T Nation

Length Of Time for a Hiatus?

I’ve heard stories in the past as long as a whole Month.
For me, I’m About a 6 Foot 22O Lb Bodybuilder, Resting Hesrt
Rate in The Low 40’s, 44 YO, and I really have never taken more than
2 OR 3 days off in a ROW in a row after BodyBuilding for over 10 years.
Whaddya you guys think who know about this sort of thing?
I just feel like a break at the moment, I’m not really burned out
or tired per se, I just think it’s a good thing to do til I get
back in the game…(BTW My Day Job is fairly Physical most of the day)
I don’t compete or anything myself, but it’a a terrific sport
with some of the best people around in it.

I try not to go 4 hours between training

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
I try not to go 4 hours between training[/quote]

Man, fst-7 is really getting intense.

[quote]The Rattler wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
I try not to go 4 hours between training[/quote]

Man, fst-7 is really getting intense. [/quote]

Yea man I might have to start putting 4 pounds of chicken in my shakes instead of 2.

I’ve heard stories of guys like Coleman, and Levrone taking a month or two off after practically killing themselves during Olympia preps. Personally, I’ve never taken off more than a week before I start getting all antsy, even when injured.

Are you really gonna lose a ton of muscle from not training? It really comes down to your genetics, and diet. I’m sure there are some people who will look exactly the same, some who will maintain size, but lose a little definition, and others who will seriously change their composition simply from lack of caloric expenditure each day.


In-depth answer:

I took a week off after the last 2 eight-week training cycles, after it got a bit intense, and I was having overtraining-type symptoms: sleeping poorly, lack of motivation to train etc.

I hated the week off itself. and right after, I looked a lot worse than during training. BUT, sincerely I think, after a few weeks back into training, it did me good each time. I hate taking a week off cos I’m addicted, but it may actually benefit me (and you).

If you want to do it and you truly believe it will benefit you then no one can tell you your wrong. Go for it and enjoy the mental rejuvenation and extra spare time. If anything its another form of priming the pump as zig zigler would say. Even if you lose a bit in order to setup an environment believe it will set up new growth to beyond where you were. Harnessing the power of your mind is crucial if your taking a month off. Let us know how it goes.

since you’ve never taken more than 2 or 3 days off at a time why don’t you try a week first?

once upon a time i took a full 7 days off and I came back bigger and stronger. Definitely needed it.

every other time i took a week off it was basically a disaster.

the last time i took 7 days off was a month or so ago. I hit the 4 or 5 day mark and felt phenomenal and really full. but every day after that it just seemed like i was back tracking

unless i’m super over trained 3-5 days off every 3ish months is good for me.

I took almost exactly 6 months off due to work and other and family stuff. I went from a peak weight of 197 (lots of water and food sitting in my stomach) down to 176. I have quickly bounced back up to 187 as of yesterday. I have regained most of my strength and endurance and anticipate being back to where I was in another 2 months or so. I did me well. I have a renewed energy and motivation now.

Thx To those for the helpful comments, I too used to have the fear of loss of SOME
kind of Strength or size from taking a hiatus like some people I knew, 'til one realizes
that’s going to happen ANYWAY to ALL of us due to age…What you have at your peak is not forever
anyway…It’s inevitable, and that impossibly unavoidable realization will come to all…prepare for it.
I was pondering one of the World’s most respected feared Bad Asses of The 20th Century was the Late Great
Bruce Lee, a Guy who was just under 140 Lbs soaking wet…size doesn’t always matter, films aside
he was a true expert whose influence reverberates even today, and generations not even born yet.
Yeah yeah, I fully realize Martial Arts is a whole other sport, but it’s connected with the Fitness Realm

I’ve decided on a 3 week Hiatus, and will cycle that every 6 mos., working out is good for one’s
health, but there is a world ‘out there’ as well to enjoy, and am certain I’ll open up my world
a bit more.
Thx again for the advice and comments, 'preciate it.

Back off/ deloads can actually be superior to doing nothing or a “hiatus”…

I am a ‘saesoned’ lifter myself. My only questin is 'what do you plan to do with the extra time?

As of today, I’ll have been out of the gym for 5 weeks due to having an operation. I was about 178 lbs before the op. and when I weighed in this morning I was 174.4. According to the scales, my body fat and visceral fat have decreased, and my muscle has increased. Visually, I think I’ve lost a little definition, but my waist has stayed around 33 inches the whole time, so I know I haven’t gained any fat.

My diet hasn’t been perfect; I’ve been consuming enough protein and plenty of fruit and veg., but I’ve eaten cheat foods more frequently than I normally would (not huge quantities though, which I think helped minimise weight gain). Although the time off was forced, it has allowed me to concentrate more on my shoulder rehab (along with Forza 4 and Dark Souls :wink: ) so that when I do return to the gym, I’ll finally be able to make some progress on the weights (hopefully).

Right now I feel pretty good and can’t wait to get back to the gym, but I’ve still got about another week to go until I’m healed. This will be my longest break from the gym in several years, but the time has flown by even though I’ve been doing absolutely nothing. I think the most important factor in minimising negative effects of reduced exercise (e.g. fat gain) is having enough willpower to keep your diet in check.

It’s so easy to fall off the wagon when you have more spare time and aren’t getting the motivation from hard workouts. With that said, if your body is telling you to back off for a while then just do it. You’ll know when you are ready to get back to the gym.

“I am a ‘saesoned’ lifter myself. My only questin is 'what do you plan to do with the extra time?”

Rest, Recuperate, spending time with my Family.
Life Happens. Again, I do Physical work during the day ANYWAY so I
won’t be quite lounging around being a Sloth.

Thx again for the input guys…Cool forum with some very knowledgeable
people here.

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Back off/ deloads can actually be superior to doing nothing or a “hiatus”…

This isn’t true for all individuals. I get alot more out of a week of nothing than a deload week.