- John Stone Fitness - http://www.johnstonefitness.com -

Time off from lifting; Aches and pains are gone; Freedom for sustainability.

Don't put yourself in a diet and training prison!

Ten straight weeks of hard weight training with no breaks was very taxing on my body. Thankfully I completed my 2012 cut with no serious injuries, but I was definitely feeling pretty beat up by the time I completed my cut. I took last week off from weight training, and I’m taking this week off from training, too.

I think a week off from weight training every 8 weeks or so is very beneficial, and there’s nothing wrong with extending that break to a couple of weeks if you feel you need it. I love weight training, but I am enjoying this break from it. The best part? My body feels rested and I’m 100% free from all those nagging aches and pains that I was feeling towards the end of my cut.

Even the chronic lower back pain that was starting to become more of a problem during the last few weeks of my cut is now completely gone. When when my back is acting up I can really feel it on long mountain bike rides. I’ve been doing a lot of mountain biking over the past couple of weeks, and thankfully that horrible nagging lower back pain I was feeling has disappeared completely.

Don't put yourself in a diet and training prison!

Don't put yourself in a diet and training prison!

As I mentioned above, I’m not going to weight train today. That’s because I’m really in the mood to go mountain biking again! Like I said in Monday’s blog (“2012 Maintenance Plans“), a big part of my maintenance program is allowing myself the freedom to alter my diet, my training and how I choose to exercise on a whim. Sometimes I want nothing more than to hit the trails, and other times I’m more in the mood to be under the bar in my gym. The two most important things are that I’m exercising and that I’m enjoying it.

When I’m cutting or bulking I can muster the dedication to adhere to a very strict diet and training program. I enjoy that challenge. While anyone can be ultra-strict for the duration of a typical cut or bulk, I don’t believe that is sustainable in the long term for most people. The key to living a healthy lifestyle is to truly enjoy it; a big piece of that puzzle (for me) is freedom from being boxed in to strict training programs when I’m maintaining.