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Active Rest Verus Time Off

A FI poster wonders what most people do when they need to take some time off from hitting the heavy weights; stay completely away from the gym or do some active rest type work. He asks:

I'm just wondering what you guys do when you need to take some time off..Taking active rest when you are overtrained has been drilled into my head right from the get go when i started training with my coach (active rest meaning sled pulling for distance, light high rep oly movements, light high rep assistance). I realized the other day that I have never ever taken more than a week of complete rest off in the 3 years I have been powerlifting (and the only reason i would do that is because I just had a meet). I am taking a 2 week's completely off right now to see how it works and yea i was wondering..what do u do?

Replies:

Have fun...seriously..

Look at doing some Kettlebell work, sand bag training, sled pulling and other things you wouldnt generally do. You dont have to spend hours a day doing this stuff but possibly 2-3 sessions a wk 30-45minutes a session. Id work alot in the 8-12 rep ranges and keep rest times minimal... get the heart rate up a little bit.

I generally go the active rest route because I go absolutely nuts if I'm not doing something. On the other hand, taking a couple weeks might help you feel better. If you do stick with the two weeks completely off, I'd be curious to hear how you felt after that as opposed to the active rest.

I've started some GPP with bands off the westside dvd's... It makes a huge difference and you feel like you're going forward rather than backwards.

I do complete rest when I take time off, I don't even drive by the gym...but I'm older also, so the rest is for my joints/tendons etc., at your age, a little gpp stuff wouldn't hurt...but don't be afraid to just take some time away from the gym/lifting completly...either way you'll come back feeling better...

Knowing you (and I'm just like you) I'd usually stand by Kyle's advice but not now. You've come off after a long time on, you've trained pretty much straight for 3 years, I'd take a week or two off finally. Allow yourself to relax. I know the hardest part will feel like you're wasting every day you're not in there but I think it would help in the long run. Even cavemen didn't hunt everyday. I have no doubt the body can handle it but your mind needs a break every now and then. It's nice have a few days not worrying about form tweaks, the next PR, the gear, or even just the stress of getting to and from the gym everyday. Give yourself a week to just veg out and enjoy things you don't normally do. Go see a movie, go to dinner, do something, anything other than train. See how you feel after that week. My bet is you'll come back after that and feel better than ever.

Swing some kettlebells.

how bout this

1st week - off
2nd week - gpp work

Active rest usually means cleaning out the garage, polishing & waxing my car (or my wife's Tahoe if I'm doing GPP work biggrin.gif).....things around the house just to be productive and that I don't normally have time to do.

Depends, if I'm feeling a little worn down I'll back off the weights and go lighter.

If I feel burned out, the weights will have to wait, I'm taking a week off.