Congratulations to everyone for surviving “Competition Season”! Whether or not you competed in the open, we have definitely been pushing the intensity these last 5 weeks. So, if you’re feeling a little extra tired/sore/worn down you were doing it right! However, there is still one key element to getting the full benefit of all that hard work – DELOAD.
What is a deload? Well generally speaking its a recovery period deliberately built into a training cycle. Depending on individual factors what a deload looks like can vary. It can meaning anything from a week or two away from training all together, to active recovery outside the gym, to simply reducing volume/weights/intensity.
It is a common misconception that training, training hard, creates athletic progress and physiological adaptation. In truth, the adaption (fitness gain) happens when the body is allowed to recover. If we train constantly, without a break, we will actually get regress rather than improve.
Consistent training eventually builds a deficit that cannot be overcome in a single rest day. A deload is a chance for your body to recover from that deficit. A deload allows your body to catch up – to repair connective tissue and restore testosterone/cortisol ratios. Muscle are capable of recovering more quickly than connective tissue. Regular deloads help keeps tendons and ligaments healthy. So, if you’re feeling banged up, demotivated or stuck on a plateau now would be a good time for a break.
Why do we do deloads? You will become stronger, faster, suffer fewer chronic injuries, and be less prone to burning out. You’ll be an overall better athlete.
Obviously, the gym will remain open for deload week. Workouts will be lighter in load and intensity, but not everyone needs a full deload. If you have been less consistent as of late or perhaps travelled for spring break, you’re probably in that boat. It will be up to each of you as individuals to decide how best to deload. As always, if you have questions, you know where to find me.