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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.
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