Myth #6 Taking a week off from the gym is not ok
Archived / March 23, 2010
By Michela Fiorido [Sports Bureau Chief]
Actually, good news, it’s totally fine and even recommended!
However. don’t get too excited and abandon your whole workout schedule for a month.
Also, if you just started working out last week and think you deserve a week off then get real. The week off is for those who have been steadily working out for some time now (2-3 months of consistent exercise). A little bit of time off from the gym has many benefits.
Firstly, that week off allows for intensive muscle and joint recovery and will prevent you from overtraining your body. Secondly, in that week you build up motivation to hit the gym again faster and harder. You will come to hate the way you feel when you don’t work out and, consequently, you’ll be pumped to hit the gym and you’re likely to see great gains.
Speaking of gains, if you’ve hit a plateau in your workouts, don’t try to force it and bump up your weights to some insane amount – just take a week off! Sometimes the muscle recovery and the newfound motivation is enough to bust your plateau.
A week off may also be necessary if you’re sick (nobody wants your nasty sick germs all over the equipment anyways) but seriously don’t go all hypochondriac and create every excuse in the book to avoid working out.
Weeks off can and should be planned strategically, in fact this is my week off which happens to fall during a heavy exam and assignment week. This is not a coincidence, however I do wish that my week off was a little more fun. And another thing, if you’re taking a week off, this is not a free pass to sit there in your basement eating pork rinds and cheese puffs while watching re-runs of The OC.
Maintain your healthy habits, eat well, take the stairs, just be normal! The only difference is you temporarily relieve your body of the pressures and rigors of intensive weightlifting and/or cardio.
Before starting any fitness routine, consult a qualified fitness professional.