes in exercises, set and reps in week 4 and 8 and I will train the lagging bodypart ones.
I´m thinking of skiping kardio during week 4,8 and 12.
Good or bad ? Any thoughts ?

i took 6 days off and know i have taken another 4 days off after going on,off,on. I feel great and i have not lost weight or put on fat. the doctor told me i need to rest my tendons because they are fragile from lifting for so long. laters pk

I took 1/2 weeks off between phases of King’s workouts & always felt great. I didn’t do it before I started the fourth phase of “Limping,” however, because I was all on fire to get to it, & now I’m regretting it. I think I’ve hurt myself…

I could be wrong, but I thought Ian King recommended a week off every 6-12 weeks, not every 3-4!

The way I understand it is that IK says to look at your programs and see when performance starts to taper off or you get tired etc, in most cases it is 4-6 weeks and that is when you should take a break, another example of ‘it depends’, he says to DEFINITELY take a week off every 12 at worst case. I highly reccomend it and personally work on every 6 (2x 3 week stages)

I have a question, if we need more rest, how about training less often 3 days a week instead of 4. Wouldn’t that be more effective than overdoing it and taking a whole week off every 3 or 4 weeks?

Colin- “It depends.” Try it and see if it works for you. I’ve found what works for me after playing around with Ian’s ideas. It’s the “X Factor” again, the individual differences between all of us.

General observation (not aimed at you Colin): Many people get hung up on the “right way” to train or eat or whatever. They get in a lot of arguments about these topics. This often leads some people into a state of stagnation. In other words, trying something new would make them feel like they were wrong about their ideas. So instead of risking being wrong (the horror!), they stick to the same old way of training or dieting and never try new things. They’d rather bitch and moan about how everyone else is wrong and they’re right, instead of just trying something out to see for themselves. That’s ashamed because there is no right way. It’s a case of being stubborn combined with having low self-esteem (and therefore the person just CAN’T be wrong about anything or even listen to other people’s ideas); this leads to a negative attitude, a perpetual immaturity, and ultimately stagnated progress in the gym. I’ve noticed a lot of this kind of attitude on this forum lately. I assume those with this attitude are very young or very new to bodybuilding and therefore they can be forgiven.

Hey, I don’t agree with everything Ian or any other coach writes, but I try it all before I start bashing a particular idea. In fact, I don’t even agree with all the stuff I’ve written a few years ago! The key is to be openminded and to be open to change. Check the ego at the door, try new things, and put your energy into positive progression, not petty bickering and internet “tough guy” or “know-it-all” personas that usually reflect some sort of overcompensation on the part of the “tough guy”.

I feel that Chris is on the money, fear of change or being wrong is a number one killer in so many things. People in the gym are always preaching one way is better than another, and in my earlier years of training, i followed the principles outlined in muscle and fitness or whatever and hardly changed a bit. Now i get a kick out of trying all sorts of new routines and ideas as most of em work, everyones had routines that dont do squat but thats half the fun is finding new things to do and experiementing,and besides i get bored easy(im simple!lol).

The week-off side of things is great. I realised this a year or two ago. Thing about how hard you trained coming up to a holiday or what ever - had a week away and when you can back you bf was still the same, yet you were stronger and heavier - same principle. Just had 8 days off and generally relaxed and rested - and now ive put on 1.5/2lbs lean mass with no training or supps - just finished a high volume routine, so i asssume this is why(could have been too much on my part, but i still gained). must be something in it.

recovery weeks are awesome! I did 6 weeks training with the last 2 weeks at high volume. i took 6 days off then the next week i only worked out 2 days. i have kept all the mass while cutting back on calories. It might be the methoxy 7 though :slight_smile: laters pk