Off-Week?! Who, what, why, and how?

lose weight and feel great with rest and regeneration

4 weeks on, one week off. Transition Week

This is how our program has been since the very beginning when we were Yun Fitness Bootcamps to when we changed over in 2012 to Yun Fit The UN bootcamp to now that we have become Improvement Warrior Fitness.

My philosophy on this hasn’t changed. But people still ask myself and the coaches at IWF why do we need an off-week or transition week or recovery week.

I remember ads long ago in my bodybuilding days who’s slogan was ‘FEED THE MACHINE’. Referring to us, human beings as machines. Now we are not machines. Some machines are very efficient, some are not.

Well, why do you need to sleep. Why don’t you just stay up all the time?

Why do you need to eat?

Why do you need to drink water?

These things are pretty basic and everyone knows that they need them on a consistent basis.

But what some people don’t realize is that you don’t get any stronger when you are in the gym or in your F.L.O (fat loss opportunity) at Improvement Warrior Fitness. You don’t get the results you want when you are actually ‘working out’.

It’s true. The only thing you are doing is breaking down your muscles. Causing little micro tears in the muscle fibers– some people might think they are Macro tears from the soreness afterwards šŸ™‚ But you do your training to break down the muscle, then you go home, hopefully eat properly and nutritiously and get the proper sleep and like magic your body starts to repair itself.

Now during this transition week we don’t recommend just sitting on your butt and doing absolutely nothing. We recommend at least 1 and up to 3 workouts that week. Just something different then what your body is used to.

During the transition week we’ve add our FitRanX Assessment. Check out the details here.Ā 

Now I’m sure you have felt like not working out at times, or you were not 100% when you did a workout. I’m the same way and everybody is the same way. This is life. Different days we have different emotions, different stressors, different situations that we are dealing with. Everybody’s body handles stress differently. We have to listen to our body, right now there are so many things going on in it that you and myself cannot begin to fathom. Trillions of cells working together with organs, and a whole lot of other stuff I cannot even pronounce. The body is a complex entity.

You can start to overtrain your body. Yes you can workout too much. Overtraining sucks. And it’s another reason why we implement the transition week. Just like being overstressed can cause some serious negative effects so can overtraining. Overtraining symtoms and reasons can be

  • failing at exercises (rep, weight, intensity decreases rather then going up)
  • You’re putting on body fat rather then taking away. (Burning calories is easy, but fat however is different, it’s more about hormones and releasing them at the right time. If you’re overtraining, your body will release more cortisol which will increase insulin resistance which will cause you to put on more fat– even if you start working out more! Be smart with your training- this is one of the major reasons we have transition weeks.)
  • You work out everyday- hard! I mentioned earlier that during your actual workout, you are breaking down the muscles and the body, then they need to recover. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his hey day of bodybuilding used to workout 6 days a week for at least 2 hours a day—- but he was on steroids– I’m assuming you are not on steroids or any other type of performance enhancing drugs, so you need a happy medium. Usually 3-5 workouts a week is plenty, as long as your nutrition is in order (see next point), and your sleep is in order (see future point).
  • Your nutrition sucks. 99% of the time you will not see any results in terms of changing your body to how you want it to look. Sure you will get stronger and better conditioning, but your not going to look better naked :mrcool: Nutrition helps the body recover– I’m sorry GOOD NUTRITION helps the body recover. Bad nutrition keeps it in that ‘I’m trying to recover but I don’t have the nutrients to do so‘ mode. Your body needs protein, fat, some carbs, vitamins and minerals to do the work needed. Plus you feel a lot better when the body has the nutrients it needs.
  • Sleep. Needs to be at least 7 hours a night. I understand an occasional 4-5 or even 3 hour night. I do it sometimes. But I always make sure to get back on track after that. If I don’t I take a nap, and recommend the same for you. You can’t take a nap at work during the day? Ask your boss if you can. Guarantee productivity in your job and life will skyrocket– a lot of the top companies in the world let their employees do it. Sleep is our total recovery system. Everything gets regenerated during sleep, if it is adequate. For best sleep, you want the room to be as dark as possible– where a sleep mask or use black out curtains. If you say it’s impossible to get 7 hours you need to manage your day and time better. Got kids? Your the parent, you set the schedule. Need time management help check out this.Ā 
  • You suddenly have pain in your joints, muscles, and limbs. Pain is something we don’t want you working out in. We recently partnered with a physical therapist with a background in exercise science for our Functional Movement Screens for anyone who has pain in any of the movements. Pain is an indication of something wrong. But sometimes it will start to show up if you are overtraining. It can be soreness that lingers a little too long, or is extra deep- and you didn’t really do too much differently (workout wasn’t super hard, or no new exercises or exercise angles were not introduced.) It can be pain in your joints, I’ve had this happen in my knees and hips quite a few times. Requires extra foam rolling, stretching, and a day or two off and I’m back to normal. And so can you.
  • Mental. Your mind sometimes needs a break from hard training.
  • You get sick. When you are overtrained or approaching overtraining status- your immune system is weakened, this opens you up to colds, flus, fevers, and other sickness type things a whole lot more. We want to avoid that. Now this one could lead back very easily to your nutriton sucks too. Bad nutrition will also weaken your immune system. I can tell you before I went Paleo, every time the season changed from fall to winter then to winter to spring I would get a cold with a nagging cough, the cough wouldn’t go away for about a month. Amazing what a change the Paleo diet can make- haven’t had it in almost 3 years.

Hilliard fitness weight loss program

Now those are just some reasons.

But one of things I’ve found is the reason that people are scared to take a day off or a week off are some of the responses I’ve gotten:

‘If I don’t train, I’ll gain weight.’

‘If I take a week off, won’t I lose everything I gained?’

“Isn’t more better?’

Answer: NO, NO NO

The goal of the transition week is to lighten your load, change up the FLOs (workouts) so that you don’t get injured, come back fresh and full of Improvement Warrior Energy.

Time off does a body good. I know whenever I feel the effects of training starting to pile on me, I usually take 3-5 days off. I only do foam rolling, and yoga during that time. When I come back I am ready to conquer something massive in my training and set a new PR.

The 4 weeks on and 1 week off template is basically Improvement Warrior Fitness’ style of periodization. And I don’t like to think of it as an off-week, more as a transition week. Your transitioning to the next phase which should be better for you– better in terms of your gains and loses, strength, fat loss, endurance, and performance. Sports training, powerlifting, and olympic lifting will call it a deload phase, or deload week. Becuase they are trying to peak for their competition, they don’t want to get their PR in practice and then in competition not even place!

Think of our transition week as we are training you for theĀ competitionĀ of LIFE. Transition or deload week helps YOU become the strongest version of YOU! Helps you become the strongest Improvement Warrior YOU can be.

If you need some transition week training check out:

Or if you ever don’t feel like working out one day, you can try dancy time like me :mrgreen:


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