This week is an off week for me. We have just wrapped up a 4 week program of workouts and both Pete and I are ready for a mental and physical break. This allows us to train hard but avoid overtraining and wearing ourselves out. We typically don't have a set time frame to any given workout plan. We are good at listening to our bodies and gauging when we have hit our peak within a program. Sometimes we finish a program in 3-4 weeks, but sometimes we are able to get 5-6 solid weeks out of a program. It's a learned balance that has taken Pete and I years of training together to recognize. This is a great week to rest and not get in any weight workouts. Sometimes this week is also a time to ease up on the nutrition end of things too, but for me with only 19 weeks until my competition my eating will continue as it has been. I will keep my cardio and ab schedule this week, but there are times when an off week for me will also be an off week from any cardio too. By the end of this week, which sometimes may only be 5 days or sometimes as long as 10, we will be fully recovered and raring to get back in the gym. When we get back to the gym we will start a whole new program. We frequently switch up the exercises, rep range, weights, and even the body part pairings in order to keep our bodies moving forward. For example, in this last cycle of workouts we had paired triceps with our back workouts and biceps with chest and shoulders. It's not earth shattering, but it added diversity to the workouts. Plus, it seemed that even though we were tired from the workout by the time we got to triceps or biceps, those muscle groups themselves were still fresh and we could really push them hard. It may seem strange to purposely take time off from the gym every 4-6 weeks, but it is great for both body and mind. It really does recharge the body and mentally it clears your head and prepares you to bring the focus and intensity needed in the gym to every workout. It's a great time to enjoy the rest, let your muscles and joints recover from the grueling workouts give your mind a little vacation from the constant regimen and routine of eating well and training and just enjoy a little r & r.