Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Deload It's a Love/Hate Thing

Bit of a break in the posts, my apologies again, it should be more consistent the next few months because sadly rugby is over. I'm not going to lie this was an absolutely brutal season on my body. The lack of consistency in games for me was what beat me up the most, my body would be use to getting thrown all over and then it would have a week or 2 off and have to be use to it all over again. In the end it was a triumphant one as we took home the New England Championship for Division 1. Hands down, so I've heard, best match I played was the championship game for the trophy. The idea is to peak at the end of the season right? I guess that worked out. We lost this past Sunday in our national playoffs so unless you're one of those crazies that play 7's in the summer then it's time to hit the links and get back in the gym.

Just the Prize Along fo the Ride

This sets up a pretty good segway into the topic of today, THE Deload. I feel like I could/should put dreaded in front of it because so many people hate it, but then again if you're like me you welcome it. To start, what is a deload some are probably wondering, I'll be happy enough to answer it to the best of my ability.

Essentially a delaod is a week built into a strength program to make sure that you don't take that turn from awesome to fail while you are in your training, some actually choose to completely take the week off because they are so destroyed from their training, it's ok now and again. This is the reason I say I could have put dreaded in front of the word deload because many hammerheads out there don't like it when you tell them to back off for a week. Then some of them go balls to the walls through it and beat themselves up any way, then they get hurt a week or so later, jokes on you fool! I actually saw this first hand up at Maine during my internship with the atheltic department. The coaches would try to dial back their training for a week and then I would catch some of these dopes in the campus recreation center trying to do their own thing. Then they wondered why they couldn't hit their target weights for the max testing, in a word....IDIOTS!

As I said a deload is so you don't collapse on the lifting platform and then your results go into the sewer, great! I'm going to try to put this in some pretty plain english, because I'm not a scientific genius by any regards, so I won't try to be, so simply your body can only handle so much at once. Countless training injuries occur from overworking your body and when you're body can no longer handle the stress it gives in and you hear a pop during a squat and oops there goes your MCL, hopefully not.

Yes the overload principle says you are suppose to overload your body, but that's just so much at a time so you can recover and get stronger. You wouldn't pack on 50 pounds to your 5 rep max, or 5 RM, and expect not to get injured on that following attempt (example current 5 RM=250, shooting for a 5 RM of 300, hopefully that made sense). Noooo you wouldn't, and if you did and you were one of my trainees or athletes I'd tell you to sit in the corner and think about what you just tried to do, ok kidding....half kidding. Should you be able to pull that off without hitting other maxes along the way, 1 I hate you and 2 hop in the phone booth and put on the super suit because there's some bad shit that could use your help. Seriously though that is simply asking for an injury and so would be not doing a deload.

How You'll Feel if You Hurt Yourself

Some of us bust our ass for those weeks prior to the deload week so when it gets there we are dropping to our knees and praying to the barbell gods that we can dial it back for the week. The best part is you are still getting stronger in that week, double whammy! Here's a secret for those that dread the deload week, you can still go heavy, but just back off the sets and reps. The big key for having a successful deload week is the volume that you do. In plain terms, volume is the actual number of reps you do.

Yeah Maine Hockey!

Just so we have a couple of examples to go over, if say you like doing 5 sets for your main lifts, then by all means do 5 sets, just dial down the reps from say 5 to 3 or 2. Now then if you would prefer to do the sets of 5 ok great then limit the number of sets to 3 or 2 even. As I said before you can make these sets easy as pie or you can go heavy, just be sure you can do it with good form. The accessory work is something you should probably dial back too, yeah it's not the main focus of your workouts, but it can still take you beyond those limits.

Hope I made sense today, any questions or concerns shoot them my way guys. Have a good one and get after it today!

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