You should stop lifting weights. Are you almost done frothing at the mouth with Internet rage to let me explain? I’m not saying you should stop weight training permanently, but a brief hiatus can be very beneficial to your gains in the long run. Taking a break is a good way to let your body heal up from all of the wear and tear you have accumulated over time.
I’m sure many of you super alpha males don’t take breaks ever because that’s something only pussy ass betas do, but the thing those guys are forgetting is that I banged all of their moms. All of them! Seriously though, everyone is different. Some guys can train and train, and then train some more and never get hurt or run down. Some guys lift on two consecutive days and are couch bound for a week. We are all different and require different kinds of recovery.
For me I find that after 3-6 months of steady weight training, I get pretty worn down. My workouts start to diminish to the point that I just go through the motions. When you get to that point and you begin to plateau, it’s a perfect time to leave the iron for a bit. The main thing to remember when taking a break from training though is that you aren’t actually taking a break from training, just changing what you do. So here are some things you can do to reap the most benefits when taking a break from lifting.
1. Actually recover.
The first thing you should do when you take a break from lifting is to actually recover. Let your body heal up, even if it only takes a few days. Get your diet in check. Come up with some ideas on how to revamp your workout routine. Go have sex with pretty ladies. (Dirty skanks, gay guys, whatever I’m not judging.) Try to relax for a few days before you jump into anything else fitness related. Your body is a machine, and you need to turn it off every once in awhile and give it a tune up. Sometimes the best way to blast through fitness plateaus is to simply stop trying for a bit. Get excited about lifting again. Even our biggest passion can become stale if we indulge in it too often.
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2. Work on flexibility.
One thing bodybuilders tend to overlook is the importance of flexibly. Being flexible not only reduces your chance of injury, but it can vastly improve your range of motion and help you make more muscle gains. Taking a break from lifting weights is the perfect time to work on your flexibility. You can spend more time on prolonged stretching and maybe even incorporate some yoga poses into your stretch routine. You won’t believe how amazing you will feel after a couple weeks of hard core stretching sessions. The best part, when you start back up in the weight room, the added flexibility will greatly improve your strength and performance in the gym.
3. Master your bodyweight.
There’s a reason Olympic gymnast are strong and jacked as hell. Mastering bodyweight exercises improves upon almost every aspect of your fitness. You will build incredible core strength, tendon strength, and muscle control when you train with your bodyweight. Also, as impressive as it is to put up heavy weight in the gym, it’s even more so when you gain the ability to perform things like planche push-ups, muscle ups, and the human flag pole. Once you get back in the weight room after improving on handling your own bodyweight, suddenly lifting heavy ass weight doesn’t seem quite as difficult.
4. Fight training.
One thing I like to do whenever I take a break from the iron is to focus on boxing and mma workouts. This is great for winter time especially as I usually gain a bit of fat and these workouts help me drop it very quickly. Plus, it’s great to build up your endurance from time to time because let’s be honest, running on the treadmill before or after lifting weights doesn’t always cut it. I know I can sprint on the treadmill for 10 minutes and jog for another 10 after every workout no problem, but 5 hard minutes on the heavy bag just kills me. The way I figure it, if punching and kicking shit is good enough cardio for Goku, it’s good enough for me.
5. Actually learn about bodybuilding.
So many guys just eat big, lift big, and hope to get big, yet there’s so much more to it than that. Bodybuilding is a science, one that only the greats have really mastered. There’s a reason why so many professional bodybuilders have advanced knowledge on human biology. It’s their damn job to understand how their bodies function. And for everyone out there screaming they only look great because of steroids, do you understand the knowledge needed in properly taking performance enhancing drugs? I’m sure most of these guys have doctors that help them out but still, you need to know what you are doing. Hell, how many amateurs do you know who can’t even follow the simple, don’t take more than 3 scoops rule? With the extra time out of the gym, learn how your body actually functions, then use that knowledge to get big as fuarkkk.
This was a pretty simplistic article on why taking a break from weight training is helpful. The main thing to take away though is that you don’t want to lose your passion for it. If you continue on a path of lifting day in and day out, you will eventually get tired of it. Only certain people can do things over and over without ever tiring of it. For the rest of us, a little break won’t hurt. You might even find something else you love to do. Parkour, boxing, basketball, there are many things you may love and not even know it. Go out and try new things once in awhile.
What kinds of breaks do you guys like to take? Do you just take a vacation away from it all? Maybe just an easy deload week of lightweight training? Perhaps just a back to back 8 hour hookers and blow workout over the weekend. Let me know in the comments section.