• Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2387

    Nov 10, 2011 6:19 AM GMT
    I think I am going to take about 3 weeks off from weight lifting
    (next week, Thanksgiving week and the week after)

    I normally go 3x a week and I don't do any cardio because I already lost weight from being sick a while back icon_razz.gif

    I am just wondering if I can use this time to gain weight and maintain my muscle now so I don't lose any?
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    Nov 10, 2011 4:28 PM GMT
    I've taken 2 weeks off before when I went to my friends cabin in the middle of no where. I didn't lose any weight or mass. I just stayed sensible about my caloric intake and we did a bunch of hiking around. I still did pushups and crunches every day though... had to do something!
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    Nov 10, 2011 5:32 PM GMT
    yes, you can gain during a break from lifting. but unless you do some form of resistance work you'll gain fat rather than lean mass.

    fortunately, the amount of resistance work required to trigger your body to convert cals into muscle is fairly low. you can achieve it with a quick bodyweight workout of things like pushups, pullups, squats and lunges.

    it also helps if you focus on exercises that exhaust muscles you don't ordinarily work. in my case, i can get big results very quickly when i start working my hamstrings and triceps, two muscles that never get isolated and exhausted in my usual workouts.

    your nutrition will also have a big impact. during your lifting hiatus try to keep intake of added fats to no more than 25% of calories, and boost your natural fiber intake.

    good luck!
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    Nov 10, 2011 5:37 PM GMT
    I really like this idea. Usually my fitness "vacation" is when I'm traveling. Those are the times I stop everything: weight lifting, HIIT, stretch, running, all supplements except multiple vitamin. It gives a chance for your body to "reset".

  • Bowyn_Aerrow

    Posts: 357

    Nov 10, 2011 5:46 PM GMT
    Assuming you do not gorge yourself every day like its Thanksgiving day, you shouldn't actually put on much fat weight. You may actually lose fat as your body is readjusting to 'normal' stressors.

    Glancing at your profile pics, It looks like you have decent muscle mass in structure of the muscle, thus any loss for an extended vacation will be minor, and most likely not really noticeable on observation.

    I know several guys who have taken off a whole month and a little more, starting with Thanksgiving, ending New Years. Inevitably what happens is minor chances in muscle mass and little to no increase in body fat percentage. They do, however, see great gain when they go back to the gym, their muscles act and react as if its the first time they lifted.

    One of the most sensible (from a medical point of view) systems I have seen breaks down the year into 4 'seasons', every other season is dedicated to either endurance/definition or mass building. Between each season is a two week break with little to no cardio. Thus the first 'season' they are hitting heavy weights, low reps for 11 weeks, taking 2 weeks off, then hitting the lower weight higher reps and sets for 11 weeks, taking off 2 weeks, around and around.

    This not only provides your body with a decent rest period for full recovery, it also gives you sufficient changes in the routine to prevent plateauing or becoming stale.

    The reason why this is medically sound is because it gives the body an extended period of time to actually recover from the constant 'injury' to the muscles. The workout 'shreds' muscle fibers/tissues, breaks it down, the following 2 day break is where the real muscle growth takes place as the body repairs the tissue, stronger, more dense and tougher in and effort to prevent future 'injury'. while a good deal of healing does take place the first 48 hours, the tissues do not completely heal before the next workout. Thus an extended break allows for complete healing.

    All tissues in the human body repair stronger, denser, thicker and more resistant to injury after injury.

    "Vacations" also help to break plateaus. If you reach the point where you are not seeing gains in weight added to the bar, you can either switch up the type of exercise (with minimal gains) or take a break, tricking the body into thinking that the stress and strain are over with, thus it starts reverting back to 'normal' thus the next course in stress it will react like its being presented with the resistance/strain like new.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 10, 2011 7:34 PM GMT
    Sure you can. Keep up with push ups chin ups pull ups and dips throw in some lunges and walking you'll be fineicon_idea.gif You don't have to kill yourself with them. It will just make it easier to return to the gym, instead of stopping all and going cold turkey on exercise.icon_idea.gif No pun intended.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Nov 10, 2011 8:08 PM GMT
    Just make sure it's a break. If you go without working out for that long you might get lazy and not go back, you'll just end up being fat.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2387

    Nov 10, 2011 9:46 PM GMT
    Well in all honesty I need to really gain weight lol
    Lost a good ten lbs and haven't been able to get it back yet
    I wont get lazy lol I hate to take a whole 3 weeks off but I might have to for some medical reasons too icon_sad.gif