After I posted 10 Common Mistakes CrossFitters Make I got a lot of people asking me how to correct some of them. Hey asshole, thanks for pointing out what I do wrong and not telling me how fix it. Hey this whole blogging thing is new to me, I’m workin on it. One of the things people specifically asked about was a deload week, what is it, and how do you incorporate it.
Well, what is a deload week?
A deload week is simply a week where you let your body recover from all of the shit you put it through. As CrossFitters, we kick our own asses pretty often when we work out. We put a lot of wear and tear on our muscles, and joints. Yes, this in turn makes us more awesome, but there comes a point when our bodies cant take anymore. I know what you’re thinking. Its hard enough taking a rest day, let alone a rest week! Bear with me, you’ll be ok! Im not saying that you should take an entire week off training. This isn’t a time to sit around on the couch and play Playstation while eating a shit ton of Pizza and Oreos….Oh man, that actually sounds pretty rad, forget I said that. Seriously though, I did that once, and it was a bad idea. Instead of coming back refreshed and ready to destroy all WODs set before me, I felt unmotivated and lazy. My cardio took a huge hit, and I kinda sucked. Kinda, lets not get carried away here. Sorry, let’s get back on topic. A deload week is more of an active recovery week. You remain active, but you just take it easy. Almost like kind of going through the motions, like some people we know do every week. I’m totally kidding.
There are a few different options you can take when doing a deload week, but I feel like the best option is to keep doing what you’re doing, but at a reduced volume, with much less intensity. Say 60% or so of what you normally would do. Woah, what?! 60%? Yes, this is a time to set your ego aside and let your body recover. But this week your gym is going for 1RM (that’s one rep max, Mom) on clean and jerks? Too bad, do it next week. I’m sitting here nursing a shoulder injury that I got while attempting a 1RM on a snatch during what was supposed to be my deload week. Smart huh? So what does a deload week look like?
If Rx Workout is:
KettleBell Swings 53/35#
Box Jumps 24“/20”
Deload Workout would look like:
KettleBell Swings 35/25#
Box Jumps 24“/20”
You can still do the same workouts, just a little bit less of them. Any body weight moves I would still do, just with less intensity. So on the box jumps, for example, take your time and work on doing them properly. Use this deload time to work on technique. You will be going a lot lighter, so it should be easy for you to focus on your form. Since you wont be putting as much stress on your body, it will use this time to recharge and recover, but you will still be keeping your joints moving, which is important. Also focus on mobility this week, including foam rolling, lacrosse ball work, deep tissue massage, and even Yoga. Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and core strength, but it’s really hard, and I really suck! Also keep your diet clean, and drink plenty of water to help detox.
There are different theories on how often you should do a deload week. Some say after 4 weeks, some say after 6. I think that its better to be safe than sorry and go after 4 weeks. You cant really have too much recovery, but you definitely can have to little. Also just listen to your body. If things aren’t feeling right, you haven’t been making gains, or have nagging injuries, try a deload week. One week of taking it easy isn’t going to kill you, in fact, don’t be surprised if you come back to full bore training stronger and faster. Do your body a favor and give it the break it needs. But stay away from the pizza and Oreos, unless your gonna share.