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  • Should You take a Week Off from the Gym?

    Believe it or not, taking time away from the gym will help you achieve a better physique. Discover the telltale signs and the benefits of a seven day rest.

    Should You take a Week Off from the Gym?

    Listen to your body. If it’s telling you it needs a break don’t deny it rest

    Taking a week off from the gym will sound like the ultimate nightmare to the most avid fitness fanatic.

    Being away from the weights for that long, not having a pump in any muscle group, and the feeling that you’re shrinking are some of the mental hurdles that you will face during the seven-day period.

    Despite how horrid this may seem, it is necessary to take some time off from training every few months and it will benefit you in the long term.

    Signs you Need to take a Week Off

    Should you take a week off from the gym - Additional image 2

    Higher levels or even extreme levels of fatigue from both a physical and mental standpoint is a tell-tale sign that a recovery period is needed.

    1. Your muscles will be constantly sore and seemingly unable to recover. This can, in turn, affect the quality of the workouts. Especially in terms of the amount of weight that can be lifted and reps performed.

    2. You’ve also lost your focus when in the gym. Usually you are in a zen like state when it comes to each set, placing significant thought on each rep and making sure form is perfect.

    However, you’re lacking your usual clarity and, as a result, form is sloppy and you are not achieving a good muscular contraction.

    If you make it through to day seven without touching a dumbbell you will be more motivated than ever before to have great and effective workouts, particularly on that first week back.

    3. You’ve lost your motivation. You’re managing to force yourself to the gym but when there you aren’t training with same intensity that you normally would be.

    4. You’re feeling mentally drained. Weight training not only places strain on your muscles but also your central nervous system.

    So, if you’ve noticed you’re not as sharp as normal or are consistently mentally fatigued it may be time to take a break from the iron.

    If suffering from any of these ailments it may be time for some rest and recuperation which will yield many advantageous effects.

    Benefits of taking a Deload Week

    Should you Take a Week Off from the Gym?

    The biggest benefit is that your muscles will be completely rejuvenated and ready to face the usual weekly battering of resistance training after the break.

    If you make it through to day seven without touching a dumbbell you will be more motivated than ever before to have great and effective workouts, particularly on that first week back.

    There is a sense of guilt that comes with taking a deload week due to the feeling that you are losing all of your gains because you haven’t had an upper body pump in days.

    As strange as this may sound to many, you will begin to miss the gym and will have to fight the urge telling you to do a few curls with your home weights.

    Should you take a week off from the gym - Additional image 5

    These feelings of guilt and not giving into your urges will be morphed into an untold level of motivation.

    There is nothing quite like a first session back after a deload week. It is like you are contracting your muscles again for the first time and want to make up for any gains that you have perceived to have lost in those seven days.

    The level of intensity you train at will be heightened to untold levels, and the pump after depriving yourself for 168 hours is a very satisfying one.

    Deload Week Tips

    Should you Take a Week Off from the Gym?

    Just because you’re having a week off from the gym does not mean you can use this as an excuse to cheat hard on your diet.

    Due to not adhering to your strict gym regimen, your body will be expending a lot less energy and will require less calories as a result.

    Even though you are eating less, the food you do eat should resemble your usual meals. This is because you need to be eating nutrient dense foods in order to aid the recovery of your muscles.

    A little moderate cardio won’t do you any harm. But make sure it’s cardio you aren’t used to doing and that’s not at the gym. So no treadmills or cross-trainers.

    This will aid the complete mental break from what can be a monotonous gym cycle; especially when in this state of fatigue.

    Should you Take a Week Off from the Gym?

    Lastly, enjoy yourself. You can partake in activities you may have missed out on prior to the gym. And all this extra free time can lead to an array of things.

    An ideal time to take a deload week would be when booking a week long break. So, when away you won’t need to worry about hitting the gym.

    As hard as it is believe taking time away from the gym will help you achieve a better physique.

    Listen to your body. If it’s telling you it needs a break don’t deny it that, otherwise you will only run yourself into the ground.

    Amo is a history graduate with a fondness for nerd culture, sport, video games, YouTube, podcasts and mosh pits: "Knowing is not enough, we must APPLY. Willing is not enough, we must DO."

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