Ever have those weeks were you just feel like your body can’t take anymore exercise and motivation to train is completely absent? This week at Dylan Conrad Fitness is “deload week.” In a nutshell, it’s a week to focus on soft tissue work, flexibility, and putting my clients into a more relaxed state in order to help the body’s recovery process both mentally and physically. Deloads, which are planned periods of reduced training volume (sets x reps) OR intensity (how hard you push), are important if you want to see any results in your exercise program. Even though I think I’ve done some good research for a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, a vast array of research on deloading by Eric Cressey can be found HERE in his 20 page eBook.
I feel like a broken record here, but if your body’s physiological processes are out of whack, you will never reach your fitness goals. For example, if your goal is to shed pounds of body fat, but you are producing a very high level of cortisol (the stress hormone), you will end up storing more body fat than burning it. Both physical and psychological influence the physiology of the body, and enhancing your body’s rest and digest response is important to help the body’s recovery from training.
There ARE in fact times where deloading is unnecessary such as if you aren’t training more than 3x/week, there is no resistance training in your program, and/or your training program is rehabilitative. But since in my program I recommend physical activity for 5+ hours a week, there is a ton of volume in my programs, and the intensity gets ramped up each week, deloads are VERY necessary.
Here’s a sample deload program I used this week. Notice I tapered down the overall volume, 30 minutes dedicated to moving better, and 30 minutes dedicated to metabolic conditioning.
Range of Motion, Activation, and Soft Tissue Work
Self Myofascial Release with Lacrosse Ball: Feet, Glutes, Lats (2 minutes each per side)
Mobility: Rear Foot Elevated Hip Mobilizations (2 minutes each side), Calf Stretch vs. Wall (2 minutes each side + Mobilizations).
Activation: Seated External Rotation vs. Wall (2 sets of 12), Prone Reach Roll and Lift (2 sets of 12 each side), Side Lying Clamshells
Circuit 1: Kettlebell Goblet Squats 2×20 and TRX Rows 2×20
Circuit 2: Density Training 10 minutes total: Push Ups x10, Split Squats x10 each, TRX Facepulls x10, X-Band Walks x10 each, Single Leg Sit Ups x10. As many rounds as possible.