Training Breaks

Discussion in 'Training' started by laurawd, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I've read mixed advice about training breaks: some experts advocate a break from all cardio and weights every 12 weeks, some say every 8 weeks, and others don't give a specific guideline other than to listen to your body.

    I think I've also read Lyle McDonald arguing that HiiT should not be used for longer than 6-8 week periods.

    Does anyone here follow a specific policy with regards to training breaks? Or do you deload at specific intervals in your training? What %age weight do you use during your deload period?

    In the past, I have usually had to take a forced training break of 3-7 days every 4-5 months or so due to travel. I am wondering whether I need to take a voluntary training break now: I am feeling worn down, unmotivated to train, and my body feels more sore than usual even on rest days. I'm also having trouble sleeping, but wonder whether that's other hormone related... I'm also a bit tired of following a diet regimen (that's psychological, though), and long for a couple days completely off plan. Scared of that, though.

    My last training break was about 3 months ago.
    I haven't had an "off" day of planned eating in a year. (But I HAVE been following a maintenance diet for the past week.) I'm thinking of taking a few days off plan before resuming diet and training plans next week.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
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  2. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Laura. Miss you on here! :love:

    I can't comment on the literature around training breaks, but I think the bolded statement indicates that a break could be beneficial, both from training and planning and measuring your food. You can, and will, handle some days off plan. Eat sensibly and you will be fine.
     
  3. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sandy!! Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

    I'm curious, though - 31 views of this topic and noone has anything to say about taking a break?
     
  4. smuggie

    smuggie Maureen aka Mo

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    I have something to say about it. :hamster:

    I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about when to take training breaks. I've done them at regular intervals, and also only when I've felt the need to. In all, I end up taking a week off three or four times a year. I also do deloads on a regular basis. Sometimes, I take one of those above-mentioned weeks off after a deload.

    Cutting down on intensity is one way of structuring a deload, but you can also do a volume deload. You can do both at the same time as well. And sometimes, my deloads consist of high-rep work. So there's more than one way to skin a cat.

    For example, this year I went through a training phase that saw me hitting it very hard and heavy. I did this for 12 weeks, and at the end of that period I did a week of high-rep work, took a week off, and then did a week of high-rep work. I then started back up with heavy work again.
     
  5. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    they might not feel qualified to say something?

    If you are feeling run down and motivated then you likely do need a break. Are you looking into the hormone factor because as you stated that can definitely play into it too.

    i've taken breaks much like you but if in need to, i take an extra day or two and just slide my training over..

    Is eating at maintenance helping?
     
  6. Cathie

    Cathie I have SFP :mecry:

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    Hiya Laura! :D

    If you are feeling worn down and unmotivated, I would say it is time for a training break.

    I think this is a good idea.
     
  7. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    That's great information! Thanks, Mo'! As I've dieted a looong time, I haven't spent any time, really, trying to build strength. Only to maintain. I've done pretty well with that, so I have cut the intensity AND volume this week, and will pick up at a lower intensity when I resume dieting again next week.

    Still having insomnia... :shrug:
     
  8. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ileen!!! Thanks for your reply. I didn't mean my response about 31 views and no replies in a snarky way - I just meant that surely most of us have had to or have chosen to take training breaks, and I was wondering what methods people use to take them.

    My hormones, yes, they are screwy. Still no menses; My TSH is 1.19, FT4 is 71.9 (58.1-140.6), MY FT3 is 2.99 (3.5-6.5) - so the T3 is low. I felt OK last week when these labs were drawn, so the doc added YASMIN BCP to my drug intake, and adjusted thyroid meds from 100 T4/ 10 T3 to 125 T4/ 20 T3 to make up for the added estrogen.

    I asked the doc about the possibility that my training and diet were causing amenhorrea, but he said that my bodyfat is normal and, therefore, that is unlikely to be the cause. (Not sure I agree).

    Thanks for asking!

    I haven't really felt the effect of maintenance eating yet, unfortunately. But I'm confident that this week off will help.
     
  9. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    Hey hon! Thanks. I know part of my question sounded as if I was asking permission for a break, so thanks for responding to that! I also genuinely want to hear others' experiences with training or diet breaks.
     
  10. Cathie

    Cathie I have SFP :mecry:

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    Ahhh, ok. Hmmm, well I only take training breaks because Erik makes me. :lol:

    Sorry, I am not so helpful. :eek:
     
  11. Sohee

    Sohee working on the bikini body

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    Laura! Hi! :hug:

    I make it a point to take a break off about 3 times a year, so once every 4 or so months-- sometimes more, sometimes less. I find that I tend to lose motivation right around that time and begin to dread my workouts. That's when I know that I need a break. I take 7-10 days off completely from all workouts and then I am 100% ready to go by the time I get back into the gym. My strength has never been compromised from those breaks either :thumb:
     

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