I had a client tell me this week “I don’t like recovery weeks, because they get me out of my routine.” I appreciate what she was saying and understand how important routine can be, particularly when it comes to your training. You get in “the groove” and you don’t want to get out. If we were all that way a little more of the time we would probably make better progress, more of the time. Taking time away from the gym when everything is going great seems counterproductive at best.
That is why it is good to understand how a training cycle is designed. Our training cycles are not random. They are designed within the context of the calendar year, yes. “Working out” is not your vocation, so the realities of the calendar must be considered. For instance we take a recovery week around Christmas because it just makes sense in most peoples lives. But our training cycles are also designed around how your body works. You train, you recover, you get better. Until you don’t. At some point there is always a “don’t” unless you “do” the right things.
Take a couple minutes to read this article: “I HATE Recovery Weeks!”. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Ok, now that you understand a bit more about supercompensation and the recovery curve it starts to make sense, right?
We don’t want to wait until we are completely hammered and injured to deload and/or take complete recovery. Sometimes I hear that “this is a tough week”. That means that last week might have not been as hard, right? That is by design, that is a deload week, or a week that the intensity is not so high. That helps enhance the recovery curve and allows you to be ready to hit it harder on the “tough weeks”. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking your body doesn’t work like the rest of ours, that somehow you can maintain maximum intensity forever. I can’t, you can’t.
So next week just take a break. Use your training “mind share” on getting out and doing some recreational activities. Ski, sled with the kids, snowshoe, hike. Take time to come up with some menus and easy meals to prepare. Don’t stress about taking some downtime at the gym. We all need rest, even Wonder Woman and Superman.
Make It Happen,
P.S. – Here are some more recovery week articles for you to chew on