Strength Training over Christmas & New Year

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 5×5 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 5×5 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.

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