The body is a great machine. However, like all machines the body has to take an occasional break. Training every day for months on end is not productive. It is important to give the body a break to allow for the cells, nervous system, endrocrine system and brain to be restored, repaired, and recharged. Training with high intensity day after day, week after week will eventually dull the neural machinery of the cell causing a weak synapse of the neuromuscular junction. The result is that the neural drive will not be as strong and the myofibrals won’t contract as hard. Also, the blood volume will be decreased into the area lessoning “pumped up” efect that you are accustomed to achieving with intense training. Your muscles will feel tired and you won’t be able to lift as much weight. You might even feel sore and lethargic after workouts during the recovery phase. When this occurs the body is over trained and a break is necessary to reestablish cellular and neural pathways.
Many people feel that if they take time off form training that they will lose all of their hard earned gains. This is not true, in fact, it is best to take occasional breaks to grow more. Though during the initial time off the muscle might feel softer and appear to be smaller, they will get a tremendous surge of blood greater contractibility when you return to training. This increase in new energy will improve the intensity and allow the muscle to produce greater contractions. Stronger contractions allows for more fiber recruitment. More fiber recruitment equals more hypertrophy, therefore greater increases in strength and muscle size can result.
Taking a week off from training is hard on the ego for some guys. But they must get past the idea of appearing smaller. This is an insecurity issue and one that does not go with the True Bodybuilders plan. It is important to leave your ego at the door and realize that taking some time off is actually more beneficial for your body and your training than if you continue to burn yourself out over training.
So go on a vacation, maybe to Key West and relax, fish, hang out by the pool bagging some rays, and chill with the family. Because that is where I am going next week and that is what I will be doing. When I come back I will tear it up again in the weight room. See ya!
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
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