T Nation

Overtraining Avoidance?


how long do you guys train before you give yourself a break, whether it be a full week off, or just a "light" week of maybe 1 upper and 1 lower body workout with lighter weights?

Im feeling really lethargic lately and I think my body is trying to tell me to give it a break. Ive been training strait for about 3 months at 3-4 days a week.


id say after 1 month you should take it down a notch for a week. myself i usually burnout after 3-5 weeks.


When I start to feel rundown I do a machine week. I just kind of screw around on the machines, go pretty easy. I still feel active(if I just don't go for a week, I REALLY don't want to go back, and then I get fat(er).), plus you get to socialize with the gym bunnies that normally run in the other direction while I curse in the squat rack.


Back off, buddy. Sit on your couch for at least five or six days.

I just did the couch thing. I had been doing a four on/one off split for about three months straight. For the last week, I felt shitty, verging on sick.

Last Tuesday, I went in for leg day, did two sets of warm-up squats, re-racked the bar and went home. Why?

Because I: a) felt how you feel; b) was struggling with 135 lbs when the week before I did 10x3 with 315 (first time, yay me!); and c) I had the nagging feeling that I was going to hurt myself. Now, I'm not going to speak for anyone, but I bet people will agree that it's when you think you're going to hurt yourself that you do.

Go home, sit on the couch. Went back for the first time today and felt great. Put up more weight than usual and didn't have any of the usual little dingy injuries.


sounds good... thanks for the reps guys... well i already did a light upper today, so i think ill give myself til thursday, do a light lower, and then have off until next monday. I gotta make more sure that i get in a full 8 hrs of sleep each night as well. I think that may be hurting me as well. Currently its 6-7, but sometime i just cant find the time.


I do 3 weeks on 1 week off and I love it.

I look forward to hitting the gym hard after the week off.


The second I start to wonder if I'm feeling crappy from overtraining is the second I realize I'm overtraining. The body is pretty good about telling you those things. I usually just take a week and fool around with dumbells and bodyweight only and then return the next week.


Listen to your body. When you have a run of days that your training is lacking intensity, strength, or you just don't feel right, back off. Some say to take about a week off and do nothing, but I like to train a couple of days on this off week. When I do train, it's light and short. I find that totally taking a week off means the week I come back will be a very sore one. Plus break your diet a bit. I eat more than usual and that also fuels me for the week back on.


yeah i am a 4wk on 1 wk off type.. during my week off, i just walk or ride a bike or whatever leisure activity that interests me.. after that, i cant wait to hit it again after the week off!


im taking next week off. this will be the first time ive done this....i havent taken more than 3 days off for almost 3 years


I back off every fourth week by doing approx. 1/2 the volume and 2/3 the intensity on one compound movement per body part, just like Jack Reape outlined in his article "Back Off and Grow". Great article, check it out!


if you can try to take a 1-2 hour nap during the day if you dont have the full time at night


When I see that I'm not progressing from week to week or that I'm losing motivation, I cut out about 25% of my workout's volume and strive for quality reps.

If that still doesn't work, I take a few days off.