SUMMER has arrived, the sun’s out, the BBQs are on…and it’s deadly. Farmers’ tans, ice cream and Championship football. Ireland is hard to beat in the summer.
The weather’s only really came good for us over the last week or so and already I’ve been contacted by numerous people asking for advice when it comes to the summer training schedule and how to keep it fresh.
There’s a saying ‘a change is as good as a rest’ but if you’ve been training hard and feel like your sessions are starting to get a little stale how about a rest being as good as a change?
If you’re following a program there’s a progression path to it and to see the results you want you need to stay on course, but if it’s getting monotonous or motivation is starting to lack with the repetitiveness of what you’re doing then it could be time to schedule a deload week.
Have you ever included a deload week into your training routine before? I know of so many GAA players who don’t. With team training and the work you put in at the gym scheduling deloads are essential if you want to optimise your match day performance.
What the hell’s a deload I hear you ask? A deload is a short planned period of recovery. Deloading allows you to continue training, but at a lighter intensity to allow your body – and mind – to heal itself and recharge so that you are ready to get back after it when your deload is over.
There are lots of ways you can program a deload week into your training. For example you could completely step away from weights training and focus solely on mobility, alternatively you can play around with some of the variables within your session, ie. Total weight lifted, intensity, number of reps, etc etc.
What puts a lot of guys off scheduling deloads into their training routine is they feel like it’ll slow down their progress. As the next paragraph shows, they shouldn’t!
A study titled: Effects of periodic and continued resistance training on muscle CSA and strength in previously untrained men compared a 15 week continuous training cycle to a 15 week periodized cycle in which the periodized cycle trained for 6 weeks before taking 3 weeks off and training again. This study showed that muscle size and one rep max progressed equally in both groups, even though the deloading group spent three weeks doing absolutely nothing. (Source – Larry Strong)
Now I’m not telling you to take three weeks off, but I am shedding a little light on how intelligently programming a deload week into your training schedule could not only help with the mental fatigue of training freshness but physically it will allow for a big recovery and development window!
So train smart and take a break every now and again!
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