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How much time do you take off the gym & how frequently?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by Drjones, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Drjones

    Drjones

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    Hi guys.

    The past couple weeks I've really lost my motivation at the gym; my body just hasn't felt like it.

    I know for a fact the weather isn't helping; we haven't had more than 4-5 days of sunshine for about the past month or longer and it's been raining 90% of the days too.

    Regardless, the thread about the guy who was freaking because he was going to be away from the gym for 9 days got me to thinking that maybe I don't take enough time off.

    I workout at least 3 days a week, usually 4 or 5, for at least an hour to an hour and a half each session.

    How much time off do you guys take, and how frequently?


    Thanks!
     
  2. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Nothing set in stone. I guess I play it by ear. I'd say I take one week off three to 4 times per year. My body lets me know when it is time. lso, every once in a while, insted of time off I do some active recovery. Where I do lighter weights and less volume, or perhaps drill lifts for technique with lighter weights.
     

  3. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Nowadays I miss enough days to not have that problem, but I can see the light at the end of the semester from hades tunnel. I'm looking forward to blasting the weights starting in May!

    Back when I lifted very seriously, I wouldn't really schedule any time off, but I think I'd usually get sick 2-3x per year and would be off at least a week at those times. I don't exercise at all when I'm sick and would usually wait at least a few days after I had no sign of illness before starting back up. I'm a complete wuss when I'm sick.

    DBD
     
  4. Slotback

    Slotback Glock 35 Millennium Member

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    I lift weights on Tuesdays and Fridays. Every other day I do some sort of bodyweight workout.

    Try scheduling it only twice a week. That might help you mentally. But on the other days, do something physical such as walking or running.
     
  5. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Brad,

    Perhaps if you took some scheduled time off you wouldn't be getting sick 3 times yearly.

    Jack
     
  6. DBradD

    DBradD

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    LOL. Agreed. I've pondered the cause and effect many times.

    DBD
     
  7. Kalmah

    Kalmah Supreme Member

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    There are many schools of thought on taking time off. I've heard everything from taking no time off, to taking one day a week off, to taking two full weeks off every other month.

    Everyone's body is different and will respond differently to time off. The only way to know what works best for you is through trial and error.
     
  8. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

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    I hate taking time off from the gym because it takes me a few weeks to get back up to lifting the weight I normally do.

    If I miss even one week of squats I pay for it big time and have to drop serious weight or my legs will be incredibly sore for 6 days when I do squat again.

    I try to constantly progress with my lifting, so any time off really screws me up.

    Instead of taking time off, I might do all my usual lifts with much lighter weight every once in a while, just to keep the muscles moving.

    The only time I really stay completely out of the gym is when I'm sick or injured. And then I have to force myself to bump up the weight slowly when I get back into it or I get major DOMS.

    Does my body punish me when I take time off, or do I punish my body for making me take time off???:freak: HAHA!
     
  9. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I donno dude. I think that's pretty weird. :alien:

    Have you logged these huge drops in weight, etc., or is it just a perception, and has it happened multiple times over the years? The reason I asked is that I'm wondering about the cause and effect relationship. If you've only noticed it once or twice, then maybe something else caused the problems when you restarted. Could it be that you have more energy from the time off and you had a lot more intensity on those first few workouts after the break?

    Does this only happen on exercises with a big stretch at the bottom? For example, did it also happen on overhead press and curls?--two of the exercises without a big stretch at the bottom. I'm wondering about your muscles tightening up, then being inadequately warmed up or stretched during that first workout after the break.

    Does it happen to every bodypart after you restart or just the one trained on the first day back?

    DBD
     
  10. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Active recovery or deloading is a good way to rest, there is nothing wrong with that. But, I'm not sure it is a bad thing taking a week off and starting a new cycle with lighter weights. Are you sure that that impedes your overall progress?
     
  11. quantico

    quantico 1911 lover Millennium Member

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    I took a month - six weeks off a couple months ago and just was in a bad place emotionally for a while. I snapped back a bit and am now back in the gym workout zone again. I have not been as consistant as I would like to be, but instead of being absent for a month and a half, I am a few days behind schedule this month. I went yesterday and am heading out now for a decent 2/3 mile swim at the gym. The warm weather helps, and our psychology changes day to day and month to month.... With a bit of push I will reach my every other day goal this month and feel great about myself and my progress again.
     
  12. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    About every three months, I take a week off. I've been doing that for 25 years and it's done nothing but help. For a trained lifter, no way is missing one week of workouts every few months going to have a negative effect.
     
  13. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

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    The two bodyparts that are effected most are my legs and chest. Both of these do have a deep stretch, atleast for me. I have to drop about 100 lbs on my squats, and about 40 on my bench (20 per dumbell for me). Then after a few weeks I get back up to the weight I normally lift.

    For all other lifts I can use the same weight I usually lift after a 1 week break. I've been lifting long enough to know how my body reacts. It's been this way for years now.

    I don't think I'm really getting negative effects from a break, and it doesn't hurt my overall progress. I just hate having to take a few weeks to get back up to par on some of my lifts.

    One of my flaws is lifting heavy all the time. I never back down. I'm pretty sure taking a break from time to time and/or using lighter weights could actually benefit me. But I just hate to do it.

    It's all in my head (lifting heavy, NOT the muscle soreness!). I'm always concentrating on progression, and if I'm lifting lighter weights or not at all, I see it as a set back. Even though I know it really isn't.

    One of these days I'll learn to relax and take a little break every once in a while. And it probably will actually benefit me physically as well as mentally. I know how my brain works, and I'll see it as a reason to come back slowly, and then hit it with a vengeance, since the time off probably helped me.
     
  14. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    If it works for you keep at it. Don't worry about the need to learn to relax.