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Old 06-11-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
Mike Larry
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How often do you take an extended break from the gym? How often should you?

For most of my lifting "career," i've also been a student, so i always took a break from the gym at the end of each semester to concentrate on finals. This basically meant that i took approximately two 10-day breaks a year. I got back into the working world about a year ago and, because I no longer have to take time away from the gym to study, I've pretty much been working out consistently for the past 9 months.

I never really found the breaks to be helpful back when I took them. I was pretty much itching to go back to the gym the entire time and I didn't notice any significant gains when I came back. However, I've been getting exertion headaches lately, and I'm just always kinda sore, so i'm reconsidering my stance on them.

thoughts?
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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Take them or don't take them. I honestly don't think it makes much of a difference.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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I work out straight 3 weeks (4-5 days a week) and spend the 4th week of the month stretching and yoga. I consider the last week my cheat/break week
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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How often do you take an extended break from the gym? How often should you?

A day or two is all you really need. Extended periods of time off will just set you back imo, unless its bcuz of an injury.


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Old 06-11-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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I work out straight 3 weeks (4-5 days a week) and spend the 4th week of the month stretching and yoga. I consider the last week my cheat/break week
that's way too often of a break
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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A day or two is all you really need. Extended periods of time off will just set you back imo, unless its bcuz of an injury.


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it was recommended by my physical therapist.

my workouts are 30-45 minutes long and is somewhat cross-fit like. I do them in place of my lunch at work. In any event, my job is also a desk job where I sit for up to 10 hours a day. As a result, my muscles bind up pretty bad and I develop massive knots.

Before work and the gym, I was as limber as a fox during my college years. I could do backflips, cart wheels, and almost a full split. Now I can barely scratch my back.

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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as it stands, i'm going on vacation for a week next july and i'm planning to tough it out until then
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Taking a few days off or de-loading can be extremely helpful in a training routine... Without a doubt. However, how often and how long one should do so depends on a good deal of factors.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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if you aren't eating at a caloric deficit, have average recovering ability, and aren't training like a world class bodybuilder twice a day six times a week, it would be pretty rare you'd need a break I would think.

I took a break a couple weeks ago, my cut caught up to me and I had a lot of overtraining symptoms. If you have a lot of similarities with the below, maybe it is time for a little break. Personally I would always make sure my nutrition and workout volume was allowing my body proper rest & recovery before I worried about overtraining/needing to take time off.

Quote:
1. You repeatedly fail to complete your normal workout.

I'm not talking about normal failure. Some people train to failure as a rule, and that's fine. I'm talking failure to lift the weights you usually lift, run the hill sprints you usually run, and complete the hike you normally complete. Regression. If you're actively getting weaker, slower, and your stamina is deteriorating despite regular exercise, you're probably training too much. Note, though, that this isn't the same as deloading. Pushing yourself to higher weights and failing at those is a normal part of progression, but if you're unable to lift weights that you formerly handled with relative ease, you may be overtrained.
2. You're losing leanness despite increased exercise.

If losing fat was as easy as burning calories by increasing work output, overtraining would never result in fat gain - but that isn't the case. It's about the hormones. Sometimes, working out too much can actually cause muscle wasting and fat deposition. You're "burning calories," probably more than ever before, but it's predominantly glucose/glycogen and precious muscle tissue. Net effect: you're getting less lean. The hormonal balance has been tipped. You've been overtraining, and the all-important testosterone:cortisol ratio is lopsided. Generally speaking, a positive T:C ratio means more muscle and less fat, while a negative ratio means you're either training too much, sleeping too little, or some combination of the two. Either way, too much cortisol will increase insulin resistance and fat deposition, especially around the midsection. Have you been working out like a madman only to see your definition decrease? You're probably overtraining.
3. You're lifting/sprinting/HIITing hard every single day.

The odd genetic freak could conceivably lift heavy, sprint fast, and engage in metabolic conditioning nearly every day of the week and adequately recover, without suffering ill effects. Chances are, however, you are not a genetic freak with Wolverine's healing factor. Most people who maintain such a hectic physical schedule will not recover (especially if they have a family and/or a job). Performance will suffer, health will deteriorate, and everything they've worked to achieve will be compromised. Many professional athletes can practice for hours a day every day and see incredible results (especially if they are using performance enhancing substances), but you're not a professional, are you?
4. You're primarily an anaerobic/power/explosive/strength athlete, and you feel restless, excitable, and unable to sleep in your down time.

When a sprinter or a power athlete overtrains, the sympathetic nervous system dominates. Symptoms include hyperexcitability, restlessness, and an inability to focus (especially on athletic performance), even while at rest or on your off day. Sleep is generally disturbed in sympathetic-dominant overtrained athletes, recovery slows, and the resting heart rate remains elevated. Simply put, the body is reacting to a chronically stressful situation by heightening the sympathetic stress system's activity levels. Most PBers who overtrain will see their sympathetic nervous system afflicted, simply because they lean toward the high-intensity, power, strength side.
5. You're primarily an endurance athlete, and you feel overly fatigued, sluggish, and useless.

Too much resistance training can cause sympathetic overtraining; too much endurance work can cause parasympathetic overtraining, which is characterized by decreased testosterone levels, increased cortisol levels, debilitating fatigue (both mental and physical), and a failure to lose body fat. While I tend to advise against any appreciable amount of endurance training, chronic fatigue remains an issue worthy of repeating. Being fit enough to run ten miles doesn't mean that you now have to do it every day.
6. Your joints, bones, or limbs hurt.

I'm unaware of any clinical tests that can identify overuse injuries specifically caused by overtraining, but don't you think that pain in your knee might be an indication that you should reassess how you exercise that knee? In the lifts, limb pain can either be DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) or it can indicate poor technique or improper form; DOMS is a natural response that should go away in a day or two, while poor form is more serious and can be linked to overuse or overtraining. With regard to endurance training, if you creak, you wince at every step, and you dread staircases, it may be that you've run too far or too hard for too long. The danger here is that your daily endorphin high has over-ridden your natural pain receptors. You should probably listen to them more acutely. I tuned them out for longer than I should have and it cost me my career as a marathoner (so I got that going for me, which is nice).
7. You're suddenly falling ill a lot more often.

Many things can compromise your immune system. Dietary changes (especially increased sugar intake), lack of Vitamin D/sunlight, poor sleep habits, mental stress are all usual suspects, but what if those are all locked in and stable? What if you're eating right, getting plenty of sun, and enjoying a regular eight hours of solid sleep each night, but you find yourself getting sick? Nothing too serious, mind you. A nagging cough here, a little sniffle or two there, some congestion and a headache, perhaps. These were fairly normal before you went Primal, but they've returned. Your immune system may be suffering from the added stress of your overtraining. It's an easy trap to fall into, simply because it's often the natural progression for many accomplished athletes or trainees looking to increase their work or improve their performance: work harder, work longer. If you've recently increased your exercise output, keep track of those early morning sore throats and sneezes. Any increases may indicate a poor immune system brought on by overtraining.
8. You feel like crap the hours and days after a big workout.

Once you get into the swing of things, one of the great benefits of exercise is the post-workout feeling of wellness. You've got the big, immediate, heady rush of endorphins during and right after a session, followed by that luxurious, warm glow that infuses your mind and body for hours (and even days). It's the best feeling, isn't it? We all love it. What if that glow never comes, though? What if instead of feeling energetic and enriched after a workout, you feel sketchy and uncomfortable? As I said before, post-workout DOMS is completely normal, but feeling like death (mentally and physically) is not. Exercise generally elevates mood; if it's having a negative effect on your mood, it's probably too much.

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/overt...#ixzz2VwIa9Cz7
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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Taking a few days off or de-loading can be extremely helpful in a training routine... Without a doubt. However, how often and how long one should do so depends on a good deal of factors.
+1

I have only hit the gym once in 2 weeks; serious de-loading here. I'm going to snap back with a vengeance though. Moving takes a serious toll on you. I'm glad that I'm finally settled into my new place now.

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Old 06-11-2013, 06:25 PM   #11
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+1

I have only hit the gym once in 2 weeks; serious de-loading here. I'm going to snap back with a vengeance though. Moving takes a serious toll on you. I'm glad that I'm finally settled into my new place now.
New vehicle and a new place? Wow man you've really switched things up recently!
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:28 PM   #12
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New vehicle and a new place? Wow man you've really switched things up recently!
..and a new chick too.


I basically cleaned house.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:30 PM   #13
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..and a new chick too.


I basically cleaned house.




You must feel like your name isn't the same.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:43 PM   #14
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You must feel like your name isn't the same.

I'm now known as X5_Scribe!
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:24 AM   #15
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Like a baws!

Quote:
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if you aren't eating at a caloric deficit, have average recovering ability, and aren't training like a world class bodybuilder twice a day six times a week, it would be pretty rare you'd need a break I would think.

I took a break a couple weeks ago, my cut caught up to me and I had a lot of overtraining symptoms. If you have a lot of similarities with the below, maybe it is time for a little break. Personally I would always make sure my nutrition and workout volume was allowing my body proper rest & recovery before I worried about overtraining/needing to take time off.
A good list of symptoms, but personally I don't think a person has to be in a caloric deficit to benefit form time off or de-loading.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:10 AM   #16
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Like a baws!



A good list of symptoms, but personally I don't think a person has to be in a caloric deficit to benefit form time off or de-loading.
me neither, guess it came across like that a bit. I just don't think it should be a "planned" thing unless you are on a pretty decent cut, my opinion
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:23 PM   #17
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I'm coming up on a week without the gym now, but because of a slight injury. I've felt like I needed a break anyway, I haven't been away from the gym for over 3-4 days in at least a year or two.

CAN'T WAIT to get back in though!
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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Re: How often do you take an extended break from the gym? How often should you?

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Taking a few days off or de-loading can be extremely helpful in a training routine... Without a doubt. However, how often and how long one should do so depends on a good deal of factors.
This all the way!

Breaks are necessary occasionally, but length and how often they should be taken depends a lot on you're training schedule/intensity/recovery rate.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:42 PM   #19
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I'm coming up on a week without the gym now, but because of a slight injury. I've felt like I needed a break anyway, I haven't been away from the gym for over 3-4 days in at least a year or two.

CAN'T WAIT to get back in though!
I took a self imposed break a couple weeks ago, I only missed two lifting sessions and I felt ancy and wanted to go back. Good for motivation I guess, felt almost obsessed at same time
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #20
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I took a self imposed break a couple weeks ago, I only missed two lifting sessions and I felt ancy and wanted to go back. Good for motivation I guess, felt almost obsessed at same time
Exactly. I've noticed if I do take 2-4 days off, I begin to craaaave the gym, and feel like I'm having withdrawals almost. Well, maybe not that intense, but I like the feeling of not feeling normal, unless I'm exercising and eating well. Definitely helps the motivational part of things.
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