Taking a Week Off from Training & Why Vacation Weight Gain is B.S.

How many times have you had a conversation with a friend, colleague or family member when they got back from vacation and they say something to the effect “I gained ten pounds on vacation”? I’m here to tell you that not only is that complete and utter B.S., it is also virtually impossible. See to gain ten pounds of fat on vacation you would need to consume thirty-five thousand (35,000!) additional calories above and beyond your B.M.R. B.M.R. stands for base metabolic rate or simply put the calories your body burns if you are just sitting still all day doing nothing. The B.M.R. for most people lingers somewhere between 800-2200 calories. So unless you are eating upwards of 5000 calories per day you are probably not gaining ten pounds of fat on vacation. One or two? Sure but not ten.

See what happens when you go on vacation is you consume more salt, more alcohol, more food in the form of carbohydrates & for some; you exercise less. All of these cause you to store more water in the form of sodium and glycogen retention. Not to mention while you drink alcohol your body sees that as a TOXIN and stops doing what it is doing to handle the TOXIN longĀ  before moving back to its general processes. If you want to make progress over vacation rather than backpedaling it is vital that you hit your protein goals, water & step goals while on vacation and also make sure you “non-vacation” lifestyle includes weight training so you can further increase that B.M.R. More B.M.R. equals more beer, French fries and pizza you can have without storing bodyfat.

Furthermore this leads me to the second component of this article taking a break from the gym. More and more I see this mentality from FitFluencers (yeah I made that up) that there should be a “no days off” mentality and “all grind; all the time”. This is also prevalent in the entrepreneur space and small businesses. It’s complete bullshit.

If you are working out three or more days per week vigorously it is important to take a day off from the weight training a minimum of four weeks per year. That works out to a break every twelve to sixteen weeks. Usually for me that means my three vacations and the week between Christmas and New Years are off weeks. Now this doesn’t apply if your workouts are soft, you are putting in minimum effort, you don’t weight train or if you are just lazy. Nope! These weeks off are earned and planned.

It is also worth noting that you can still be extremely active during your off week (swimming, kayaking, bikes, hikes) just no weight training. Giving yourself a break from the weight training gives your muscles, tendons, ligaments, mind & joints a break from the gym. This usually acts as a catapult so that when you get back in the gym you can begin seeing even greater results. There has been research done where participants took one week off from weight training every four weeks and still got the same (and even slightly better) results then the other group who was working out daily.

Lastly I will say that if you are only working out three or four days per week; there is no need for individual muscle group days. Instead each day should focus on strengthening the whole body along with ten-thousand steps walking, one gallon of water and appropriate protein intake. If you do those things you will get results that most people can only dream of.

Related Reads