Taking A Week Off Working Out – Should You Do It?

Is taking a week off working out okay to do? My opinion is yes. In fact, it’s not only okay to do, but I think it actually will benefit you. Your body and mind will thank you later.

I personally decided to do it myself, as I’ve been going strong on various workout routines over the past several months. I decided that my body and mind needed the break now, and there’s really no reason to feel guilty about it.

Especially when you’re a health nut and you live and breathe fitness, it’s hard to know when or if it’s okay at all to take a break. The downside to taking a break is that it’s easy to become complacent and decide to extend that break just a little longer. But I think that happens when you don’t have a solid workout plan in place and are sort of moving from one exercise to another without any kind of plan.

However, if you’re reading this, and you’re disciplined most of the year with your fitness routine, then I really don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t take a break every few months. In fact, I think it’s the right thing to do for anyone who truly devotes themselves to becoming physically fit.

Taking the time to recharge yourself is important so that you can cash in on the progress you’ve already made from all the hard work you’ve put into training. You may feel guilty on that first Monday that rolls around when you’re just sitting there rather than sweating your butt off. I sort of felt like that myself.

But you’re NOT failing yourself. If anything, you’re giving yourself a much-needed rest, and when you jump back into your workouts, you’re going to be stronger, both physically and mentally.

Don’t Confuse A Break With Laziness

lazy workout

While I do strongly believe that taking a break every few months from your workout routine is a good idea, I want to first stress that there’s a major difference between taking a much-needed break and simply becoming lazy and making excuses to not work out.

In one scenario, you are literally giving your mind and body a rest it’s been craving after months of non-stop hard work. In this situation, it’s likely that you can see great progress in the mirror, and on the scale. Maybe your jeans dropped from a 32 to a 30. That’s what happened to me, and it’s something to celebrate!

In the scenario of laziness, well, I don’t think there’s all that much I need to say. You’ll know if you’re just making excuses why you can’t go to the gym or even work out at home. You’ll know because you’re finding ways to avoid any form of physical exercise.

In my experience, laziness and procrastination usually occur when you don’t have any kind of set plan in place. If you’re not following any kind of workout routine, then it’s very easy to lose motivation altogether. It’s not enough to sort of work out, whether at home, or at the gym.

Maintaining any kind of schedule or persistence when you don’t have a solid workout plan to follow would be nearly impossible to do. This is probably why so many people give up on working out. They simply don’t know what to do.

In a situation like that, then I suggest first finding a solid workout plan that you can follow. This is the one that I do, and it’s the home workout routine I’m currently taking a break from.

It’s simple but incredibly tough, and it takes you from A to Z as far as your workouts and eating plan go.  It’s designed to get you serious results in only 3 months.

So, assuming you’re disciplined and you’ve got a solid workout plan that you follow on a weekly basis, this article will get into why a break will do you good, especially when you’ve been working out month after month without any kind of rest.

Your Body Will Thank You

taking a week off working out

When I decided to take this break, I could feel deep down that it was something I needed. I could feel my body telling me it was time. For the last three months, I’ve been pushing myself really hard with a new hybrid workout routine that’s a combination of bodyweight training with weights.

And prior to those 3 months, I was following another variation of the workout for a full 6 weeks. Not to mention, that prior to those 6 weeks, I had just finished 12 weeks of an exclusive bodyweight program.

These last three months were brutal though, as I added reverse pyramid training into my routine for the first time, and I think the combination of these new elements with not having taken a break from any kind of workout in months, is reason enough for me to give my body a rest.

Research has shown that your body will not lose the muscle that you’ve gained in just the span of a week. Also, you’re not going to suddenly put on a bunch of extra fat in that time frame either.

If anything, your body may actually be better equipped for the next workout routine you dive into as soon as your break is over. So, take that break, and let your body have the vacation it needs.

Your Mind Will Thank You

It’s not just your body that will be happy, but your mind needs a rest too. When I’m following any of my workout routines, I’ve got to be there mentally on my workout days. It’s not just your body pushing the weight, but when trying to make muscle gains, your mind plays just as essential of a role.

You know this week you’re adding 5 pounds to your weighted dips. Your mind has got to be there so that your movements are done properly. That way, you’re getting the very most out of each and every set you do, and your muscle gains will be optimal.

And aside from being there mentally when lifting, taking a week off from working out will give you the much-needed mental break to keep you motivated. No matter how disciplined you are with your workouts, motivation will be much stronger by simply taking a rest.

If you go to the gym for instance, even getting away from the noise of the weight plates, and people scurrying around will beneficial for you.

No matter which way you look at it, simply taking a break in any capacity is going to be good for your mind.

You’ll Start The Next Routine With A Fresh Slate

When you take an extended break from training will actually help you increase your muscle mass over time, because these breaks will actually trigger biochemical and physical changes, meaning when you get back into the gym, you’ll be a powerhouse.

Studies actually show that it takes more than 4 weeks of completely being inactive for your body for you to even notice any serious kind of catabolic breakdown of your muscles. And when I say completely inactive, I mean bed rest, and barely any movement at all.

So, taking a week off is not going to have any effect on your mass, size, muscle gains, strength, or power that you’ve gained from all your hard work. You also won’t see any noticeable body fat gains.  Here’s exactly what Men’s Health had to say about it.

Workout Break In Summary

If you plan on taking a week off working out, it may just be exactly what your body and mind needed. You’ll be able to exert yourself better and at a much more efficient level when you get back into your workouts. This is something you simply cannot do when you’re working out all the time.

I just think a one-week break every 3 months is enough time to recalibrate and let your mind and body get the rest they need so that you’re fully functional when you get back into the swing of things. I actually consulted with different people about this, and it seems that the general verdict is this: take a break every 90 days.

However, I know some people who feel you should be working out non-stop all the time. I considered it for a bit, and I let the guilt of taking a break wash over me for a day. Then I realized, no. Listen to what your body is asking. It needs a break. So I took one, and I’m fine with that. If you need one, you’ll definitely know.

If you’re looking for a solid workout routine, I cannot stress enough the power of Kinobody programs.

This is the program I’m currently following.

However, I just finished a 3 month hybrid workout of this routine, which includes both bodyweight training and weights.

I initially dropped 15 pounds, dropped 2 waist sizes and 3% body fat, in just a few months.  Right now, I’m focused on gaining muscle, so I’ve actually gained 5 pounds back in the past few months, all according to plan.  And now my muscles need a break!

I hope you found this article to be helpful. If you have any questions or comments regarding anything mentioned here, please let me know in the section below, and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading!

2 thoughts on “Taking A Week Off Working Out – Should You Do It?”

  1. Would taking a week-long break every other week or even every two weeks be way too often, or do you think that this would be okay as well? I am wondering because I feel like I will have a really good week of working out, and then then the next week comes around and my muscles just feel weak and exhausted. Would taking this week-long break every other week or every two weeks be okay or even more beneficial?

    1. Hey Gavin – I feel that taking a week off every other week or every two weeks would be too often. It takes your body time to adjust to a new eating plan, calorie adjustment, and workout routine. If your muscles feel weak and exhausted, then I think it would mean that you need to change your eating. Do you know how many calories you eat daily approximately? You might not be getting enough protein and food in your body. But yeah, I wouldn’t recommend taking breaks that often. Every three months is ideal for me. And the reason for this is that month one of my workout leads into month two, which then leads into month three. Each month consists of different workout routines that build in volume and intensity. And to be able to effectively work out, it’s really important to get the right amount of food in you daily.

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