In European football, there are two season breaks. One in Winter and one in Summer.
The English Premier League is often criticised for not having a winter break. Many believe that the lack of winter break contributes to a bad performance in the Champions League or other international tournaments because European rivals can take advantage of more time off.
For example FC Bayern have two breaks and in the 2015/2016 season, this is what it looked like:
- End of Season 2014/15 23 May 2015
- Start of Pre Season 2015/16 1 July (38 days holiday)
- First Competition Fixture 14 August
- Last 2015 Fixture 19 December
- Players Winter Break 22 Dec – 3 January (12 days holiday)
- Start of 2nd Pre Season 4 January
- Competition Fixtures Resume 22nd January
- End of Season 14 May 2016
Head of performance Glen Driscoll said this about Liverpool players when asked about the condition players come back in after summer break.
"Very good, generally. I’d say these days, players do look after themselves when they’re away from the club and we’ve probably come back better than we did last season for a number of reasons. It always helps when you’ve got a manager in place and the targets we set at the end of last season have to be adhered to.
The players get back and they have to make sure they’re within the targets we set them, otherwise they have extra sessions in order to do so. There’s always an incentive for them to come back in good shape.
When on holiday, they generally have two weeks when they have their free time – but as I said, because of the target setting, it looks after itself. There will be some information going to and fro and they’ll have their programmes that will make sure they come back in good condition."
So take this in account when considering your training plan. Rest is not bad for you!
What worked best for me is a two rest day a week schedule and having a week with three rest days every 6-7 weeks.
Find your balance.