While for some people, making sure they stick to their workout program tends to be top concern. For them, it’s a matter of taking less rest and doing more work.
For others however, the situation is reversed. If you’re someone who naturally likes to workout and is very motivated, you might just need to periodically remind yourself to take time off.
Going to the gym is almost like a habit – you do it without fail and over time, this can actually come back to hinder you.
Rest is an integral part of progressing with any workout program and if you aren’t taking enough rest, you’ll be in for problems ahead. Eventually overtraining, burnout, or injuries will occur, which will set you back, if not take you out for months at a time.
But how often should you take time off? Let’s go over a few factors to consider.
The Intensity Of Your Workout Program
First, consider the intensity of your workout program at hand. The more intense a workout is, the more demanding it’s going to be on your system and the more rest and recovery you’ll need.
For those who are training hard 4-5 times per week, a one week break every 10-12 weeks would be a very good idea.
On the other hand, if you are only exercising hard 2-3 times a week, along with 1-2 lighter workout sessions added in, you can go longer before taking time off. 4-6 months should be more appropriate.
Next, also consider your lifestyle. Are you looking after your sleep needs or does your busy schedule only allow for 6-7 hours per sleep each night?
Likewise, do you suffer from high levels of stress thanks to a demanding career? Or, are you more carefree and relaxed?
Those who are keeping tabs on stress and sleep will recover better from week to week, thus they may be able to go longer before having to take time off.
Those who aren’t, they can expect to need time off at regular intervals throughout their training.
Listen to your body. If it feels like it’s begging for time off, chances are you should give it this.
Finally, also look at your nutrition. If you are dieting, using a lower calorie intake than normal, this also places extra demands on your recovery ability. As such, you’ll need to not only lower the intensity of your workout program, but also take rest more frequently as well.
For those who are eating in a surplus of calories, they can do the opposite. They’ll have plenty of fuel to train hard and keep recovering day by day.
So keep these quick points in mind. Scheduling some time off every few months – or as needed – is an important part of seeing ongoing progress.