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The Effects of 3 vs. 5 Days of Training Cessation on Maximal Strength

Travis, S. Kyle; Mujika, Iñigo; Zwetsloot, Kevin A.; Gentles, Jeremy A.; Stone, Michael H.; Bazyler, Caleb D.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: March 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 3 - p 633-640doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004183


Compare the effects of 3 vs. 5 days of training cessation on body composition, perceived recovery and stress, and maximal strength.


A powerlifting specific 4-week training block was complete followed by either 3 or 5 days of training cessation.

Athletes trained 3 days per week performing 3 to 4 movements that included at least 2 to 3 competition lifts per session along with performing 4 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions ranging from 75 to 100% 1 repetition maximum (1RM).

Body composition, psychometric measures, upper-body maximal strength, and lower-body maximal strength were assessed before and after 4 weeks of training and at 3 or 5 days of training cessation

After the 4-week training block only minimal increases in body mass and bench press 1-RM were observed.

Likewise, only minimal increases in back squat and deadlift 1-RM, powerlifting total, and Wilks Score occurred.

There were no significant differences between groups for isometric back squat performance, psychometric measures, and body composition after training cessation.

However, small decreases in isometric bench press performance were observed after 5 days, but not 3 days of training cessation.

Results suggest maximal lower-body strength can be preserved during 3 and 5 days of training cessation, but maximal upper-body strength is only preserved for 3 days after 4 weeks of strength training in athletes.


Let alone every day, there is no need to train every other day because one can train even less frequently and still gain or at least maintain strength PROVIDED THEY ARE WORKING HARD EACH SESSION.

Therefore, be available for other important commitments in your life – family, work, school, personal time, etc. – and schedule quality workout sessions so they can be completed consistently (i.e., once every 3 to 4 days) and don’t hit the panic button if you miss a scheduled day. Just jump back in and keep training hard on a consistent basis.

In fact, if more people trained with greater effort and less often there would be more muscle and strength roaming the Planet.

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