Ideally, when your body is regimented to training under intense stress, it begins to take its toll. In the strength cycle you just participate in, we lifted on average over 75% of what our maximum repetition for 1 time for over 40 repetitions per session for 8 weeks. It doesn’t take a scientist to understand this is an unnatural amount for our bodies to tolerate, but it is necessary for growth and development. The muscles, joints, and central nervous system (which controls it all) is pushed to its limit. Not to mention how mentally draining it is to keep a positive mindset to succeed every week is very taxing. So, common practice in the strength training world is to help “recharge the battery” by taking a forced week off or sometimes known as a de-load week.
During this week, volume and loading is decreased substantially. When it comes to your lifts the common rule is to stay between 40-60% of your one rep max during your sets and to minimize volume overall. Other common practices are to focus on recovery techniques. If you have a foam roller, spent some quality time on it, your tight and sore muscles will thank you.
If you haven’t realized you live in San Diego, Americas Finest City, go out there and soak up some precious vitamin D. There is nothing more replenishing than being in the great outdoors. Go outside for long walk, bike ride, and even spend some time in water. During the fall, the ocean tends to be colder than usual but it’s always refreshing. I always told myself that when I moved out here from New York that if I ever get caught up in daily grind of work, all I have to do to is lift my head up, and get a good view of the landscape. Should this ever fail me, then it is time to move.
For others that have taken a longer break than you wanted to, here it’s an opportunity to get back. We all go through it, “I’m not as strong as I use to be,” or “I’m not as in shape as I use to be, so I’ll come back when I’m in better shape” (my personal favorite), and “Everyone is stronger than me.”
Some of these are more ridiculous than others and I won’t bother spending anymore time speaking on them. Point is, just get back in here and start moving. This will be a great week to re-start.