Here is a great post by renowned strength coach Tony Gentilcore for you to take in:
He has some great information about how de-loading your system can actually promote great gains with respect to your performance in and out of the gym.
I particularly adopt a very similar model to this one mentioned in the article:
“In general, just learning how to fluctuate your training volume on a weekly basis will go a long way to help prevent fatigue from deterring your progress in the future. While there are definitely exceptions to rule, we tend to use the following format when writing monthly programs for our clients at Cressey Performance:
Week 1: High Volume
Week 2: Medium Volume
Week 3: Very High Volume (you basically hate life)
Week 4: Low Volume (de-load)”
I work my clients through a 3 week cycle that looks like this:
Week 1: Medium Volume
Week 2: High Volume
Week 3: Low Volume
The purpose behind this is to limit the bodies ability to plateau and become used to the training stimulus being applied. This cycle allows the individual to consistently achieve performance goals over shorter periods of time as they are able to maintain proper form and function because of the optimal rest intervals provided for recovery.
Sometimes, you need to get away from the gym for this to truly occur. I have one client in particular who I have a $50 bet with that she is not allowed to workout other than going for walks and playing recreational sports with her kids while away for 2 weeks this holiday season. She currently trains two days a week with me, spins two other days and chases her 4 kids around the rest of the time. Her body needs a break and she does not have the personality that allows her to truly take one. Hence the bet, a little financial stimulation to elicit the response I am looking for.
So here is my challenge to you:
If you are consistently in the gym 3+ days each week and have been for longer than 4 weeks now, take a week off during the holidays this year. I bet you’ll feel great when you get back at it.
And for any of my athletes who read this, THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU! You guys are still in prep mode for the off-season and you had enough time to recover after your season.
Train Hard, Train Smart and Recover