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Gary, winner of the free coaching competition, asked:
“Just wondering if you have suggestions for strength training over Thanksgiving break next week. Because I will likely miss the gym for two sessions unless I can find one around my grandma’s house.
Thanksgiving is pretty much Christmas with all the food but without presents & religious stuff. It’s arguably the most important holiday after Christmas. Family gets together and you get a few days off work & school usually starting Wednesday. You get back to normal routines Sunday ““ Thanksgiving itself is Thursday.
We Americans eat a lot of food (way more than normal), watch football, drink a lot and catch up with the family. I ““ like a lot of people ““ leave home and visit family or have family visit us.
So I don’t know that I will have access to a gym. If you have any in home exercises that would tie in with StrongLifts 5×5 program that would be great. Otherwise I can just stick to Push-ups, Pull-ups & Squats.”
Thanksgiving. Outside of the US & Canada we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I know what Thanksgiving is from talking with people online & watching movies. From my understanding it’s a lot like Christmas & New Year over here.
What follows is what I would do if I’d celebrate Thanksgiving. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving like me, you can apply the same tips for Christmas & New Year next month or whatever holiday you celebrate.
1. Train on Friday. Assuming you workout on Monday & Wednesday, go to the gym on Friday. Eat dirty, both food & alcohol on Thursday. Have fun, stay up late if needed, etc.
Friday morning get up, eat directly on waking up & go the gym one hour later. Train for an hour, come back & shower. Don’t know how much sleep you need, but when I go to sleep at 4am, I’ll be often up at 10am.
In my opinion, it doesn’t make much difference if you arrive at the party at 3pm instead of 1pm, as long as you’re there. From my experience people will respect you for setting priorities.
2. Rest Week. Train Monday & Wednesday. Don’t train until the next Monday. This gives your body & mind a break from training & diet, necessary if you trained hard for weeks.
Taking a break every 6 to 8 weeks is great. You get a reminder of what it feels like to not exercise & eat healthy. You’ll usually be motivated & feel strong hitting the weights back on Monday, especially after all the junk food.
What I Do. For casual anniversary parties & family reunions, I go for option 1. For bigger things like Christmas & New Year, I plan deload weeks.
Always remember it doesn’t matter what you do with Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year. What matters is what you do the other 45 weeks of the year. Taking a break from time to time is necessary.
Loved Gary’s reply: “I think I’ll go with # 2. But I’ll try and find a gym for Friday. I love workouts when I have a hangover because it gets rid of them faster.”
What About You? How does your schedule look like for Thanksgiving? Post it in the comment section.