T Nation

Take a Week Off?

I’ve been doing a modified westside 4 skinny bastards routine for the past 2 and half months. I’ve liked most of my gains so far, however, my bench has stalled/weakened.

After switching from normal benching to floor pressing for two weeks ( and making progress on the floor press) I came back to the normal bench for today’s session. It was going fine until I started getting to my current 3 rm. When I got there, I managed to hit it only once, with a struggling second. I tried moving down for a 1rm and upping the weight, but it wouldn’t budge.

This, and a rather strange pain in my right tricep after today’s session, is leading me towards taking a week off. Perhaps I’ve been going heavy for too long. However it seems like it would be impossible for a person of my age (17), and my diet ( moderate bulk) to overtrain with only 3 workouts a week, despite their intensity?

I geuss I’m looking more for a confirmation that is in fact normal amongst guys my age and they have had to back it off at times.

Thanks in advance.

edit: Aslo, is it time to try switching up programs? I like westside 4 skinny bastards a lot, but if it’s time to change programs, I’ll deal. cw’s hammer down seems like it might be helpful in my strength orienated goals as well.

Sure unload for a week. If youve been doing nothing but HIGH load reps then take a week to cut the load a bit. Might noitt need a true week OFF but just lower intensity/volume.

As for time to switch training?? I say no three weeks isnt but a drop in the bucket and your probably just starting to see the results that the program can give. To many ppl switch programs WAY to fast (after a few weeks) and then claim they didnt work. This stuff takes time to show results and most no program will do much if only a few weeks.

Best of luck and get some rest, come back strong and ready to roll.


dude i am 17 and ive been doing westside for skinny bastards for 2 and half months and im on a moderate bulk diet. your like my alter ego.

After 10 weeks, yes, it might be a good time to take a week or so off. It’s probably not real ‘overtraining’ but you might just be having a bad week, and/or you might have pulled your triceps a bit as well. Either way, rest can do wonders after months of heavy training.

Furthermore, changing programs every 8-14 weeks is a fine idea. As Phil said, don’t change any earlier than that, otherwise your body will never really adapt to the program. The exact time it takes for you to adapt will depend greatly on you, the program, and how intensely you lift. In any case, if you’re hitting a plateau, you probably need to change something.

You might even want to take a minute or two and plan-out the next couple of programs that you want to try. I.e. do Hammer-Down for 12 weeks, then ABBH to build some more muscle-mass, then rotate back to WS4SB to train the fibers you added with ABBH.