Deload what!?

It is easy to forget our doors have only been opened for 4 months. Many of you have fully caught the CrossFit Bug and come in almost every day. For many of us, CrossFit is the first time in a while we have been training our bodiesand not simply exercising. When we shift our mindset to training over exercise, we simply have a longer view in mind than “How many calories did I burn today?”. We instead start to ask, “How can I take a step towards being more healthy for the rest of my life?”

imagesWith this thought in mind, it is my duty to introduce to you the idea of a Deload Week. The Deload takes on many different varieties depending on factors like your training style, nutrition, age, volume of workouts…etc. For the average CrossFitter, who works out 4-7 hours a week, and eats fairly clean; I recommend a Deload Week every 2-3 months. The benefits are clear…You’ll come out of it stronger, energized, more flexible and with those nagging injuries in a much better place.

Deload Week-For 7-10 Days, instead of focusing on maximizing Power Output and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in that direction, do the following:

  1. Get as much sleep as you can. Nap, sleep in, retire early. Simply enough more rest will result in higher performance.
  2. Mobilize 30 minutes a day. A lighter workout week is a perfect time to make significant gains in your range of motion. Take a yoga class, or just come in to CFA for some extra instruction on how to stretch your ankle flexion to improve your olympic lifts…yeah…it makes a huge difference.
  3. Move Less Weight, Slower. You will still want to take classes, after all, who could stay away?! But, while in class…focus on great technique with lighter load instead of keeping up with that rockstar next to you. Always remember…Technique, Consistency, Intensity…in the order.
  4. Learn. Take the extra time and energy you have and learn as much as you can about a single topic. Maybe gluten, or the split jerk. Dive into the energy pathways rabbit hole or what as many video as possible off the CrossFit Journal on squatting. Do something.

Take this message to heart. Deloads are very important to health and longevity, especially to athletes (yes, you are all athletes) who work hard in the gym. Look at the calendar and find a week that makes sense to Deload on. Also, listen to your body…feeling tired, achy, or plateauing in performance? The solution is often as simple as a Deload.