Taking a week off from working out is something that we all probably want to do. But before we make that decision, let’s first discuss the reasons that you should take a week off from working out, and why you shouldn’t.
After you read this article, you are going to be more well equipped to make that decision.
We workout to improve our health and our physical appearance, but the vast majority of people either give up or never stop. It is ok to find a balance. And we are going to make sure that we factor all of this in when making our decision.
Reasons that you should take a week off from working out
Ok, so you need a list of reasons about why you should take a week off from working out. Let’s start with the list:
- You have been working out consistently for at least 2 months
- Your nutrition is dialed in
- You have hit a plateau in your strength gains
- You are going on a vacation
- A health related issue
A lot of people get way too hung up on the timing of workouts and their short term consistency, that they forget that it is more about nutrition and long term consistency.
Going a week without working out might be beneficial to you if you fall under any of the categories in this list. Maybe you fall into multiple categories on the list. That works too.
Make sure that you have been working out consistently for at least the past 2 months. Why so specific with 2 months? Because you need to show yourself that you have the ability to workout for 2 months straight without ceasing.
You don’t want to get too carried away with the breaks if you are too early in your journey. You might end up seeing it as a regular option.
I mentioned this before, but having your nutrition dialed in is going to be one of the most important things that you can do for your body. This means that when you take a week off, assuming that you are still watching what you eat, you will still be moving towards your goal.
Hitting a plateau can be disheartening. But by taking a week off, you will give your muscles time to recover and be ready to blast through your plateau within a few weeks.
Lastly, going on vacation is definitely a valid reason to take a week off from working out. Don’t stress about it. Have fun and hit the gym hard when you get back.
Reasons that you shouldn’t take a week off from working out
Now we can move on to reasons that you shouldn’t take a week off from working out. As we did in the previous section, I will start with a list:
- You haven’t been very consistent with working out recently
- You’re going on a week of binge drinking or eating
- You don’t really have a good handle on your nutrition
Making the decision of not taking a week off from working out is just as simple as our first one.
If you are only a few weeks or a month into your fitness journey, it is probably a terrible time to take a week off. You really need to take these first few months to establish a routine for yourself and make sure you are ready to commit to changing your life.
If you are struggling with this in the first place, you will need to learn how to make exercise a habit.
Next we will move on to the reason that you are taking off a week from working out. If it’s because you want to go on a drinking or eating spree, you might want to reconsider.
Research suggests that when people stop working out to be lazy, they have a much harder time getting back into it than someone who takes time off for a valid reason. You will really need to search within yourself here to make sure that you are doing what is best for you.
I mentioned this in the previous section. You will not find success in the first place if you do not have your nutrition dialed in. This blog alone has countless articles regarding nutrition, so be sure to check those out.
All in all, you just have to ask yourself about the reason you want to take the time off. Is it a valid reason, or are you just being lazy?
Making the best decision for you
At the end of the day, it is ultimately up to you to decide for yourself why you want to take the time off. I made these lists of valid and invalid reasons for taking a week off, but these lists are not exhaustive. Everyone has their own problems in life, and only you know what you are truly going through.
One of the things that I make sure to tell everyone about working out is that it is not just about checking off the boxes. It is about fully committing to a lifestyle of healthy choices and long term consistency.
If you are in a place in life where you really want to change the way that you look and the way that you feel, it is going to take some time. It took me years to get the body I wanted, and I am thrilled that I spent the time to do that.
Working out not only improves your physical body, but it also improves your confidence immensely. I even wrote an article on this titled Does Working Out Increase Confidence? Spoiler alert, it does in many different ways, both short term and long term.
If I never took the time to learn about my body and nutrition, I would still be stuck in that unconfident phase that I was in. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to keep going.
Sure, you might stumble and miss a week here and there. But the best thing that you can do for yourself is focus on long term consistency. When you combine great nutrition with working out regularly and long term consistency, you will be shocked with the results.
Main Point: Taking a week off from working out – is it a good idea?
As you can see, we found some valid reasons and some not so valid reasons. Taking a week off from working out can be a blessing or a curse. It is up to you to determine which category it falls under.
Go back up to our list of reasons about why you should take a week off from working out. Do you fall into any of those categories? Or maybe multiple? It is safe to say that you can take a week off from working out.
What about the other list? If you fall under any of those categories, you might want to rethink your decision to take a week off from working out.
Before you even make any decision, you need to be sure that you have established working out as part of your lifestyle. When I was in college, I struggled to find that balance between party and health.
Ultimately, I made the right decision and chose the health route. A lot of people I know from college are now obese and still party without regard for their health.
Even if this sounds like you, it doesn’t matter anymore. It is never too late to leave that part of you behind and start making great decisions.