I hope you had a great weekend, and ready to get started up this week.
I’ve had a few questions about why we include a forced rest week in our programming cycle. To me it’s imperative to understand not only the purpose, but also “why” this is beneficial to use in your training cycle.
Simply put, since if you exercise at a higher intensity level than most training programs (ie, metabolic training, HIIT, CrossFit), you want to program time off to allow your body to fully recover. If you keep training at a high level day after day, week after week, then eventually a few things will begin to happen.
- Burn out: you start not wanting to come workout.
- Overtraining (aka under recovery): instead of becoming faster and stronger, you will start to become slower and weaker.
- Injuries: by not allowing your body to completely relax and recover completely, there is a very real chance you could sustain an injury.
A few other things come to mind, but I’m not going to bore you with the sciencey terms.
The main point I want to make is it’s not a question on “if” but a question of “when” these things can happen, and there’s not a darn thing you can do about this.
Well that’s not true, there is something you can do to help prevent this.
First, make sure you are shooting for a good night’s rest… preferably in the 7-8 hour time zone. I know that can be hard at times, kinda funny coming from me right!!!!!, but really make an effort for this. Sleeping is the time your body allocates to fully recover both physically AND mentally. This is the time your muscles and connective tissue have a chance to fully recover and strengthen. Additionally this is the ideal time for your Central Nervous System (CNS) to start getting primed up for the following day.
Secondly, make sure you are eating enough quality calories to sustain your metabolism. Plenty of fruits, veggies, natural starchy carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats do the body good. Stay away from processed foods laden with chemicals, additives and fillers your body doesn’t need or want. Remember, a Lamborghini doesn’t perform well using 87 octane for fuel, and your body doesn’t perform at it’s highest level when you put crap in it either.
Thirdly, scheduling a forced rest period every now and then. This is where the “D-Load” week comes in. Program an “active rest” every 6-8 weeks, or as needed. During this time you can drop it down a notch or two. Now this doesn’t mean this week is easy by any means, but do other movements designed to stress your body in other ways.
A few examples can include swimming, biking, hiking, taking a circuit workouts, kayaking, taking a few yoga classes… you are only limited by your restrictions in your mind.
I ran across an article talking about this awhile back. Now the premise of the article was focusing on weight loss during marathon training, but the meat of the article runs parallel to what I discussed above. You can check out the article by going to http://www.runnersworld.com/weight-loss/three-reasons-why-youre-not-losing-weight-while-training-marathon?cid=socHE_20140809_29368436
Schedule an off week every, and you’ll be surprised how well you feel, AND how much stronger you feel when you start back up on your regular training cycle.
Until next time, ‘
It’s no secret I like to train those involved in the combat arts.
Taekwondo, wrestlers, Jujitsu, MMA, Judo, etc.
When you look at the physiques of fighters they tend to be lean and powerful.
Fighters go above and beyond the average “fitness” guy or gal. They have to. Bodybuilders and fitness athletes just can’t compete with their level of intensity or drive, nor do they want to.
Evaluate your training, and see if you’re up for the task.