Image credit: *L*u*z*a*
I wrote strength training over Thanksgiving last month. With Christmas Eve next Tuesday & New Year's Eve the week after, you've probably been thinking at how to make your workout & diet fit in the holidays. Here are some tips.
Common Problems. Some things that will make it hard to impossible to do strength training between Christmas & New Year:
- No Gym. Gym is closed during the holidays or you leave home for a few days. You don't have access to a gym.
- Work. I'd have to work on Christmas & New Year's Eve until 5:30pm if I was still employed. Home 6:30pm, no time to workout before dinner.
- Day Afters. Junk food overdose & drinking alcohol won't get you in the best shape to workout the next day.
Solution 1: Active Rest. Deload: take 1-2 weeks active rest. If you're doing StrongLifts 5x5 on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, a deload could look like this:
- 2 Workouts/week. Workout on Wednesday & Saturday. Do 3 sets of 3 reps on all exercises. Drop the Pull-ups, Chin-ups & Dips.
- No Progression. No weight increases. Use the weight from your last 5x5 workout for all workouts during the deload.
These will be short, easy workouts. They'll give you a mental/physical break from strength training while maintaining strength & muscle mass. You can deload like this every 8 weeks.
Solution 2: Passive Rest. No weight lifting, no body-weight exercises. Just plain rest. Not ideal strength wise, but you'll be ok if you watch your nutrition.
- Eat Clean. Eat junk food, drink alcohol, have desserts on Christmas & New Year's Eve. Eat clean the other days.
- Get Protein. Make sure you're getting at least 1g/lbs protein to maintain your muscle mass, even if you don't workout.
You'll lose strength resting more than 1 week. But don't worry, strength comes back quickly after layoffs. Lower the weight by 20-30% & restart from there.
What I'll Do. I train Monday/Wednesday/Friday. I had 2 weeks active rest this month. I'm no more employed & have a home gym so can train when I want. This is my training schedule.
- Christmas Eve. Workout. Have dinner with family. Enjoy the junk food, eat everything until my stomach is full & I end up in the couch. Get back into diet on Tuesday. Workout Wednesday & Friday.
- New Year's Eve. Workout. Gourmet & alcohol with friends. No nightclub, but it will get late. Get back into diet on Tuesday. Workout Wednesday & Friday. I might train Sunday 30th December instead of the 31st to avoid tiredness at night. Else I'll have a nap before meeting my friends.
What About You? What will you do between Christmas & New Year? Click here to comment.