As athletes, there are few things that just seem to not make as much sense as a deload week. For those of you not sure what I mean, a deload week is a week that just is easier than the weeks before. Generally speaking, in most weightlifting programs, we see a set number of weeks to lift heavy and then a week that feels like nothing. How the hell can nothing get you something?
As much as it pains me to say it, that deload week is terribly important for a variety of reasons. But before we can get to the reasons behind we’ve got to understand the idea of “progressive overload.” Basically, progressive overload is more load over time. Whether that means more weight on the bar, or more reps, or longer sessions, or whatever the case may be. In a lot of workout regimens you will see the weight go up as the reps decrease, but more volume come in when it comes to the accessory or assistance work in place.
An easy example of progressive overload is the story or Milo and the bull. Milo of Croton, an athlete from ancient Greece (ancient like 6th century BCE), was known for his many feats of strength and many athletic victories. The legend goes that he obtained a calf and as it grew into a bull, he lifted and carried it daily until the bull was four years old. Milo then carried the bull on his shoulders before slaughtering, roasting, and eating the whole thing in a day. The idea was as the bull grew, so did his strength, just like a linear progression.
Unfortunately this just isn’t how strength works. Anyone who tells you this is more than likely trying to sell you something. Progress can’t necessarily be measured on a day to day basis. We need to look at the big picture, because one week you may take a step back or stay the same for a month or two before breaking through and seeing growth the next couple of months. With progress naturally being kind of “wavy” we start to see deloads as more of a natural part of strength.
Basically, with a deload, we are attempting to offset those waves by structuring in a little bit of down time. In the overall progression of strength we can offset a lot of the negatives from overtraining/under-recovery by just sticking to a deload schedule regularly. Depending on the regimen you are on, you’ll see deload weeks at different times and you’ll see them treated differently.
Deloads come in a variety of flavors but keep in mind the idea of “de”-loading is part of it.
Keep in mind that your body needs a deload. Once you’ve gotten to the peak of the mountain you have two options. You can either walk down on purpose, or fall off the edge. Take your pick. Me? I’ll stick to deloads, even though they may not be my favorite things in the gym.
August Programming Notes
So we are just in the process this week of finishing up our first run through of Wendler's 531 program. This week in fact, is our deload week. And while it may seem too easy, that deload is important. It keeps the body moving in the same manner while allowing it to recover better with sub-maximal weights for a week.
Next week, we will begin another cycle of 531. In regards to our training maxes, if an athlete was consistent, we should see them hitting the 5/3/1+ numbers. If this is the case, all upper body movements will have 5 pounds added and lower body movements 10 pounds. Basically, with the 531 program, an athlete can keep cycling until they hit their goal or until they begin to stall.
Q & A with Kacie Bone
So how did you find out about BellHaus and what brought you over here?
I knew Matt from the previous gym I was a member at. When he opened BellHaus, I joined soon after!
Aside from the hit pop song She-Wolf by everybody's favorite musical artist Shakira, what do you like to listen to in the gym?
I pretty much listen to any and everything, most days it's the 80s station.
What movement has been your favorite to do in the gym?
I actually don't mind the Turkish Getup. Previously, I would half way do it or just skip it all together because I didn't understand the movements fully. But now I'm up to the navy blue bell (20k/44lb) on a good day.
Some may not know, but you have a powerlifting competition coming up on October. How'd you end up finding that as something to do?
Well, I was thinking about doing it and some fellow team mates pushed me into doing it. :) I have really enjoyed the workouts and seeing my progression over the weeks. Plus it's something that I can say I did!
What else do you do when not sweating it out at the gym?
When I'm not at the gym I'm either working (with some awesome police officers) or with my hubby.
Community Spotlight: Blue Zones Project
The Blue Zones Project here in Fort Worth is quite a large part of Fort Worth's Healthiest City Initiative. They truly believe that in order to have a healthy city, there needs to a focus on health, both from the residents and the businesses there. Including work places, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, community organizations, and community policy, they strive for a change across the board.
On their website, you can find all the organizations that support them and are a part of their healthy initiative, as well as taking the pledge yourself to live longer and better. Also, they have a variety of events in the area that are definitely worth checking out!
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