Give me a break: take a month off every year to make better gains

Give me a break: take a month off every year to make better gains – Nassertions

Nasser El Sonbaty

Bodybuilding is an extreme sport, so bodybuilders necessarily develop an extreme attitude. Unfortunately, this attitude can lead them to override good sense when it comes to training and recovery. Too many guys — whether they’re amateurs, professionals or just weight-training enthusiasts — believe they need to work out as hard as possible all the time to improve their physiques as much as possible.

Top-level pros, though, have, learned that the key to bodybuilding success is knowing how and when to push to extremes, and when to step back. After a competitive season, I will often take a month off from training to allow my body a full recovery. This is one of the most crucial phases of a bodybuilding cycle for me. By taking a month away from the gym, I am allowing my body to recover from stresses or potential injuries. When I take this time off, I still feel very focused as a bodybuilder because I think of this phase of recovery as being every bit as essential as training. Using this attitude may help you as well.

One of the biggest problems I see with younger bodybuilders is that they base everything around their training. They define the sport only as physical training itself, not taking into account the importance of nutrition, recovery and sleep. These guys can’t stand to be out of the gym for a week. Even if they’re going to the mountains for a vacation, they’ll find a gym so they won’t miss a workout. In the end, though, it’s much better to take time off and allow your body a period without training.

I recommend that every bodybuilder, no matter what his level, take one month off from training every year. My opinion is that never taking a break leads to psychological burnout and ineffective training, where the most you can expect to achieve is maintenance. To make improvements, you should train intensely during training cycles and balance that with recovery. If you’re at a plateau, you can often overcome it by taking some time off.

The way to make progress with your physique is through learning to work with the rhythms of your body. Recovery is every bit as essential as training. You can’t grow if you don’t allow your body the time it needs to recover. If you don’t eat correctly, if you don’t sleep enough and if you don’t recuperate enough, you won’t progress. Trust me on this.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group