T Nation

Maximizing Training Effect After a Break

Hello Coach - what would you recommend program/training wise that would take advantage of a long (2 week) detraining period?

I’ve been out of the gym for awhile and now rearing to go. Anything you recommend that could capitalize from the off period? Thank you!

Although for us who love training (and tend to be stimulus addicts) 2 weeks feel like a lifetime, it is NOT a long detraining period. In fact if you have been training for a long time, 2 weeks is just long enough to start to lose some adaptations; you likely didn’t lose much. You FEEL like you lost a lot because you feel flat and small. But that is more because of:

  • reduced inflammation (that makes you feel tighter, more swole)
  • reduced glycogen storare
  • reduced myogenic tone

I would honestly just train like your normally would; or with less work… not more.

At the most what you will get from 2 weeks is deconditioning… or re-sensitization to training. Meaning that your body will be more sensitive to training and will get a greater response. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD DO MORE!!! In fact it means the opposite: if you are more sensitive you will need less stimulus to get maximum adaptation. If you do too much what will happen is that, even if you might get a little bit more gains over the first week or two, you will desensitize yourself really fast and in the long run you will progress less.

If you look at the Hypertrophy Specific Training (HST) which uses strategic deconditioning at the end of a phase; the week after the strategic deconditioning is an easy week, and workout stress is gradually increases.

Hence my suggestion to do as you normally would.

But I know you, I know your M.O.; you will do a lot more work than you normally would, you’ll be all happy for two weeks because you think you progressed at a lightening fast rate then will get frustrated in 3 weeks when you hit a wall and feel like you are regressing. But at least I gave yu my opinion beforehand.

Thanks CT for indulging…definitely right about the blitz approach (i don’t have enough stability to stick to a gradual hepburn layer or increase 2.5% poundages every month sort of thing)

Having said that, a program of yours that sort of flew under the radar but is actually incredible is the 20 minute muscle builder. Especially the pairing of two compound lifts

Wondering if you could guide me with a similar routine (Perhaps using bestdamn body part split) - i acutlaly love best damn’s split layout but CANNOT handle the hitting failure intensity. I don’t know…i have to ramp up in 5’s and mentally hate having a few prep sets then going “all-out”.

Do you have any recommendations like 2 compounds per day (full body/best damn template) but using more repeated bout effect or a “ramping” & back off (like 20 minute muscle builder)?

Just throwing this out there:

Day 1
Bench 8x6x4 wave back off EMOM or clusters or rep work
Deadlift 8x6x4

Day 2
Front squat 7/5/3 waves

Repeat 6 times a week (other days would be different waves…some days would just be standard ramp to 3RM or 5RM training max). Could also be done with push/pull

I guess basically best damn but just more frequency on big lifts (every day), limited failure work, more repeated bout effect (volume/ramping)

Appreciate your thoughts and any recommended rep schemes (overall thoughts on this). HST had something similar in fact… but just wanted to hear from the master. Hope all’s well !!