There is a little phase of training that we always incorporate in our programs for athlete and fitness clients after going through several weeks of “intense” training.
A typical phase may consist of training for maximal strength for 4 weeks at a time, and then on the 5th week, we take what’s called a de-load week, where the focus is on lightening the loads so the joint, muscles, and nervous system can recover and be ready for the next phase.
Though this particular phase does not last as long as the one that precedes it, the de-load week(s) are probably one of the most important weeks throughout the training cycle.
When you are training for strength, there is a constant stress being put on the body. Lifting heavy weight 5 days per week technically is breaking down the muscle, which, yes is necessary for the growth.
It takes time for the muscles to repair after a training session so that they are not only restored, but stronger and more receptive to more intense loads in the future.
Not taking any breaks will not only ultimately fatigue the body past a certain point but will also cause a plateau and potential injury. Hence why de-load week are crucial for restoration.
Taking that week is essential in allowing the body to repair itself, so that it will super compensate and be ready to take on even more intense loads when the recovery week is over.
You literally come back stronger.
We need to time take off from the stresses that we put on our bodies so that we are more prepared for the newer stressors that come later.
Even though we are talking about training in the gym here, the same can easily be applied to life.
We get so easily caught up in the daily grind of work, life, business, etc., but forget to take the time off in order to take care of our most important asset. You.
Initially you might feel that you can’t afford the time off, or that if you take the time off, you will fall behind.
But instead of thinking of how you might “fall behind” from taking the necessary time off, maybe you should think about how much more ahead you will be able to get with renewed energy.
Whether it be just for a weekend, a few hours, a week, it doesn’t matter.
Just like how lifting heavy weights for weeks at a time taxes the muscle, joint, and nervous system, working nonstop and getting little rest taxes you psychologically, emotionally, AND physically.
Take the time off for you so that you can recover and come back not only physically, but mentally and emotionally more ready than before.
Incorporate time off for you.