Layoffs and Detraining

Hi James,

I have one question to ask: I have been training for a few months. Do you think that I should rest for 1 or 2 week without training? BTW I workout 3 times a week.

-Kenny T.



My Answer: If you've only been strength training for a few months, then you're still a newbie. So I don't recommend prolonged layoffs within the first year of your training. Most of your gains in size and strength will occur in the first year of training, so it's best to take advantage of this window of opportunity.

If you want to take a break because you're going away on a trip or you're busy taking care of important matters, then by all means take a break. One week at most. Any longer and you will detrain and atrophy. In other words, you will lose size and strength the longer your layoff.

If you're an advanced bodybuilder and you've already got a decent amount of muscle and strength, then you can take periodic layoffs. People who've already built up a large muscular physique can maintain their physiques on less frequent training. Which is why you find a lot of bodybuilders hitting a body part directly only once a week. This is why Volume Four: Training for the Busy Bodybuilder is meant for the advanced bodybuilder.
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