T Nation

Week Off Before Cutting


okay so im like 25% now which is pretty ridiculous haha

id like to get down to about 15% before i start continuing my journey on getting swole.

i started a high(er) frequency routine like 5 weeks ago and by the 7th week i will have been working out consistently for about 9-10 weeks since my last 1 week break. and i want to cut at the end of april.

does anyone think i should take a week off from all exercise (with the exception of a couple short slow run days)

or should i just start cutting and keep working out with no week off for the next 8-12 weeks?


Meh, I don't. Unless your body is SCREAMING at you for one.

But to take this a little bit further, I also don't really think de-loads are necessary. Usually, if I'm feeling burned out a good 2-3 hiatus from the gym is plenty enough for recovery and my minds' sake.

Keep working out.


well one time i took a week of and had good growth after a couple weeks back in the gym, but the last time i lost size during that week but quickly got my size back plus a little more after a couple weeks back in the gym

thats why i was wondering


Do it for the mental relief. Hit your cut hard, not moderate.


I agree if your body feels beaten down, you havent seen progression lately, and you feel you HAVE to take a week off, then do it.

On the other hand dont take a week off just becuase you read somewhere that its a good idea before a cut. If you feel fine then keep hitting the wirghts man. I think days off and especially weeks off are highly overrated.


I find that beyond 3-4 days of rest, the negatives (e.g. strength loss/de-training) outweigh the positives.

So maybe take a few days off (if your body's really needing it), then work away at the diet.

Be warned, the first weeks or so of a diet are gonna suck! You'll think that your muscles are shrinking, and that you're not losing enough fat lol. But be patient, it takes some time before the "fat losing momentum" starts to tick.

Don't do what many do and drop calories really drastically/too soon (because of impatience)...this will just lead to stagnation/burnout/strength & muscle loss.

Keep it simple and focussed too, none of this changing EVERYTHING crap. Drop a little calories until getting leaner, add a little energy work afterwards (that's the basic rules to fat loss and works every time).

Step 1:
Eat less (e.g. 500 cals less)

Step 2:
add cardio/increase cardio

Step 3:
Repeat cycle when/if necessary

Those who train often (e.g. 5+ days/week) don't always add cardio if it's just 10-15lbs of fat they want to lose.


What happens during a week off depends on your diet. Believe me, no one loses muscle during a week off from training. Personally, unless injuries dictate, I don't like taking that long off. I will however take a day or two to rest, and eat a little higher carb/cal wise before strating a serious prep or depletion week.