Occasionally people will ask me about taking time off from workouts to let the body fully recover.

In the fitness world these are called deload weeks and usually involve reducing the volume or intensity drastically for a week to allow the body time to rebuild.

Deload weeks are great, but I rarely program them because life usually takes care of them. It seems that about the time people need a break from workouts, they get sick and need to rest for that, or they have a vacation and relax for a week, or work gets busy. Life just gets in the way.

Many people stress about these “breaks,” but they are frequently perfectly timed to allow your body the recovery it needs. Don’t worry about taking time off when you travel or get sick. It’s part of the plan even if it isn’t expressly stated that way.

Of course I see people that are constantly on a deload week as well. That is equally unproductive as training as hard as you can constantly. Like with all things there is a balance that can be difficult to reach. Ideally, if you are working very hard in your workouts, you should have a deload week for every 8-12 weeks of training. And like I said above, don’t worry about scheduling it because it will probably happen naturally.