Thursday 140213

Three rounds for time of:
5 Strict muscle-ups
10 Strict handstand push-ups
15 One legged squats, each leg
Post times to comments and BTWB

Cheers to Lucas “the James” Palmisano. He and the whole family will be greatly missed.

“Deload deshmode. I’m too cool for rest.” Described as eloquently as possible by Courtney Shepherd

Here at Verve we recently brought to conclusion a lovely 9 week lifting program. At the end of the 9 weeks we had one week of deload before retesting our maxes. To say the attendance dropped in classes during this week would be an understatement. However attendance in the daily WOD seemed to increase with a hefty number of barbellers making an appearance. Why make the switch from Barbell Club to WOD for the week? Because deload week is light and technique driven and, believed to be by some, not a complete workout. Why would I, as an athlete, need to lighten the load for a week and increase my rest? The simple answer is because our bodies NEED it. We can try and push ourselves to the limit for as long as possible but that really can only last so long. We begin to feel fatigued at a time we wouldn’t usually feel fatigued. We are more sore and become more prone to injury. We are no longer capable of doing the things we were normally able to do. We start getting sick and have a hard time getting over colds. These are all signs of over-reaching/ over-training. 

I will use myself as an example. I was simply picking up a barbell to move it to the side just a few inches and threw my back out. It dropped me to my knees, I couldn’t walk for 30 minutes. I kindly thank Luke for picking me up off the floor and carrying me. I rested for a few days. And then I started again. And then I threw out the other side of my back, the recovery of which lasted 3 times longer than the first incident. When I went back to my logbook and examined the evidence it became clear what might have led to this incident. For the past 6 months I had been working out 6 days/ week, heavy lifting 4 days/ week, and performing multiple WODS per day on top of it all. I had neglected mobility and recovery. I did not once in 6 months deload, in fact quite the opposite, I loaded, a lot, and as often as possible. This is my story and no two of us are the same but my point is simply this, when you feel tired and run down, when those signs of over-reaching begin to creep up, deload. That doesn’t mean don’t work out, it just simply means lighten the load, decrease the intensity, focus on form, allow your body to recovery from the beating we can sometimes give it.

In an article by Jeff Barnett titled “The Deload Week and Why You Should Use It”, he says it far better than me. Click here to read the full article. Jeff states:

“Only reality matters: how long does your body actually need for recovery? Consistent training eventually builds a deficit that cannot be repaid in a single rest day. A deload week is a chance for your body to recover from that deficit. The deload week allows your body to catch up – to repair connective tissue and restore testosterone/cortisol ratios. Muscle can recover more quickly than connective tissue. A deload week keeps tendons and ligaments healthy. If you chronically develop tendonitis, then scheduled deload weeks are definitely part of the solution. Here’s the disconnect: you don’t get stronger by exercising.”
In the article Jeff goes into some science behind the deload week and how it benefits our bodies and increases our strength/ performance. He has a few caveats which include not taking the week as an opportunity to lay on a couch and eat potato chips but rather continuing to move and stay active.
“Next, a deload week is not an excuse to derail your nutrition. On the contrary, sticking to your nutrition plan is even more important during your deload week. Keeping your normal gym schedule while just performing recovery and mobility workouts can help keep your routine intact. Routine helps most athletes stick to their nutrition plan. Your body is repairing itself. You need to provide it all the quality fuel it needs to complete the repairs, along with plenty of sleep every night. Recovery is not just the absence of training; it is a critical part of the training process!”
Jeff’s final thoughts on the subject: “Why should you consider working deload weeks into your training schedule? You will become stronger, faster. You’ll suffer fewer chronic injuries. You’ll be less prone to burning out.  You’ll be an overall better athlete. Try it.”

My final thoughts: It has worked for me. Being forced into was not enjoyable, it is too painful not to recover. 


  1. Mike C :

    I did deload week…. And wods un-Rx

    I thought VBBC was 12 weeks

  2. Courtney :

    You were a very consistant VBBCer and it looks like it paid off. VBBC had 3 phases, 3 weeks each. It was capped off with a deload week and a retesting maxes week. I would love feedback on how your deload week went for you. Keep up your hard work, you’re looking good.


  3. Mike C :

    Thanks Courtney! I’d love to discuss deload week and VBBC with you

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