In 7 years, we’ve seen roughly 1,000 people come through the doors
of Bolt Fitness. In my 6 years in the field prior to starting Bolt Fitness,
I worked with another ~500 hundred adults in 1-on-1 and group
We’ve been able to collect a lot of data over the years, learning what
the differences are between those who have long-term success with
their health and fitness, and those who do not.
We’ve looked at everything from training programs, progressions,
The average member misses a total of between 3-6 weeks of training
per year for a variety of reasons.
EVERYONE misses workouts. Of the members we’ve studied, exactly
ZERO members (who have been training for more than 3 months) have
not missed a workout with us.
We get sick. We take vacation. We have nagging injuries. We have
other areas in our lives that sometimes require us to prioritize our time
The difference between those who experience success and those who
struggle is the length of each individual “break”.
A member is more likely to reach his or her goals by taking four 1-
week breaks over the year, as opposed to taking one longer, 4-week
When we take long breaks, we give our bodies time to decondition.
This means that upon returning, we have some ground we need to
make up before returning to our pre-break baseline.
Example: We are at a level 7. We take a 4-week break, and return at a
level 5. It takes us 2 weeks to return to a level 7.
A 4-week break actually sets us back 6 weeks.
A 1-week break is not enough time to truly de-condition. Sure, you
may be huffing and puffing a little more than usual in your first
workout upon returning from your break – but by your second or
third workout back, you’re feeling completely normal.
When you take long breaks, more of the time you DO spend in the
gym is dedicated to making up ground, as opposed to gaining new
Secondly, the element that I believe matters A TON – that we cannot
confirm through research – is the lifestyle element.
When you’re actively exercising, you’re also more likely to make
better decisions outside of the gym. You’re likely more conscious of
your nutrition, sleep habits, and alcohol intake.
When you take extended time away from the gym, poor habits we’ve
worked hard to break are more likely to rear their ugly heads.
Couple the “de-training” effects that occur over extended time away
with less-than-optimal nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle decisions, and
you’ve given yourself even MORE ground to make up.
It can turn into a downward spiral pretty quickly.
We all need breaks. I encourage them, not only from a physical
standpoint, but from a mental one.
The key is to keep your breaks short and fairly infrequent. 1 week or
less at a time, 3-4 times per year is likely the sweet spot.
Avoid the downward spirals.