Take A Break From Working Out

Hi Ray, I am hoping you can give me some advice about my workout routine. I have been working out since January which is 10 months now and I do it 6 days a week consisting of dumbbells, my home gym and my treadmill at home and had been very motivated up until the last few weeks.

What I was wondering is do I need to allow myself some kind of break? I do not want to workout on a routine consisting of anything less than 6 days a week because I’m afraid if I do, I will then fall of the wagon so to speak. I do the treadmill every day of those six days and all the weight workouts every other day of the week.

I am just wondering if this is normal to feel less than motivated. Should I give myself a break maybe? For how long?

Sincerely, Kim

Answer: Hi Kim. Everyone has different levels of recovery ability and enthusiasm. Because of this, some people can handle more exercise than others. Also sometimes the workouts people do, really don’t interest them at all. In other words, its not fun for them.

To keep it simple though, if you are tired then you should rest. If your drop in motivation has nothing to do with a lack of results from your workouts then you are legitimately tired. If however you have not been seeing much in the way of results from all your hard work, then of course you are getting down in the dumps! You need a change in your routine or another of the many fitness program variables.

In my experience as a personal trainer, I seem to run into two kinds of people. The first group needs to take a week off every 6-8 weeks or they burn out and catch whatever kind of cold or flu is going around. The second group uses intuition. They workout for weeks on end until they wake up one day and say “I don’t really feel like going to the gym today.” This could be 3 months or half a year into working out. At this point they take a couple of days to a week off and then come back fully charged and raring to go. The thing about these folks is that they know that they really do love working out, so when they don’t feel like going to the gym they know their body is actually tired. It has nothing to do with skipping out because they actually enjoy working out. They want to be there, it the just the body has had enough for now.

If I was you, I would take a week or two off but continue to eat very well and clean. During this time off, reevaluate your workout routine and make sure it includes things you really love to do. Not all working out has to be with weights and cardio machines. Working out can be anything, so make sure you find your thing that keeps you revved up. Try coming back to working out with the new items you have discovered and with a bit more attention to what you body is telling you and not only what the workout book says you are supposed to do.