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I’ve talked about this topic before in my post ‘This is what happens your body when you take a week off training‘ – but this is a great little reminder.

And I’ll say upfront – it will put your mind at ease about those lay-off periods – whether they are intended or not.

Before you watch the video below, let me stress that not only is it not bad to have a lay off, you NEED lay offs for the best gains.

You probably already know that I recommend 1 week off training every 10 weeks in my free Targeted Hypertrophy Training. Why? It helps with full SYSTEMIC recovery (as opposed to just ‘local’ recovery of each muscle). And additionally, it primes the body into a new adaptation phase for new gains when you get back to training again. So get THT and train in 10wk cycles with a week off in between for superior gains.

Now check out this cool little video…

So 2-3 weeks is about how long you can go without losing either strength or size. But importantly, even if you “look” smaller during those weeks, it almost certainly is just the look, not actual muscle loss. Glycogen leaves the muscle, and 1g glycogen binds to 3-4g of water, so you lose water from inside the muscle. So you may look a little flatter, but it’s not real muscle loss.

Someone always asks me – should I still take creatine when on a lay off? If you are going weeks without training, and you are not purposefully cycling off creatine, then yes take creatine. You will still need to “top up” creatine levels in the muscle. However, you won’t need 5g every day. 2-3g/day should be fine. Also, take creatine when cutting – it really helps guarantee zero muscle loss when shredding up. Hope that helps ~ Mark McManus 🙂


P.S. Getting lean and having a six-pack all year round will keep you looking youthful! But I know that putting together a diet for mass gains or getting shredded abs can be a pain in the butt, especially if you are new to this – that’s why I offer a service where I will do all the tough ground work for you.
You probably don’t know how many calories you need, or how many grams of protein, carbs or fat you need (based on your personal stats)…BUT I DO. Then I can take these numbers and create an exact meal plan for you to hit those numbers spot on! You’ll know what foods to eat and even when to eat them. All you have to do…is do it. No thinking involved. If you’d like me to take care of this for you, see the Get Me Shredded option on my Coaching Page here.

Get Totally Shredded Fast

Get ripped at blistering speed without losing muscle and keep gaining in the gym. Also, you get your abs or you get your money back! That's the power of Mark's Total Six Pack Abs program. More details here.

Buff Baking Anabolic Cookbook

Extremely easy anabolic recipes with simple ingredients that makes fueling muscle growth feel like a cheat meal! Bars, cookies, pizza, ice cream...see pics and recipes here.

Advanced T.H.T. Training

A brand new workout including 9 x advanced "Shock & Awe" hypertrophy techniques to ignite pounds of new gains! It's "Game-Changing" time! Got at least 1yrs training experience? It may be time to go advanced! You've never trained like this before. Get all the details here.

Stay Shredded

Stay shredded all year – no more long cutting cycles. If you’ve ever gotten ripped abs only to lose them a few weeks later, you need to know the secrets of staying shredded without fasting and without giving up cheat meals. I’m ripped all year – you should be too! Details here.

Shoulder Blast Workout

In Jan 2019 a bunch of 'lab rats' tested the New Shoulder Blast Workout and gained up to 2.5 inches in shoulder size in 7-10 days! There is a very specific type of training stress that works uniquely well for the shoulders. You're about to target it...hard! More details here.

The Arm Blast Experiment

Gain up to an inch on your arms over the next week with new "hyper-intense" training techniques that literally force new arm growth. The workout is based on the results of an online study conducted by Mark from MuscleHack. More details here.

Chest Blast Workout

3 Workouts | 7 Days | Up to 3 inches in chest growth! A workout that will fry every muscle fiber in your pecs and literally force new and permanent growth...fast! More details here.

The Leg Blast Workout

An explosive training package for fast leg gains! 1 week | 3 x 90 minute workouts | "hyper-intense" techniques = big & fast leg gains. Up to 3 inches in growth. See more details and testimonials here.

Get The Free MuscleHack App!

FREE for iPhone & Android! Just go to the App or Play store and search for 'musclehack'.

The THT workouts are already programmed into the app so you can track your progress to make sure you are packing on new slabs of muscle!

You’ll also get all my latest tips for free in the app!

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MuscleHack is a one-man operation. Mark does everything here - the articles, videos, social media updates, THT workouts - all at no cost to you. Please help keep it all free by giving a small donation. Thank you!


I highly recommend MyProtein for all your supplement needs.




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You'll love your fast gains on THT!

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You'll love your fast gains on THT!

Cool! Click here to take you to the download page. (or check your email for the download link)