What is Deload Week?
Deload week, also known as supercompensation, back-off week…or a breath of fresh air… is when we reduce the intensity, load and/or volume of training, typically the forth or fifth week of a training cycle. This applies to any programming, including CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting.
The quality of your recovery is just as important as the quality of your training.
Why Do I Need to Deload?
It’s no surprise that heavy and intense training an take a toll on the body… if you don’t recover properly.
To prevent burnout, over-training and injuries, we all need to give our bodies a chance to reset and recover so you can actually improve your fitness to levels beyond where they were before the deload week. This not only gives your muscles time to recover, but also your connective tissues, cartilage, tendons, ligaments.
Athletes should include a deload week to give their bodies a chance to adapt to the stimulus of the program. Believe it or not, this is the week that you actually get stronger. Similar to how your body heals itself during sleep, deload week is just as important.
Does Deload Week Mean I Get to Binge on Netflix All Week?
This doesn’t mean you’re taking an “off-week.” When you deload, you still need to eat right, sleep enough and remain active, just at lower volumes, loads and/or intensity.
Believe it or not, the hardest part about this week is going to be backing off. Don’t add to the program.
Trust the program. And take the extra time to catch up on other things in your personal life, clean out your gym bag, wash your knee sleeves, meal prep (and maybe enjoy a night of Netflix).
And, as athletes advance in their programming, the deload week may be at higher loads/volume that those weeks earlier in the program as the athlete adapts to the cycle.
When is Deload Week Most Effective?
When you’re consistent with your sleep, nutrition and you’re following a training program for a period of time before the deload week (typically between the third to fifth week of the cycle), you will maximize the results.
What Happens After Deload Week?
After deload week is usually when strength and work capacity testing is done. This is also the time when your body is primed and ready to peak for competition.
Deload Week at CrossFit Salus
At CrossFit Salus, we program a deload week every forth or fifth week in our CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting classes so all our athletes are sure to get the recovery stimulus they need to progress safely.
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