Now, I want you to ask yourself when the last extended break from training you took was. By extended I mean more than a day or two off from training, more like a 5-14 day span where you stayed out of the gym, where you either did nothing or did something completely different than your normal training program. If you can’t think of one, try to think about the last time that you got sick or injured and were forced to take an extended period of time off from your training. What did you notice when you came back?
Unless it was a very extended time off, I bet you were far more enthusiastic about your training, some of those little twinges or aches had gone away. Perhaps you busted through your previous plateaus after a short break in period. And then, if you’re like everyone else out there, you went right back to training the way you had done before. Hammering for weeks, months, even years on end without a break. Or until you got sick or injured again.
Odds are, if you’re like most out there, the mere idea of taking 5 days (or more) off from training fills you with fear. All your strength, muscle and fitness will just disappear. And, oh my god, you’ll just get fat. Except that the detraining studies, and real-world experience, show something different. You lose very little fitness in a 5-14 day span, depending on what you’re looking at. I mean think about it this way: if you spend 11.5 months out of the year getting in-shape, how much fitness can you honestly lose in 5-14 days? Not very much is the answer.
Given how overtrai-ned many people are, many come back stronger or fitter than before.
Until tomorrow: Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.