A week of training.
I used last week as a sort of soft de-load week. A de-load, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, is a strategic week off from hard training. There are 2 schools of thought on taking de-load weeks and, somewhat typically I sit on the fence between the 2 camps. The first says that they’re not necessary and any time off training, when you don’t actually need it, squanders valuable gym time. The other proclaims that regular de-load weeks are a miracle panacea that can heal the lame, invigorate recovery, catapult you into new growth and repay the national debt.
Personally I think that there best done as a re-motivating device. We all get times when your workouts become a bit of a grind and I don’t think there is anything more soul crushing then a crappy workout that you have to force yourself to plod through. Whenever my training gets like that, rather then continue flogging a dead horse, I just have a week of doing some thing a bit different. They do say a change is better then a rest and I, for one, completely agree.
Here is (yet another) list to help guide you through the perfect de-load experience.
- Don’t panic. You’re not going to shrink, lose strength, become less fit, get fat or anything else in just one week.
- Try something new. Give that MMA class a go. Try rock climbing. Play cricket. Go dogging. Whatever, it’s all good.
- Limit the volume of work not the intensity. It’s ok to train hard just don’t train for too long. Try to keep any sessions down to about 30-40 mins.
- Keep your food and supplement intake good and high. Let those poor abused muscles and tendons have a well earned rest.
- Enjoy what you do. Let it also be a break for your mind as well as your body.
- Get some stretching and foam roller action in. You’ve always promised yourself to do some and now here’s the perfect opportunity.
In this weeks de-load what I wanted to do was to keep my basic lifts ticking over and precious little else. I added a bit of extra conditioning in as a warm-up because, god knows, I need it. The sessions looked like this:
15 mins of kettlebell swings and stuff.
Squats – I started light and added weight until I got up to 227.5kg (500lbs), which is a PB!
15 mins of playing on the landmine.
Board press – worked up to 160kg, could have gone heavier but didn’t.
10 mins of light barbell work.
Speed deadlifts – 15 sets of 1 rep @ 140kg.
10 mins of cable work
Some random chest an tricep work
Some random back and bicep work
That was it really. Short but quite fast and hard sessions that left me sweaty, pumped and grinning like a necrophiliac in a morgue.