We’ve been hitting it pretty hard for four weeks now since our last “deload” week. This last week was programmed to be specifically tough because I knew we were going to be “deloading” this week and thought that the 4th of July long weekend would be the perfect time. People go out of town, enjoy the holiday, and when you train hard… rest is everything. I know this holiday forces rest and leisure, so when programming the year I chose this weekend as specific “deload” time. I do not want you all to feel like you have to get into the gym to work off the weekend,but rather to be ok with resting your body. Sure, I programmed a week of deload workouts meant to help you stay fit, but taking time off is also totally ok! The idea of the programming is to stress the CNS and then take mandatory lighted weeks to allow for recovery and gains. The idea of this first quarter is to get you acclimated to the volume and intensity of the programming. Even if you’re a veteran, every year I introduce new stimuli. In fact, my goal is to change, alternate, and adjust various training stimuli throughout each cycle to help everyone achieve their highest levels of fitness. With that being said, I think it’s time we discuss this very important element of strength and conditioning and the unique challenge that CrossFit training presents us with in terms of “deloading.”
In all traditional strength programs there is what is commonly referred to as a “deload.” In basic terms this is the intentional lowering of volume, intensity, and loading in a program for short periods of time scattered throughout a training cycle. In terms of our cycle, we will take one every 3-6 weeks depending on what micro-cycle we are in. The intended effect of these “deloads” is to increase strength over the long term. As I have stated time and time again, getting better in CrossFit is a process. If you respect the process, are patient and diligent with your workouts and recovery, then you will see phenomenal results. In strength & conditioning programming it is a scientific truth that we DO NOT get stronger and fitter from working out more. We get stronger and fitter when we recover from working out… Mind = Blown! At its most basic level, exercise is simply putting your body under a clearly defined stress so that during the subsequent recovery period, you will adapt to that stress and become fitter. If you constantly go all out, you will eventually stop making gains and you will leave yourself subject to injury. This is a common occurrence in CrossFit. Lack of programming knowledge and the idea of more is better will always lead to injury. Training smarter, not harder, is always the key. However, this fact tends to be overlooked, or completely ignored, in the vast majority of programming found nation-wide.
A classic “deload,” and the way I do it in the Precision programming, is to lower intensity, volume, and load for the duration of one week and ask or sometimes try and schedule more rest days for a short period. This is why the July 4th weekend was such great timing for this one. It is not uncommon to see people who are worn out, take a week off and then come back refreshed, stronger and generally fitter.
So what are some basic rules you can apply to properly “deload” yourself during one of these weeks?
- Emphasize recovery. Get a massage; take a yoga class; go for a hike. You shouldn’t be working out every day. If you eat a calorie restricted diet or an ultra low carb diet, then take a break from that for a couple of days.
- Be kind to yourself. Many people labor under the misconception that if they take a day off or lower the intensity of their training, they will either lose fitness or gain weight. Nothing could be further from the truth. Give yourself a break.
- Lastly, trust the process I have laid out for you all. A “deload” week is scheduled and planned into your programming. I am accounting for it. If you take the period seriously, most likely you will return a week later to full training volume feeling great and maybe even PR.
Precision, it’s my duty not only to give you the best approach possible to help you reach your training goals, but to also educate you. Respect the process and remember… work smarter, not harder.
Fitness – Strength – Community
10 Air Squats
10 Push Ups
10 Pass Throughs
WOD: (Compare to 1/21/15)
“PC REDLINE 1”
6 × 500M Row
*1 Min. Rest
10 x 250M Row
*Rest :30 Sec.
20 x 150M. Row
*Rest :20 Sec.
1K Row For Time
*Score = 1K Row Time
**Rest 1 Min. between each row sequence.
50 Weighted Sit Ups (45/25) (25/15) (15/10) (10/5)