T Nation

Taking a Break?


I've been doing Starting Strength for about 6 weeks now, and here are my gains:

Squat 3x5 160lbs
Bench 3x5 135
Deadlift 1x5 185
Press 3x5 85
Clean 3x5 115

Squat 3x5 215
Bench 3x5 155
Deadlift 1x5 265
Press 3x5 105
Clean 3x5 130

Thing is, my Bench and Press have been stuck for a week or 2 now, and my squat is getting hard (literally have to take 10 second pause between last couple reps to get them). Deadlift is still jumping 10 lbs a workout, and Clean 5 lbs.

I'm wondering, would it be alright to take a break for one week? I just did a workout today, and I want to take a break until next Tuesday.

My thought process is this: Whenever I take breaks from lifting (usually because injuries), I come back later (last time it took 2 months, before that 4 months) and im actually as strong as or stronger in my lifts, despite doing no lifting in the time off. So do you guys think a one week break would be good for me? Maybe someone has a better suggestion then taking a week off?

*The 4 month injury was a severly strained hip flexor (hurt a lot), and when I came back I squatted my former max 5 times.

EDIT: I'm not saying breaks make me stronger, but maybe they help fully recover my body, even when I don't think it needs it.


I took a week off over the thanksgiving break. That was after not missing a workout since Late August.

Today was my first day back, and I hadn't lost any strength, and felt good in the gym.

Just don't make it a habit.

That's all the advice I can contribute.


I don't know if I'd do a complete break, but a deload week certainly won't hurt anything. 1 week is not going to really set you back, as long as you don't make it a habit.


I thought about doing a deload week, though now I would only have 2 workouts instead of the full 3. I optioned for a complete week off though just because if my body is taxed down I would prefer to give it as much rest as possible.

As for making it a habit, I don't plan on it. I want to bench 225 lbs, squat 315, and deadlift 405 by the end of May (end of junior year of high school) I then want to cut during the summer and come back for my senior year looking good, then start bulking again. So i've got a long way to go and a lot of determination.

I have a question though, should I still eat as much protein and calories for the week off?


Your body is not as overtaxed as you think it is - you're still making progress in some lifts.

Restart according to the program. You could also focus on assistance lifts for shoulder health if you know what you're doing.


Calories: drop them for the week off. I wouldn't get too worked up about it.

Deload: Take a week and do some higher rep work and stay away from the heavy weights and see how it treats you. I wouldn't be hesitant to take a whole week off, those happen anyway due to holidays and random crap so why include one in your training schedule?


Take a week off and come back ready to hit the iron!


I wouldn't go for a week off just yet(after 6 weeks).
I'm not familiar with the program(Can u switch excercises) so this may be of no use to you, but when my bench stalls you I jump to DB press for maybe 6 weeks(all the while increasing this to max), jump back on the barbell bench press, and you will feel so much more comfortable under your current max and be able to increase again.


^ I don't have DB's availible to me. I'm considering buying dumbell bars soon though, so I can use my current weights without buying new weights.


I wouldn't take a break just yet. Lower the weight on the bench and work on making that bar go up fast as possible. This has helped me break out of a stall.

That being said, I took a week long break after 3 months of lifting and lost zero strength.