After 12 weeks of hard training not only does your body need a break, but so does your mind. Ideally, you should take a week off every 12 weeks (if not sooner). I personally plan an “off” week every 6-8 weeks depending on how heavy my training is. During this week I take the time I would be spending in the gym and play some recreational sports, go for walks, go swimming, etc. Basically, I just take a physical and mental break from the gym. By the end of the week I’m usually aching to get back to the gym. I also let my diet go (to a small extent) during this week if I’m in a bulking phase. If I’m cutting down I ease up a little (i.e., make my meals a little larger and add more carbs), but still keep it fairly clean.
You also mentioned doing another 12 week cycle starting after labour day. The fact is, any time you are training it should be part of a structured routine. Take some time on your off week to PLAN your next phase. There is no point in going to the gym and doing a 12 week cycle and then just training randomly until you do another phase. Plan your cycle (rest weeks included) and before that is finished you should be planning your next.
Motivation is a tough one. I personally find it within myself. Other people need external feedback. If you are one of these start making small goals every 4 weeks and assess yourself to see if you’re attaining them. Every small step will motivate you towards your larger goal.
Hope that helps.
The T-nation is always here for you.
I’ve been working out again now for about 5 months. The first month was getting over the soreness. The next 3 months I was training hard and heavy with a lot of enthusiasm. Then summer came and I got really busy and my desire for training really dropped.
Fortunately, my workout partner is a world record powerlifter and it has kept me going but not as strong as I would like.
As for results I’m under 300lbs now and I’m on the last notch in all my belts and pants. However, my eating habits have slipped dramatically. I find myself eating cookies, pizza, and other crap like that. I don’t want to lose what I have gained and I have a long way to my original goal.
Have any of you experienced this type of let down after training hard for a 12 week cycle?
I’m thinking about doing another 12 week cycle after Labor day. This cycle will be major cutting.
As far as diet goes, I’m tired of the protein all the time although I’ve been eating Jerky a lot at my brother’s jerky store. That’s about the best snack I’ve found.
Any words of inspiration or encouragement would be helpful.