Re: Research Question of the Week - Should we take time off?
I feel this highly depends on how long your off-time is. One week off will not hurt you and will actually be a positive benefit for your muscles. Any more than that (we are talking ZERO weight lifting activity here), and your body starts to go into the negative and break down the unused muscle tissue.
When I take one week off training, I come back into the gym exponentially stronger in nearly every muscle group and exercise than I left with. If I take any longer than this off, I go into the negative and lose strength and mass.
I much prefer taking one week off rather than tapering.
"Some people call me a fat pig in the off season, but when I step on stage those same people are kissing my @ss" - Lee Priest
"That last rep where you're trying as hard as you can and you barely make it! That is what turns on the growth mechanism in your body. That last almost impossible rep where you're bearing your teeth, you're shaking all over, you need assistance! That rep is very special, that rep is very different. There's something special going on inside your body when that happens." - Mike Mentzer