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Thread: Cues on when to have a back off week

  1. #1
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    Default Cues on when to have a back off week

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    Being that I am 27, deloading isn't a big deal as it may be for some of the older guys. With that being said, the symptoms should be the same for when a deload week is needed. Do any of you guys have any cues for when you know you might need to take a low stress week next week. In my experance I start feeling banged up after around 8 to 10 weeks of hard training. Examples would be achie joints and weights feeling harder. I tend to have 6 to 8 weeks of back off weeks a year. After last cycle numbers bellow.
    Bench 1x5 320
    Squat 1x5 500
    Deadlift 1x5 570
    Press 1x5 212
    Weight 248

  2. #2
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    If your attention to recovery is adequate, I don't see a reason to periodically take a week off. But if you think it helps, go ahead.

  3. #3
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    The deload week is never planed, but I have noticed around 8 to 10 weeks I start feeling fatigued and sore in the joints. I will also start wanting to sleep 10 hours or more once I get like this. I currently do a HLM template and I find just doing a medium day with cutting volume in half for all 3 days helps me recover on the deload.

  4. #4
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    Griffin, consider that, if you're having this happen regularly every 8 or 10 weeks, it means that there's something you could do better during those weeks. (Though you may want to check your math - is it every 8-10 weeks, or is it 6-8 times a year?).

    Whichever cadence it is, you are repeatedly overreaching. Now, you have a working solution for this in your deloads, assuming you're adding weight to the bar over time. However, have you considered that you can almost certainly get the same strength gains without spending so much time as an achey zombie by figuring out what you're chronically doing wrong? In fact, you might just find that you get more strength over time with a sustainable pace. (Half as fast for three times as long gets you farther.)

    Hint: Think too much volume and/or too little recovery (sleep and chow).

    I am curious how you got to HLM from NLP. That word, "template" has me wondering...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    Griffin, consider that, if you're having this happen regularly every 8 or 10 weeks, it means that there's something you could do better during those weeks. (Though you may want to check your math - is it every 8-10 weeks, or is it 6-8 times a year?).

    Whichever cadence it is, you are repeatedly overreaching. Now, you have a working solution for this in your deloads, assuming you're adding weight to the bar over time. However, have you considered that you can almost certainly get the same strength gains without spending so much time as an achey zombie by figuring out what you're chronically doing wrong? In fact, you might just find that you get more strength over time with a sustainable pace. (Half as fast for three times as long gets you farther.)

    Hint: Think too much volume and/or too little recovery (sleep and chow).

    I am curious how you got to HLM from NLP. That word, "template" has me wondering...
    I may do a little to much volume at times. As for how I got to HLM, I changed to somthing that fit my recovery. I can't recover workout to workout and the texas method causes to much fatigue on me. I also have the spread the stress out on my HLM. For example each day gets 1 heavy lift.

    Bench H 5x5
    SLDL 3x5
    Press 3x5 off set 5 precent

    Wednesday
    Squat H 5x5
    Press 3x5
    Chin ups 3x to faliure

    Friday
    Deadlift H 1x5
    Squat M 3x5 off set is 10 precent
    Bench M 3x5 off set is 5 precent

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin727 View Post
    I may do a little to much volume at times. As for how I got to HLM, I changed to somthing that fit my recovery. I can't recover workout to workout and the texas method causes to much fatigue on me. I also have the spread the stress out on my HLM. For example each day gets 1 heavy lift.
    So, you did the NLP until it wasn't working, then swapped to TM. TM wore you out, so you swapped to HLM, and started tweaking that, right?

    I'm not being critical of you, but this let me contrast how I've learned to do things. Say I have a disruptive event, and come back after a layoff. I'll do an LP, which will stop working pretty quickly. When it slows down, I make incremental changes - light squat day, perhaps. Then cut down to one DL day per week. Then split the presses to one heavy day, one volume day, with a BP day in between, because I care about the press way more than I do about the bench. Then I go to a one lift a day four-day split. Then I back off to the four days at three times a week.

    Each change is to address something, and get progress moving again, as the system that is my body and my life adapt and change. By the end, I'm on what looks like an existing "template", but it's right for me right then, because it got that way gradually. If I did an abbreviated NLP and jumped right to the four-day split over three days a week, two things would have happened. First, the novel stress would have wiped me out because of the massive change. Second, I wouldn't have learned much. Over time, I know how to do this for myself, from having made mistakes and observations in the past.

    Changing one dependent variable at a time and observing the results is far more productive over time. There's nothing magical about a given intermediate or advanced program, because it's all contextual, and increasingly so the stronger and further along you get. Just jumping to another program is basically a crapshoot - it MIGHT be just what you need, but it may well not. Learning to adjust as you go is invaluable. Incremental change is where it's at, in my experience.

  7. #7
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    Yeah man if you're doing 500x5x5 you can *probably* scale that back a little? I started capping anything I did over 400 pounds at 4 sets.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    So, you did the NLP until it wasn't working, then swapped to TM. TM wore you out, so you swapped to HLM, and started tweaking that, right?
    Yes, this happen over years of course. When I can't recover from the stress, I usually start with small windage and if that doesn't work I'll change programs. For example, I can't do NLP because I can't recover work out to workout, so I switched to the texas method. Well now I can't PR on Friday due to the hard training on Monday. I then switched to HLM, found that the program felt the best and I made progess. I then starting making small windage to it since it is hard for me to do a all heavy day on Monday, so I spread the stress out through the week. I may just do 5x5 for 2 weeks then do 3x5 for 3 weeks and 1x5 for 1 week on the heavy days. This may help with the overreaching. I doing 5x5 every week may just be to much at this point. The closer one hit to potenal I think volume and intensity must inversely correlate.

  9. #9
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    What is "windage"?

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    What is "windage"?
    Making very small changes. Such as adding 500 calories to a diet, adding a set or removing a set due to not enough vs to much stress.

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