T Nation

Should I Rest or What?


Hey today and for the past month or so i havent been havent making great strength gains or workouts. Im debating on taking a week off but dont know if i should or not. I've beend training consistenly for aobut 7 mnths and just dont know the benefits if i would take a break for a little while.

I get so frustrated that im not lifting more and more and making gains but think that if i take a week off it wont make it any better.

or would it for the long run?
Please give me any advice you can i want to progress but dont know if i should rest or not. what are some big benefits of resting for a week? does everyone do it?


What have you been doing for your workouts? Loading parameters, frequency, etc?

Are you doing cardio/energy systems work?

What is your diet like? Are you getting proper sleep?

Taking light weeks if you've been lifting heavy is important, if I understand correctly. Take a week to do different kinds of GPP (general physical preparedness) stuff-- maybe build a sled for dragging, push wheelbarrows with lots of rocks in them, carry sandbags, etc. It can be tons of fun if you get your friends involved. If you need help with that stuff, do a search here-- there's a ton of info.


have you been training for this whole 7 months without taking any breaks or light weeks? if so, damn hurry up and take that week off! I'd have 2 or 3 (maybe even 4) weeks of stepping back by that time. When you come back, you'll instantly load your bars heavier.


sounds like overtraining to me, but i'd need more details to be 100% sure.

but i've been posting on exercise/bodybuilding/fitness/powerlifting boards for a long time, and your post just screams overtraining from what i've seen before.

it's important to take easy time and decondition the muscle once you hit the point of overtraining. overtraining naturally occurs with any exercise program that gives gains. overtraining cannot be avoided forever.

you'd be surprised what time off can do for your strength levels. i'd say the average amount of time needed off is 7 days, but some people need less, and many people need more.

if you're overtrained you're probably feeling tired a lot of the time, your energy levels in the gym aren't where they used to be, your motivation is lowered, you don't feel 'right' most of the time .... is this how you feel these days?

if so, take some time off and do some different activities. wash your car, rake your lawn, go for long walks, etc.


well let me just lay you out an overview of whats up right now

Im 17 yr odl male, i used to run xc and track and used to run a lot of miles but only cut down to about 15 mpw with some bikding in there i follow a good diet i try to keep at about 2000 cals for the day sometimes more on workout days im underweight, which i hope this week off will help me gain some weight and make me feel refreshed.

i try and get at least 7 hrs of sleep every night also

As for Working out i had to cut my program back to a 4 day split bc i started working...chest/tri ab....back/bi....legs/abs....shoulders/abs... i usually train about an hour but never over... i sometimes emphaszie qunatity over quality over which i should do i know...

anyway i havent took a good break in about 7 mnths. AFter my break i want to start taking creating but dont know exactly what kind yet (i know this is a whole diff subject)
but i think thats about it...


2000 cals/day!

Thats a diet.

I would personally eat double that. Read the diet articals on here. Nobody will suggest stregnth gains on a 2k cal diet.


7 months without a break do you read anything on here do people seriously ask this question? Yes rest every four weeks or when your muscle stops growing your strength stops etc etc


A couple of things that I've picked up from your post thus far:

1) For your own sake later on in life, practice your communication skills. If you talk at all like you type, it's going to be hard for you to find a good job after school. I'm not trying to be a prick, but it's REALLY hard for me to understand what you're trying to say to us here.

2) Good on you for working out! That's better than the majority of people in this country, unfortunately.

3) If you're underweight (I'm in the same boat) you need to make some changes. First, 2000 calories is bird food. Especially if you're still running 15 miles/week or more. You most likely need somewhere between double and triple that.

Finally, IT'S TIME FOR A BREAK! Depending on who you talk to, they may recommend taking a break after anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months. Your 7 months is definitely too long without a break.

Just my opinions, take them or leave them. Best of luck to you.



i really appreciate all your responses.. sorry for the "typing errors" i was kind of in a hurry and pissed off typing that (just got done lifting and was disappointed) hence why i decided to type this.

Anyway i agree with you all, i should eat more. believe it or not i was insanely unhealthy last year eating only about 1500 cals/day running 60 mpw and working out 6. ive gradually learned how to provide the right nutrition to my body and am trying to experiment and not increase my calories too much.

but now that im not seeing the gains that i want i know i should try and eat more. i already eat 6x/day (small meals) and i have a big fear of getting fat, i was chubby when i was a little and dont want to go back to it.


[quote]Serd wrote:

People in the first grade should not lift...


If you're interested in some serious guidelines for your nutrition experiments, I would strongly recommend reading some of the articles by Dr. John Berardi. You can find them in the "Diet Programs" section of the site over on the left.

For someone of your level of activity and age, start with the 7 Habits... article. After that, read the Massive Eating and Massive Eating Reloaded. It'll give you a solid framework from which to plan your nutrition both in terms of what you should be eating and how much.

Although I don't like to give explicit advice, if you're young, active, and healthy, stay away from creatine. Spend the money on a quality protein powder and use it, especially post-workout. You'll see phenomenal results if you are strict about following a quality nutrition plan and get on a good, solid workout plan (more on that in a moment).

For someone of your age (hell, for any of us who work hard and work out hard), you very well might not be getting enough sleep. I know it can be tough to end your night early if you have plans with friends/girlfriend or homework, but aim for as much sleep as possible: 9 hours if you can. Supplement your sleep with naps. I'm on a school schedule (I'm a teacher but am young and have a social life) and naps are key to my continued progress in the gym.

Workout plans: people on this board will argue endlessly about full-body vs. split training, but you can't go wrong with any of the programs in the "Training" section. Read as many articles as you can, but don't start making up your own programs 'til you've been at this a while. Pick a program (maybe someone can suggest something suitable for him?) that sounds doable for you, stick with it, eat well, sleep a lot, and you'll grow and get stronger.

Work your core lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press) and the variations and other movements that support them. Stay flexible, don't try for heroic weights in the gym (steady incremental progress is better), and pay very close attention to form. The last thing you want is to get injured.

Lastly: before you start to do any of this, do as the other posters have said and take some goddamn time off. Sleep alot, clean your room, hang out with your friends, and rest up while reading up and planning your spring/summer workout and nutrition plan.


...damn im 17 too and i havnt had a week off for longer than that, 1 year n a few weeks :frowning: coincidently i was thinking about to take this week off. i was reading "back off and grow" and i think i will take that week off now lolz.


thank you for your resonses and advice, i will most certaintly take rest and take care of my body.

where can i find that article you listed above back off and rest?




should i avoid performing cardio also while resting?