Earlier today I bitched on Facebook (that’s this social media platform thingy where people whine all day if you haven’t heard of it) that Deload Week is boring. There is no doubt that it comes off a little lackluster to the competitive iron warrior in us all. So, let’s survive it together by re-focusing that warrior-like attitude on other things to make the best of the week and ourselves.
Generally, Deload workouts require less time than maximal effort workouts or programming that demands more rest time and higher training volume. This is a great time to put those extra minutes into your mobility and prep work. After all we all know warm-up and mobility is the first thing to go when we are short on time.
2. Form/ Technique:
But Josh, I always lift with ideal form. Yeah….sure. I’m sure the intention is there but in my humble opinion form, technique and mechanics can always improve, even after years or even decades of lifting. We also know that the closer we get to moving a weight near our capacity the more that form and technique is stressed. Since the focus of a Deload Week isn’t about overall load or intensity you can focus on moving under a moderate load with as ideal mechanics as possible. If you are Olympic Weightlifting you know how crucial developing your technique, bar path and movement pattern is. These are the days to iron that out, not lazily putt your way through your workout.
3. Speed through the sticky parts:
Each of us has “sticky” points on basic weight lifting movements. Whether it be just out of the bottom of the squat, just short of locking out on the jerk or bench press or passing the low thigh on the deadlift. Using a moderate load during our Deload Week we can focus on our speed and rate of force, especially through our “sticky” areas.
4. Aerobic Capacity:
Similar to Mobility, extra available time during Deload Week could be used to building our engine and conditioning our aerobic capacity. A moderate amount of aerobic training will not affect your strength and in some cases could help it. My preferred forms of aerobic training along side a weightlifting program would be on the Concept 2 Rower or Airdyne, and even long walks (not necessarily on the beach).
5. Stability and Positioning in the crucial positions of the movement:
This is similar to practicing technique and form but focusing on how well we stabilize in the crucial positions of the movements. Are we doing a good job reducing rib cage flare in our overhead movements? Is my back angle ideal when coming off the floor during a Snatch? Am I bracing properly before lowering into the back squat? When working with maximal loads the mind (and body) will quickly abort what ever you’re concentrating on to perform whatever task it feels necessary to protect itself. Working with a moderate load during Deload Week is the perfect time to secure those positions.
For more on WHY you should Deload enjoy this post on tonygentilecore.com : Deload