Every trainer, sooner or later, will run into a sticking point – a point where both muscle and strength gains seem to slow down and stop altogether! We call this a “sticking point” or a “rut” or “going stale,” etc. So what do you do when you hit a sticking point?
Well, there are many things you could do when you hit such a point, but the first thing you can do is to try to AVOID (at least as much as possible) sticking points altogether! Now, how can you do that?
Vince Gironda, before he started selling his training booklets in the 60’s and before he became known as the “Iron Guru,” was a physique contest competitor and owner of his own gym (Vince’s Gym) in the pre-roid Golden Age. He developed quite a knowledge of natural training by experimenting on himself and never advocated anything that he did not try out on himself first! He said ‘train for 21 days (3 weeks) and rest for seven (1 week).’ Here is a helpful quote from his booklet called “Vince’s Corner”:
“I have found three weeks of concentrated training to be about enough, and the point at which most body builders become bored and stale. And at this point, after three weeks of hard training, I find that one week of rest to be much better than would a change of program, because the softening up of muscle tissue allows for renewed energy by the storing up of vitality and re-stimulation to muscles for the resumption of training.”
Vince goes on to explain that the one week rest was more for the nerves than for the muscles:
“Rest is nature’s method of restoring the nerves and whole body. Surely this is logical. If anyone robs himself of needed rest and allows his enthusiasm to govern him, he then continues on nerve force which will soon prove detrimental for muscle-growth. And if one cares to go into precise physiological technicalities he will readily find that the nerves need rest more than do the muscles. Muscles over bad nerves soon become weaker under the power of mis-directed nerve force.”
So there you have it! A method of AVOIDING (as much as possible) sticking points in your training – train for 21 days, then rest for 7. Pretty simple. Give it a try and see if it works for you!