T Nation

Taking Breaks

   I have just finished off my first month back into weightlifting. At the start of the fourth week I started to feel sick with a sore throat. I figured it was nothing and would pass. As the week went by it got worse. All of a sudden I was sick with a sore throat. I was not about to stop working out when I was so close to completing my first month back into weightlifting. 

   I fought through the sickness and it went away by the end of the week. 

Now this week was supposed to be the continuation and start of my second month, but the same sickness has returned. Now instead of a sore throat, it is nasal congestion, sneezing, and coughing.
For me to get sick even once a year is rare.

   So this week I am taking a break to fully recover from being ill. My question is this: Is taking a week break from lifting going to compromise what I have been doing for the past month? 

UPDATE

So I was dragged into the doctors office and he told me it was related to not getting enough rest. This made a lot of sense and well I’m glad to report that I’m back on track after my week long break. I will be posting my routine up so hopefully some of you can offer me advice.

   In addition, has anyone else trained hard enough to drain the body to the point where getting sick is easier and more common?

Please take this seriously. If this was a joke, I would not have put it in the beginners forum.

No it won’t compromise, in fact it’s possible that the sickness is a result of running yourself into the ground from working out too hard, but that can’t really be evaluated unless one were too see your routine, even then it would be a weak picture because one wouldn’t know your personal recovery levels, that’s something you have to learn yourself over time. If anything, working out through the sickness (if not the cause of getting under the weather) probably led it to get worse, which is why you feel worse now. Take a week off.

I’d take a break. And no, you won’t lose all of your gains.

Since you’re burning out so fast, my guess is that your diet is not up to snuff. You probably need to get a lot more fuel into you.

Post your routine and diet for more helpful feedback.

Same sort of thing happened to me roughly 3 weeks after I started back up after a couple years of relative inactivity.

I also consider myself one of those people who never seems to get sick and suddenly I had really bad sinus issues, and a possible fever. Even came down with impetigo (facial staph infection, wtf?) right after the congestion issues tapered off.

I simply decided to work through it all. There were a couple times during that period when I came home from work, ate and then crashed until I woke up just in time for work again the next morning, but more often than not I felt great in spite of my ailments, especially during and directly after a session in the gym.

I can also attribute much of that to my nutritional intake as well–another aspect that I had suddenly began paying attention to after several years of relative dietary apathy. I was definitely eating more and making better quality choices than before.

In the end, I don’t think my health issues were prolonged much longer (or at all) than if I had simply taken the time off.

I can definitely say that from a psychological standpoint I came out feeling like I was much further ahead, even if it probably didn’t matter that much from a physical strength/training progress standpoint.

I knew I was sick, but I just really didn’t feel like I was a particularly ill person–I couldn’t convince myself there was a real reason to stop except for a few symptoms that I didn’t feel the need to take any medication for anyways.

Maybe I got lucky… but I seriously doubt it. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of male human bodies in their 20’s and 30’s can handle mild forms of sickness and a beginner’s weightlifting regime at the same time and still progress, albeit in a less-than optimal fashion.

A critical failure at this point just doesn’t seem possible unless there are other factors at work, in which case, you probably already know why you shouldn’t be exerting yourself without some form of medical supervision.

So, as long as you don’t kid yourself into becoming a martyr, I’d pay attention to what your body is really telling you and weigh ALL of your symptoms carefully–like your energy level, disposition, etc.–and not just list the negative ones that hypochondriacs like to keep handy.

One month of lifting weights (I don’t know exactly what you were doing prior to or even during this time) seems, by definition, contraindicative of “overtraining” to me, but you’ll want to pay especially close attention to what your body’s really saying right now and play it day-by-day.

Besides, are you going to let a cold going to stop you in a couple of months from now if you catch one? Assuming you’ve also made appropriate adjustments to your nutrition and recovery, this setback is probably only due of the sudden influx of added stress you are now putting your body through. It will adapt accordingly.

Weightlifting isn’t AIDS.

nothing wrong with this, its standard for powerlifters to deload every 3-4 weeks