This week I am starting off with a 10 point question: What is the actual purpose of a deload week and why we do utilize them at Kingfield?
I ask this question because it is important that you, our athletes, understand that training has layers to it and those layers are not always linear. Sometimes your body will perform exactly the way you hope and progress in an upward trend, leaving you feeling strong and motivated. But other times the weight feels heavier than anticipated and you become frustrated. Has this ever happened to you?
Personally I have been on both sides of this coin. When I am feeling strong and my training is going better than expected, I usually don’t want to deload. Conversely, when everything is going to shit, I can’t wait to take a break and shift my focus.
So again I ask the question, “What is the actual purpose of a deload week?”
Well, recovery is the name of the game. We get stronger when we recover and adapt from our previous workout. I understand that some programs and coaches subscribe to the mentality of forced adaptation (do a ton of shit so you have to adapt or die), but our GPP model of fitness does not follow this trend.
We look to challenge our athletes with functional movements (squatting, snatching, clean and jerk, sandbags, pressing, etc.) that will yield a high skill transfer (allow you to do some cool shit outside of the gym) governed by appropriate intensity (the amount of effort you put in each day dictated by the workout requirements).
When we program a deload week we always stress the importance of movement quality. As coaches we start each class with the reminder that this week you should listen to your body a bit more. We also ask you to put a bit more emphasis on your recovery efforts as that will allow you to keep up with your training consistently.
From a programing standpoint, here are a few things we're looking to achieve during a deload week:
- Decreased mental fatigue and stress hormone. Workouts performed at a lower intensity and volume will allow you the chance to give yourself a break mentally.
- Increased recovery focus. When we shift away from the mentality of “competing in workouts” to “completing workouts for quality," our bodies begin to transition to more of a recovery focus. This type of movement quality will increase blood flow and help you feel more accomplished and less fatigued.
- Increase sleep, food, and mobility! Use this time to focus on you a bit more. Make sure you are staying on top of your recovery modalities and spend a bit more time mobilizing (shameless plug for Kingfield Nutrition and 100 Days of Mobility). Doing this will set you up nicely to begin the next cycle.
SQUATTING: THE LOW DOWN
This week we have a 4 x 4 @ 70% or RPE 6. Again, since we are in a deload week, I encourage you to stick to the recommended weights this week. A lot of times deload weeks are interpreted as “going light," but remember we are trying to bring down the volume and intensity for recovery purposes.
This week let’s focus on tempo. Gauge your quality of movement on whether or not you can maintain a consistent and strong tempo throughout your set. Here are two simple ways of looking at this:
- If you are feeling great and moving well that's awesome. Focus on completing 4 perfect sets. Don’t look to increase the weight, just stay the course so you are ready to rock next week.
- If you are feeling sore or the weight is heavier than anticipated don’t get frustrated! You are exactly where you need to be and this week will help immensely. Just focus on completing as many perfect reps as possible and if you need to cut it short a rep or two no worries!
The workouts this week have a ton of variety. My intent was to bring a theme and a new challenge each day. Center your focus around movement quality. Pay attention to how you are breathing and moving. If something feels off, dial it back a bit and keep going. Movement and blood flow are some of the most powerful ways we can heal and recover our bodies. Don’t take this week as an excuse to sit on the couch and kick it!
As always encourage one another this week. These are the times when showing up to workout with a group of people can be far more inspiring than working out alone!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
This week we I wanted to have a quote that helps put things into perspective. Sometimes we are too focused on the the wrong metrics, which inevitably distract us from the real benefits:
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves as something to aim at” - Bruce Lee
- Coach Danny