Blog, bodybuilding|fitness|frank zane


Working out with those who come for a Zane Experience program is what makes our program unique. My goal is to keep doing this and in order be successful I have to pace myself. Timed layoffs enable me to balance workouts with recuperation. Recently I took a three day layoff. By the time I was training there was no soreness going into the workout and I was stronger and had more energy. Got a better pump and thought ‘why can’t it be like this all the time?’

Most of my workouts have been over-training balanced by rest. Rest is when the body heals itself and grows. You need it. As I mature there is much more need to rest and conserve energy. So instead of training 5 or 6 days a week, I hit it three times a week and it is just enough. The nice thing about doing more and more bike is I feel better from it, starting with the endorphin rush coming on after I finish. And I look forward to doing this because I’m feeling better, seeing more definition and endurance, and enjoying the high.

So if you balance workout frequency and intensity with rest periods between workouts you can reach an ideal place of growing more muscle and feeling really good. My rule is to feel good before and during a workout and get a really good pump. As I maintain this feeling I can feel myself growing.

Look your best and then get some rest. Enough rest so that you work through the soreness cycle: train, rest and experience soreness next day, oops I mean ‘soarness’ and then either rest another day or train depending on your schedule. I have another rule: ‘when in doubt, don’t workout’. I don’t force myself to train, I really want to do it, but not overdo it.

Here are the different recommended layoffs:
Normal layoff between workouts is one or two days when training three times a week as I like to do. If you are training twice a week as you could with the Let’s Grow two way split, then it’s a 3 day and a two day layoff between sets e.g. Tuesday/Saturday workouts.

When something comes up like excessive soreness or over-training or a minor injury I take a three day layoff and if it an injury I do therapy. I feel real good after a 3 day layoff and I’m strong in my workouts. When this happens it makes me wonder why not train once every fourth day? It would be a restful routine with time to do plenty of other things and still maintain. But I think more training is needed than that to make progress.

I’m just coming off a 5 day layoff after dental surgery. When I start back it will be light with two sets of each exercise. I’m not in a rush to make up lost time; there is no lost time but there would be lost time and suffering if I trained too much too soon. I know because I’ve done this. Take your time and do a good job is what I tell myself.

The longest layoffs I’ve taken are due to illness or surgery. Last year I took almost three weeks off to recover from illness. Had to start back from square one with a one set per exercise of a two way split routine. At that time it was upper body, rest a day, and then work lower body. After two weeks of that, and allowing myself to work up to two sets of each exercise, I switched to the three way split routine done three times a week. Early in my training I met a prominent bodybuilder who came back from layoffs by training the full body every day several days in a row doing one set of each exercise. It meant a little soreness each day until he got used to it and then it was back to his normal routine.

The main consequence you need to adjust to coming off a layoff is living with the soreness. So you don’t want to create too much by doing too much too soon. My rule is this: I proceed normally after a three day layoff and feel stronger. But after a 5 to 7 day layoff I come back light doing only one or two sets of each exercise for the first few workouts. For more than a week layoff I practically start over, going to a 2 way split routine with minimal sets the first few weeks.

Do not rush coming off a layoff. Consider your first workouts back as if you are starting over because you are. Progress gradually and you’ll be back without losing much time.