It’s hard to convince most athletes who love working out that they will get better results by taking a planned break away from training. Taking strategic breaks from intense weight training will actually enhance muscle gains overall. The big question is when to take a break?

It’s very important to learn how to listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel in the gym and look out for these symptoms. Do you find that you’re struggling through your workouts and not making regular gains? Are small, nagging injuries starting to creep up? Are you starting to dread the thought of going to the gym? These are sure signs it’s time to take a break.

A drop in motivation is one of the biggest signs you need a break.

The Max-OT Training Program clearly spells out taking a week off from training every 8 to 10 weeks. This break is essential for both physical and mental recuperation. You’ll find that after this week-long break you’ll come back stronger, healthier, and with newfound motivation.

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I have hit a plateau. What can I do to get things moving again?

A smart approach is to schedule your break to coincide with an appropriate time of life, such as a vacation. It’s a very rejuvenating experience to have that time completely to relax and spend time with people you enjoy without having to concern yourself with finding a gym and schedule workouts when you’re on a trip somewhere.

Another appropriate time to schedule a layoff is when you know other aspects of your life are going to be particularly demanding, such as exams or a big project at work.

Either way, I’m sure you’re starting to see my point. Select a time that will be advantageous to you and your goals. Strategic, thoughtful planning for your layoff from training will ensure that illness or injury does not force you to take a layoff at a later time when you don’t want to.

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How to Know When It’s Time to Take a Break From Training

by AST Sports Science time to read: 2 min