T Nation

Input on rest week

Hey guys here’s my situation just looking for a little input. I am on week 4 of a 6 week meltdown plan and am wondering if I should consider a 1 week layoff before finishing my last 3 weeks. I am currently making good results but feeling rundown. I have been on a t-dawg type diet and cutting calories to drop some fat. I also have quite a bit of stress in my life right now and am only getting about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. These last two points are what concern me the most as I am doing sprint/intervals cardio in the mornings 4 days a week plus the meltdown training. My strength has not dropped but I am feeling some minor strains and a little burned out. Do you guys think I should take a week and try to get some active recovery in or do you think I should stick it out and finish the 6 weeks. Thanks in advance for the replies.


My vote? Take the rest week. Based on your program of what you’re doing so far, I don’t think anyone would view the “rest week” as a wimp week.

Rule #1: Listen to your body. I’ve done Meltdown before, and I know how taxing it is. With only 4-5 hours a sleep a night, plus the demanding interval training in the am, I’d say you are setting up for some negative gains.

Besides, you could always tack on that week at the end of the program, so you wouldn’t in fact be technically skipping it…

Just my 2 cents…

I started taking rest weeks about a year ago and I like it a lot. I take a rest week every 6-8 weeks and when I come back I barely lose any strength. Working out all the time can drain on you. Rest weeks have helped me keep my focus in the gym. I still diet and do cardio on the off weeks though.

It seems to me that your lack of sleep is doing you in. You either have to get more sleep, or if this is impossible at present, you may need to add a day or two of rest into your planning–you probably don’t need an entire week off–just a reasonable amount of rest until you aren’t feeling burned out. I’m not sure what your goal is, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it may be best to accomplish things in 7 weeks time rather than six if you have to burn out to do it. I hope this helps.

When in doubt, do less. In other words, rest.

The being rundown feeling is quite normal for the last phases of a diet and training regimen. I dont know of anyone who goes on a serious training cycle, especially one whre cutting calories is concerned who doesn’t feel rundown at times. The 4-5 hrs of sleep and the added stress are a major concern. Stress and lack of sleep are a major cause of lack of proper recovery. Have you only been getting 4-5 hrs. sleep throughout your cycle? Where is your stress coming from? Are you taking a recovery drink such as Biotests SURGE? These issues need to be addressed. You are not getting enough sleep without a doubt for proper muscle growth. Stress is definintly a cortisol provocker. Are you maybe doing a little too much cardio for the environment you are in at the time? You may not need to take a week off as much as maybe adjust your training to suit your situation at this time. Also a wk off may be just the ticket to reduce the negatives and jump start you back into the intensity of your training. You know your situation better than anyone along with what your body can handle. Evaluate it a make a decision based on your knowledge. One wk off is not going to affect your outcome unless you allow it to become a detterent toward your 100% goal. Best of luck and let us know how you do.

Thanks for the replies guys. I am taking 5 days off from lifting. The sleep situation that I am having is a result of my 7 month old little T-man cutting teeth. It has been a rough ride on the little guy particlarly at night. So most nights the past few weeks have been about 4 to 5 hours of sleep. I have noticed that supplementing with ZMA helps me recover a little better on this limited sleep pattern that I am in now. Also I do use a serving of Surge post workout. I think that my body just needs a couple of days off the weights. By the way the combination of Meltdown training / interval sprinting / T-dawg diet / and supplementation has given me better results in the past 3 1/2 weeks than my previous 3-4 months of training. So that makes me feel somewhat better now if my boy can just get those chompers through and get back on schedule maybe I can catch a few more ZZZs. Thanks again guys!