If you use the Max-OT principles, you are very familiar with the importance of taking a week off, and you’ve no doubt felt the positive effects of a scheduled break after every 8 to 10 weeks of training. This is known as cyclical recovery (CR) or time between Max-OT training cycles.

If you don’t train with the Max-OT principles, taking a week off may be a very foreign concept to you. The truth is, if you’re not taking scheduled time off, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Last week when I was discussing warm-ups I mentioned how every aspect of Max-OT works synergistically. The recovery week is another one of those important aspects that should not be overlooked when you are designing your workout schedule. Cyclical recovery between Max-OT training cycles is vital for your long-term gains.

Before I came on board full-time at AST Sports Science, I worked in gyms throughout high school, college and after college. During that time I’d see some people train day in and day out for years yet never really look any different. It was not for lack of consistency because these people were in the gym the same time every day like clockwork. Their lack of results was largely due to an inefficient training approach and failing to take into account important concepts such cyclical recovery.

Some will proudly tell you they have not taken any time off of training for as long as they can remember as if that is a mark of their dedication to the iron game and they’ll look at you a little strange when you mention taking a week off. Then they’ll proceed to have a 10-minute conversation with another gym member before they finish their fourth bicep exercise. It makes me wonder if the reason they don’t take time off has more to do with missing their social hour than it does with their dedication to working out. I use this illustration only because I’ve seen it so many times over the years; lackluster training efforts, bad approach, and few results. You’d think a lack of progress might make them examine their workout scheme yet they keep on committing the same training sins over and over and heaven forbid they should take time off because they may “shrink” if they don’t train.

Structured Breaks From Training Enables Full Recovery

Scheduled time off won’t hurt you, misguided efforts and a lack of intensity will. It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend in the gym if you consistently use a bad approach you’ll consistently get marginal results. To achieve outstanding results you need to do more than just put in your time. You have to continually kick ass in the gym and execute an intelligent plan.

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Intense Max-OT training for a span of 8 to 10 weeks will be creating the best stimulus for maximum muscle gains and the scheduled week off will play an important role in how well you fully recover and respond (grow) from all the hard work in the gym.

To continually take your results to a higher level, your head needs to be in the game each and every workout as well, and a mental break is just as important as a physical break. Mental recovery is overlooked in virtually every training program but not in Max-OT because Paul is acutely aware of the critical role your mind plays in building maximum muscle.

Mental Strength

A large part of your training success will hinge on your mental approach. If you are sputtering mentally, your workouts will suffer, and that is a fact. To get the most out of your workouts, you need to focus and concentrate 110% each day. You can’t afford to let your mental approach suffer. A scheduled week off gives you a very important mental reliever and helps keep you fresh and focused in the gym.

You need to understand that training is only one part of the equation, albeit a big part, but only one part none the less. Recovery, nutrition, and supplementation all play roles of equal importance, and if any one of those aspects suffers, the end results will suffer too.

It is crucial that you understand the importance of cyclical recovery and get over any mental barriers that may prohibit you from taking scheduled time off. View the big picture and realize how vital this extended recovery period between intense Max-OT cycles is for your progress as well as your overall health and well-being.

After you train with Max-OT intensity for 8 to 10 weeks straight, a week off will be a welcomed and deserved break. You’ll return to the gym stronger, mentally sharper, re-focused and hungry to build maximum muscle during the next Max-OT training cycle.

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Increase Muscle Growth by Not Training: The Important Role of Recovery

by Jeff Willet time to read: 4 min