T Nation

Is It Time to Take a Week Off?

Hello all,
I have been weight lifting and training for about 8 months. There have been several times where I have only lifted twice for that week, one week where I have only lifted once. Other than that, there has been a relatively steady pace of lifting 3-4 times per week and 2-4 times per week of cardio plus once a week of basketball.

 However, since I got back from vacatiohn (where I kept my routine) I have not been able to get up in the morning on a consistent basis. I got 6-8 hours of sleep for several nights in a row, and I got almost ten last night, and I am still tired. 

I am wondering if it is time to take a break until next Monday (I lifted yesterday) and spending this week playing basketball, going for walks, and doing a few situps and push ups. Does this sound right?

Also, in this week off, should I cut my calorie intake as well? Thanks!

JF

Yup, you’ve been hitting it for eight months and may be slightly overtrained. I wouldn’t decrease calories too much your body will be doing a lot of repairing over this week. Feed it well but eat clean and rest, take it easy. Let your CNS recover.

Sounds like you could benefit from a week off or an active recovery week. I personally get very restless and antsy if I don’t do anything. So on a week ‘off’, I’ll play some sports, toss around the football, get a couple good runs in, maybe do some push-ups and sit-ups. Maybe some pull-ups if I feel like it.

Basically whatever I feel like doing. But nothing too intense and strenuous. No regimented lifting. Others prefer to just cut the volume of their normal training rather than go a week without lifting, but I feel that I benefit physically and mentally from a week away from the gym from time to time.

[quote]Jesus_Freak wrote:
I am wondering if it is time to take a break until next Monday (I lifted yesterday) and spending this week playing basketball, going for walks, and doing a few situps and push ups. Does this sound right?[/quote]

I believe Dan John often recommends 1 week off a month, consistently. That may be a bit much, but, it gives you an idea that it’s okay not to “workout” 52 weeks a year.

Sounds like you have a decent idea. You’ll still be active with the b’ball and the walking. That’s fine. Though, I’d be even happier if you dropped the sit-ups and push-ups (cold turkey, man, if you’re not working out, then don’t workout).

Plus, it seems that everyone I hear of who religiously does their push-ups and sit-ups everyday, also complains of back pain. Makes sense, you’re training the front half of your body, with nothing to balance it out.

Assuming you weren’t on a hardcore “bulking” diet, I’d say all you need to do is remove your post-workout meal. Don’t stress too much about the details, though. A week off isn’t just about not working. Rest your brain, and don’t worry so much about skinless, grilled chicken breasts.

Thanks for all the info folks. I really appreciate it. Oddly enough, taking a week off is going to be harder than working out. I start getting emotionally restless when I don’t lift for 2-3 days :).

Seriously though. Thanks all!

JF

One week off a month seems like way too much…But a good rule of thumb that alot of the programs seem to follow is one week off every three months. Although like most on this site, I don’t hold myself to that. I feel bad if I’m off for three days.

each person is different

IF you are pushing serious weights overhead 3 times per week like dan john, your body will be screaming for a week off, or so i hear …

after many many years, i have finally figured out how to listen to my body to know. it seems that you are learning.

how’s this for an idea. don’t take a week off, just do totally different stuff for a week. do some strongman stuff outside, go swimming, take a hike, just a few days.

Bastard

Sounds like some time off would be good.

That happened to me just a few days back. I got plenty of sleep but woke up very tired, and still could barely stay awake through the day, and wound up sleeping through most of it. Yet I wasn’t sick. I was kind of mystified how I could have gotten so exhausted. Finally I wondered if I was overtraining, but my last really intense work-out had been days earlier. I finally figured out it was probably just a long period of overtaxing my CNS finally showing an effect.

Sometimes the spirit is willing, and the body seems fine, but there are other things going on you have to account for by just taking time off, or they’ll drag you down.

Hey all,
I am at the end of my week off. It’s funny. You forget what it feels like to be well rested when you work out all the time, go to graduate school, have a part-time job, and have a family of five kids under the age of 11 at home :).

I am going to pick up my routine tomorrow or the next day.

One interesting note, my weight has gone down noticeably, 2-4 lbs, in the past week. Is this due to a temporary muscle loss from the week off? Like it said in that article, two steps forward, opne step back…

JF

Just a quick update…

I worked out for the first time this morning. There were several pleasant surprises.

  1. I had little or no strength losses. This may be due to the fact that I am taking Carbolin 19. Whatever the case, it was a pleasant surprise.

  2. Nagging discomforts were gone, specifically one in my hip. I have been seeing the chiropractor for awhile about this. My right hip seems to keep getting stuck it a weird positions. This makes deadlifts and especially squats a little “twingy” afterwards and sometimes during. I experienced none of that this morning.

  3. I feel more energetic after my workout than I have in awhile.

All and all, I think taking a week off is one of the best decisions I’ve made in the past 8 months of working out! Thanks for all the advice.

JF

[quote]Jesus_Freak wrote:
Just a quick update…

I worked out for the first time this morning. There were several pleasant surprises.

  1. I had little or no strength losses. This may be due to the fact that I am taking Carbolin 19. Whatever the case, it was a pleasant surprise.

  2. Nagging discomforts were gone, specifically one in my hip. I have been seeing the chiropractor for awhile about this. My right hip seems to keep getting stuck it a weird positions. This makes deadlifts and especially squats a little “twingy” afterwards and sometimes during. I experienced none of that this morning.

  3. I feel more energetic after my workout than I have in awhile.

All and all, I think taking a week off is one of the best decisions I’ve made in the past 8 months of working out! Thanks for all the advice.

JF[/quote]

One thing that I have found is doing my High Intensity Interval Training on the same days as my resistance training. I work out 5x/2weeks this way and take one week off every second month. Just finished my week off and am back at it feeling well energized.

Also, taking a week off, you shouldn’t notice any strength loss, rather, you should see some gains.

All the best,

Tyler