Active Rest after Cycle

  • Hi!  Hope this is the right place to post this, and I'm sure this has been addressed but I haven't seen any posts about this topic.  This is week 12 for me, and Friday will be my last day.  Hurray!  I've done awesome and I'm down 20 pounds and a couple of pants sizes.  My question is, should I really take a "rest" period before continuing?  I feel awesome, and don't feel the need to take any breaks.  I'm also going on vacation (to Las Vegas) three weeks from tomorrow, so my plan was to keep going at least until then.  What do you all think?  Do you take active rest breaks?  Is there a physical reason for the break, or is it just maybe a psychological one?  Thank you for any input....:)



  • I would say take a week.  Some recommend two, but for me one has worked perfectly.  The best things to do on active rest are things you enjoy, such as aerobics classes you haven't taken, jogs outside, body weight exercise or really nothing if you don't want to.  

    They physical reason for the break is that your joints and ligaments withstand a lot of pressure during a full on challenge.  Give your body a break from the heavy lifting and you'll be glad you did.  

    As to the pshychological one...for me its a no planning phase.  I still eat clean 6 days on and one day off but I also enjoy a bit more red meat and healthy fats in the way of nuts.  

    I found out the most about my eating issues during the active rest periods.  I caught my old habits creeping back in especailly when I would take the two week breaks.  

    Third reason in my opinion is to prevent burn out from back to back challenges.  24 weeks is a very long time and even professionals don't lift that many weeks in a row.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • You need a week or two to recover from a challenge or you risk overtraining and putting too much strain on yourself. Take atleast 6 days rest while still eating by the plan. (I stopped exercise and eating by plan it made it hard to get back into the routine)

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”

  • Thank you so much for your replies!  I really don't want to take a rest, but it sounds like I really should.   The eating is what scares me.  I will try my darndest to keep eating clean though.  I love the idea of aerobic classes.  I think I'll do that. :)

  • If you are strong (mentally) and know that you can hop right back on it after a week then I would say go for it.  Just don't do what my wife and I did... we completed 12 weeks back in '03 with outstanding results and told ourselves we were gonna take just a week off and hop right back on it.  Well... 7 years later I'm now hopping right back on it in worse shape than when I started the first time.

    That doesn't mean you would do the same or anyone else would do the same... but that is what I did.  I'm gonna do at least two back-to-back challenges because I know it will take at least 2 rotations for me to get close to my fitness goals... maybe more.  I *might* be able to take a week off between... but because of what happened to me the last time I said I was only gonna take a week off I probably won't.  

    Good luck to ya either way though!

  • That is exactly what I'm afraid of.  I don't want my week of rest to turn into two, and then a month and then the next thing I know I'm back where I started.  I too did the challenge about 7 years ago, and did exactly that.  I do have more motivation this time around though.  I have a high school reunion coming up near the end of August, so that will help me a lot when it comes to jumping back into it.

  • For me the active rests were the "key" to my lifestyle change.  However, that being said you have to be willing to acknowledge the "oh crap, I know better than that moments".  There is "it's AR so I don't have to eat to plan for the next week or two".  I call that symptom 1, symptom 2 is eating out more often just because you can since it's AR.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you, only prepare you.  These things are very normal and they don't mean you are somehow a failure.  Just keep your eyes on the prize and get right back to it after that AR.

    Also be prepared for the "commitment" to kick in.  The excitement of your challenge has pulled you through this 12 weeks.  The next challenge won't be so exciting but instead more like marriage, you'll want to have a strong commitment to yourself and be faithful to that commitment.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Brobar, I lost 125 pounds in 2001-2002 and then went wandering and gained back 20 of it.  Then had my epiphany in 2009 and there's no turning back now.  I'm all in, all day, everyday.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Thank you Michelle!  Just what I needed to hear.

  • OMG  I am on AR, not really resting still working out, I missed one day I think. due to the flu, ( what the heck).  this is my second week and I am not sure I like it. I need structure i will be starting my 2nd challenge on Monday ! I know I should be resting my body is begging for it.... I know better. My eating has been horrible, but that's just my stupid willpower because of the stress and being so tired. I am not sure what's happening. I am not goin to beat myself up over it hopefully when I start back up my metabolism will kick in into high gear, just like a cheat day will do, trick our body from thinking it is starving. hopefully. I was really really strict with my first unofficial challenge, with my meals and training.

    so all that said REST  REST REST...