T Nation

Scheduled Layoff?

I have been training for about 7 months straight. I am over 40 and have been training over half my life. Would it be advantageous to take a layoff and if so how long. I get thru my workouts OK, seem to be dragging ass a bit lately.

If you don’t incorporate planned lay-offs into your training cycle, start. You’ll feel MUCH better, in all kinds of ways.

Honestly, I think that the key to training longevity and continual returns is the use of periodization and scheduled recuperation times. In most of the programs I design, an “unloading” week occurs every 4 weeks, and 1 week off of training every 8 to 10. I’m not sure if that’s ideal, but it seems to work well. Another thing…going hypocaloric in the off-weeks can spark a good period of growth when returning to normal diet and training.

Please read the article on Hypertrophy Specific Training and then follow the links to read Bryan’s article on Strategic Deconditioning.

As well, Ian King periodically recommends taking time off. At least one week in thirteen. (though he doesn’t explain his reasoning)

What king of “training” are you doing ???

Thanks for the responses. Body - I have been doing mainly free weights to increase strength along with ~20 minutes cardio per workout. I also do Mixed Martial Arts, which I stopped after a bad injury and have just returned to.

When I didn’t incorporate an off week every 10-12 weeks, I paid. I got tired, burned out and even had to deal with tendonitis which forced a week off (more like 4 months). You come back stronger when you do, but the hardest part: being disciplined enough to stay out or only do very ‘light’ weights…

Scheduled time off is a great way to recover and remotivate yourself. According to Get Buffed and How To Design Strength Training Programs, Ian King recommends taking a week off every 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks depending on your own personal recovery needs. You can also incorporate reduced-volume weeks every third or fourth week. This is also something King, Poliquin and Staley have suggested in the past. The idea is to work up in volume for a few weeks and then reduce volume (but keep the intensity) on the third or fourth week. You should find what works best for you. As you get older, you may require more frequent off weeks.

Recovery periods should always be a part of your plan. How often and when can only be decided by you. How well do you listen to your body? In most cases, if you instinctively feel that you are in a rut or have been feeling sluggish, you need some form of rest/recovery. Evaluate frequently and don’t be afraid to take some time off when needed.

been only 2months or so for me and im takin about 2 weeks off. definately feel overtrained- tried, lackadasical, small appetite.

Hey does anybody know what kind of diet should one follow when taking time off?

Definitely take a week off from the weights. Your mind and body need a break every once and a while and you will be surprised how refreshed you feel after a short layoff.