How Often Do you take breaks from working out?

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    How Often Do you take breaks from working out?


    So just wondering does anyone take breaks from working out and 4 how long? Im going on 6 months without a week off im thinking about taking a break. I work out 4 days a week. Just started school again, im thinking about taking a couple weeks off from every exercise. I think it will give my muscles a well needed break and i think they will respond well when i come back and hit the weights hard! Whatya think?

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    I think a week out of the gym after 10-12 hard weeks of training is good for your body. It's not something I started doing until more recently, but once I get past the mental roadblock of knowing being out of the gym is actually beneficial, it's good. I like to plan mine around vacations or trips where I know it might be hard to find a gym or the time to work out anyway - works out well.
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    I deload every 6-8 weeks and take a full week off everything 12-14 weeks.
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    Time off is very beneficial! myself every 3-4 months. you work hard to keep your body heathy...you should also keep your mind healthy also. sometimes if i get in a rut, i will concentrate on cardio and nutrition and when i come back to the weights, im mentaly and physicaly replenished. time off is great!
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    i take time off when i get sick, which may be up to a week. but thats the only time i take off.

    taking 2 days off in a row is a vacation for me these days, lol.
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    3x a week haha
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    I took one week off for the first time in 2 years a few weeks ago.
    Bench - 355
    Squat - 405
    Deadlift - 600
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcr1 View Post
    So just wondering does anyone take breaks from working out and 4 how long? Im going on 6 months without a week off im thinking about taking a break. I work out 4 days a week. Just started school again, im thinking about taking a couple weeks off from every exercise. I think it will give my muscles a well needed break and i think they will respond well when i come back and hit the weights hard! Whatya think?
    Ideally, you should take a complete week off every 8-12 weeks - the more trained you are, the longer you can go before taking time off - and when it says take a week off, give your body a COMPLETE break from ALL training.

    Ideally, easy weeks re intensity or volume should also be added in every 3-4 weeks.

    6 months is a bit long without taking a break - unless of course, you only train ~3 times a week and don't do cardio, or are JUST doing cardio.

    Take it from an athlete who only ever used to have one week off a YEAR for several consecutive years - your body NEEDS time off! If you don't take it and you're training hard - even with a "deload" week every 3-4 weeks - your overreaching WILL end up becoming overTRAINING, and if you're forced to take time off, it can take months to recover from!

    Unless it's required (i.e. professional athlete, etc.), then don't be an idiot, and give your body a break when it needs it.


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    Good Info here! Like it, lets hear more!
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    I know the thing is ive been laid off 4 a while now so i have a lot of time on my hands so working out is no prob! I feel like a bum not working or not doing anything n just sitting on my asss. Plus its hard not 2 work, i absolutely love working out! I luv it! But im gonna take a couple weeks off her starting next week, its gonna be hard not to train.
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    I am very much against taking weeks off. I do active recovery, i.e. deloads. IMO few people really need a week off physically. They may think they do... I tell my guys deload every few weeks to stay healthy, and take a week off in 5 years, lol.
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    i train dc so i take a week off followed by a light week about every 10 weeks
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    I always feel better if I keep moving somehow, even if it's ridiculously light stuff. The older I get, the more I stiffen up if I don't do something. I would agree that most people rarely absolutely need a week completely off, it doesn't hurt anything if it happens once in a great while. I usually do a deload of some sort every 3-6 weeks depending on how taxing my training is.
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    It depends on my training schedule. If I'm doing 6 days a week (3 day split) I'll take a few days off after 4-5 weeks of training. If I feel I need it (If I don't I usually know I'm not pushing myself hard enough...)

    It really boils down to knowing how hard you can push without being lazy or smashing yourself into the ground. I used to be able to go for weeks on end without a break... Now I need to take them more often.
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    Here's a question... Say you've been at it for 8+ weeks and you're still seeing progressive progress. Say you pass 12 weeks solid and you're still seeing improvements week by week... Would you want to wait until the gains slow down or still go ahead and take a break?

    I know you have to give the CNS a break, but a lot of times I just go by feel. If I feel like I need a break, I take one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
    Here's a question... Say you've been at it for 8+ weeks and you're still seeing progressive progress. Say you pass 12 weeks solid and you're still seeing improvements week by week... Would you want to wait until the gains slow down or still go ahead and take a break?

    I know you have to give the CNS a break, but a lot of times I just go by feel. If I feel like I need a break, I take one.
    I think there are a myriad of factors that play into this: age, sleep, season, training cycle, stress, work/school, etc. I can still have gains even when I am in a CNS fatigued state, but that's mainly plowing through mentally. I can tell when I am fatigued/unmotivated the entire week that I need at least a deload.
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    train for 9 weeks take week 10 off come back stronger on week 11..then do my one rep max for 3 reps..1-3 sets working so far for me
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    Keep it up!
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    I usually WO EOD but a couple times a year i take a week off. and usually its due to being sick (cold ect.) or other reez (alot of work maybe? lol).
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    i only take one week break for my self.taking long period of break, i might LOSS my good shape.
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    I train 5-6 days a week and never take a week "off". I Deload every fourth week which is a reduction in the intensity and volume but I'm never going a week without doing at least one intense conditioning day and one max effort lift day.
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    Cool.
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    Good topic i think about this my self.
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    While the suggestions on this page may work for the individual who wrote them, what is more important is what your own body can handle. As someone said, what really matters in weight training is progressive poundages. If you can keep adding weight to the bar WHILE MAINTAINING STRICT FORM, then you are taking enough time off. More often than not, people are over training. Consider finding the book "Beyond Brawn" at the library or at a book store. Its training gold in my opinion.
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    Cool thanks might have to check that book out! I also heard the book muscle was a good one!?
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    as a college athlete, i usually a week off after a 10+ weeks of training in the offseason. but that is just for overtraining purposes and staying healthy as possible for the athletic season because the season is just like working out, your body takes a beating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swan1209 View Post
    While the suggestions on this page may work for the individual who wrote them, what is more important is what your own body can handle. As someone said, what really matters in weight training is progressive poundages. If you can keep adding weight to the bar WHILE MAINTAINING STRICT FORM, then you are taking enough time off. More often than not, people are over training. Consider finding the book "Beyond Brawn" at the library or at a book store. Its training gold in my opinion.
    Agreed.

    It all depends on what my body is telling me. May be every other day, may be after 6 consecutive days. I havent taken a whole week since i started 3 years ago. That would be far from optimal for me..
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    Makes sense!
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    Quote Originally Posted by swan1209 View Post
    While the suggestions on this page may work for the individual who wrote them, what is more important is what your own body can handle. As someone said, what really matters in weight training is progressive poundages. If you can keep adding weight to the bar WHILE MAINTAINING STRICT FORM, then you are taking enough time off. More often than not, people are over training. Consider finding the book "Beyond Brawn" at the library or at a book store. Its training gold in my opinion.
    Most people do not believe in abbreviated training. When they stop making progress, they add more sets, workouts, or days. They are never willing to try less. There is phobia of taking time off thinking you would shrink or lose all your gains if you train less or take time off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fadi View Post
    Most people do not believe in abbreviated training. When they stop making progress, they add more sets, workouts, or days. They are never willing to try less. There is phobia of taking time off thinking you would shrink or lose all your gains if you train less or take time off.
    Fadi,

    Are you a fan of abbreviated training? I did Mike Menzter's Consolidated training for a while a few winters ago and i was adding poundage to my lifts but I started adding volume and frequency in order to cut up for a spring break trip, which of course killed my gains. I'm back at it now after struggling with the more conventional routines with excessive volume, frequency and duration. I'm planning on sticking with it now for at least a year to truly put it to the test. In theory, progressive poundages are all you need!

    It would be good to hear from others who have had success with this style of training. I have faith in the author and i feel fortunate to have discovered the book Beyond Brawn relatively early in my life, without it I would have continued down the non productive path I was following.

    Also a note, Mike Mentzer has some books out that pertain to weight training for the "average" person. Even though he was blessed with awesome genetics, Mentzer understood that for a person with "average" genetics, abbreviated training was not only optimal, but required in order to make progress. Mike is a much larger advocate of intensity than the author of Beyond Brawn. Both recommend short infrequent workouts.
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    Hey Swan,

    Yeah I trained for 3 years using the "traditional" way and made good gains. I took 3 years off training, then I started working out again about 5 months ago using abbreviated training.
    I wasn't following specific training and it was not on purpose. I just did not want to work as hard anymore at age 38. I just reduced the volume and trained 3 times a week. then started shaping my workouts as I read Heavy Duty II, Brawn and Beyond Brawn.

    In 5 months so far, I regained my arms size and added an extra 1/2". I'm up 20lbs (some is fat though) and I have not hit a platue on weights yet. Waiting to hit my first platue so I can cycle. I've also taken a week off every 4 to 6 weeks due to work travel during the 5 months. The funny thing is that I am still not lifting as much weight as I used to. I have long way before I reach my previous weights.

    I just switched to two times a week training, today was my first day on it. Training Monday and Thursday.

    I have Mike's books, I like Beyond Brawn much better. I could only deal with Mike's ego and his lust to be recognized as a phylosopher for so long Heavy Duty II didn't really have as much information as you will find in Beyond Brawn but it was the first book on the subject and I like it for its "historic/classic" significance if for anything.
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    Nothing wrong with abb. training!
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    Fadi, I agree with your comments on Menzter. Beyond Brawn is like a bible to me. I found it quite reassuring that a man like Mentzer who was obviously genetically blessed, had ideal training conditions and egotistical could come to the same conclusions that a man like Stuart McRobert came to when it comes to effective training. It seems most people who share the genetic endowment and training conditions that Menzter had are advocating high volume, high frequency "traditional" routines. To take two men from completely different situations and get the same "findings" is proof to me that there is merit to abbreviated training.
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    Only times I take off is if I get sick.

    Heck even when I am usually "off" on weekends I get depressed and want to head to the gym.
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    Ive been hearing alot of post about people saying that the only time they take a break from training is when they get sick. Well did it ever occure to anyone that maybe you got sick from overtraining? I have heard from several sources that overtraning will weaken your immune system. Thus, catching a cold etc. Also i have heard that overtraining can lead to restless, insomina, sore joints, and a few other things. So how bout we try and deload once in a while and see how our health goes??
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    I never take breaks if there is no real need (injury). But my light week (or actually light 10 days) is after 6-8 weeks of hard training..
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcr1 View Post
    Ive been hearing alot of post about people saying that the only time they take a break from training is when they get sick. Well did it ever occure to anyone that maybe you got sick from overtraining? I have heard from several sources that overtraning will weaken your immune system. Thus, catching a cold etc. Also i have heard that overtraining can lead to restless, insomina, sore joints, and a few other things. So how bout we try and deload once in a while and see how our health goes??
    Don't get sick that often. I am usually in the gym 5 days a week and two off though. So that may contribute for it.
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    Thats prob it!
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    taking breaks help get plateaus.
    for beginner lifters 1 week break should be taken after the first 8-12 weeks of training.
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    Strategic de-loading and breaks are crucial to muscle maintenence, particularly after age 40. Experience teaches physiology.
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