So I was thinking the other day how I used to train people over 30 years old. What I used to do was train everyone hard as hell for 6 weeks or so and then give them a total week off.
After the week off, they were really eager to train. And I will tell you this: unless you take some time off from training once in awhile, you WILL take some time off anyway. Why is that? because you will start to break down. Your body will tell you its time to take a week by giving you some joint pain or a nagging muscle pull or a serious injury.
I was talking to an old friend and mentor of mine, former Pan Am Bodybuilding Champion and trainer extraordinaire Rich Salke and he had an interesting outlook on training heavy. He said that a person has 20 years of heavy training in them until they start to break down. He said that no matter when you start, 20 years is about right.
I agree with Rich, it does seem that way, unless you properly plan rest periods, or even active rest into your training. Push, then back off, push, then back off. It seems to be a smart way to do it.
So if you are OCD about training like I am, put the respite into your training cycle- it gives you permission to take that week off without feeling guilty. And you will not get weak or small, I promise.