Suppose one goes to the gym and trains five times a week, and then doesn’t go at all, or even exercise very much the next week, before repeating this cycle. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of this routine?

I imagine that one would lose a certain amount of gains and strength and momentum during the off weeks, but how bad would the atrophy be? Surely you wouldn’t give back all of your previous week’s gains, so it would still be net progress as two steps forward one step back.

Also, would your body get used to this and learn not to let the muscles atrophy as much in the off weeks?

And are there any aspects/effects of this that will just be purely advantageous compared to a more typical training schedule?

I ask because I’m finding it very difficult to balance getting anything at all important done on days when I get myself to the gym. It seems, as much as I want to believe that the gym should be something that pumps me up and energises me for the following tasks of the day, that the weeks when I get any actual work done are the ones when I done bother to go to the gym at all.

I love working out, I love how it makes me feel, I love the additional confidence that the musculature I get from working out gives me around town, but the act of going to the gym itself usually saps my energy: adding the extra step to the day saps my executive functioning/coordination energy (okay, I have some relatively serious challenges in this regard), and then I almost always get carried away and work out for hours so it saps my physical energy and I need to just sit and rest to recuperate for at least a half an hour if not significantly more before I even have the energy to make my way back home. And usually I haven’t even started the day at all by this point yet.

When I go to the gym, I often go through periods of going every day. But generally my yo-yo phases are more on the order of a month at a time of going, followed by a month at a time of being über productive, but wrecking my health and sleep rhythms, definitely not going to the gym, and then needing up to a month to fully recover from that abuse during which I’m usually going to the gym quite often in order to well tire myself out in hopes of being able to sleep more early.

I’m thinking that maybe the damage and recovery periods won’t be so bad if I undertake this sort of yo-yo system more intentionally, and do it on an alternating weekly basis instead of an alternating monthly one.

Feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.