Someone asked me earlier: When we train, can we do intermittent training and obtain the newbie gains-like effect? I thought it is an interesting question,
So I will share it with you today.
First, I can tell you the answer is that: When we take a break from training, we can regain our status in a shorter time. But it is not beneficial to further gains. In other words, Intermittent Training does not provide extra benefits in gains.
When I am researching earlier, I have found a good graphic to share with you.
This is a study showing two groups of people:
- Group A: Continuous Training for 15 weeks.
- Group B: Intermittent Training with 3 weeks rest in between.
After 15 weeks, the result shows the growth in Strength & Muscle Size in both groups are the same.
When you see the result, you may wonder: Can I take a break, but also have the same result?
Let’s assume the study is valid without any prejudice. Then indeed, we can have a rest period with no training at all. When we train again, We can get back our shape/strength in a shorter time due to Muscle Memory. This is definitely a great news.
As we all have some reasons to stop us from training continuously. Say, you get injured for months. Or you want to lose excessive weights by doing tons of cardio but no weights. These could the reasons.
To be honest, people like us are GYM-addicted, who tend to that we will lose all the strength & muscle once we stop training. The truth tells the otherwise. Even if we take a break from training, we could get back our strength & muscle in a shorter time.
For those who are injured right now, may not be able to let go of their training routines, which hinders the recovery of the injury. As mentioned earlier, for the long term, even if you take a break from training, you can get back in a shorter time. So don’t worry too much about it.
I means, if you need rest. REST. If you want to do cardio & lose weight, then Do it. The muscle & strength loss is temporary. You can get them back when you get back to training.
BTW, note that the previous study result indicating you can take a break from training, but getting the same result. This could be misleading/inaccurate. Note that the test subjects are all untrained lifters, which means they are probably not like you.
My advice, if nothing happens, please stick to continuous training. Because time & effort is required to get back to training once you stop, Physical & Mentally. And it is not an easy task.
Alternatively, if you need rest, you can arrange Deload Days/Weeks/Months to recover. Meanwhile, you can maintain your discipline as well.
One Last word:
Taking a break is for accomplishing longer journey.