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adrian lamont 07-13-2007 05:17 PM

This is from the 'Pavel" newsletter for those who don't get it, is some good advice for people who tend to over train like myself:

Back Off for Greater Gains

In the late 1980s by V. Plekhov introduced Russian lifters to a simple cycling procedure: build up for three weeks and back off for a week.

Two decades later Metal Militia made the template even more foolproof for those with the tendency to overtrain: train hard for three weeks and take a week off.

Russian bodybuilders, like lifters, understand the need to back off. Popular in the old country unloading formats for bodybuilders include:

* A 7-10 day lay-off after 4-5 weeks of intense training
* 7-10 days of the same sets/reps with 50% weights after 4-5 weeks of intense training (coach Sergey Muchenko)
* Alternating weeks of high and low intensity

This might not be for everyone, but gives people starting out a few ideas of how to cycle the intesisty for maximal gains. I'm still trying to figure out whats best for myself. Hope it helps others.}

Derek Maffett 07-13-2007 05:33 PM

Yeah, he talks more about cycling in Power to the People.

This kind of advice should be taken seriously by gymnasts. You hear of how so many of them burn themselves out pretty early on in their careers.

Steven Low 07-13-2007 05:34 PM

Essentially, the harder you push an overreaching state (with decreased performance), when you take significant time off afterwards (4+ days) the better the supercompensation phase will be.

Matt DeMinico 07-14-2007 07:35 AM

It's a shame more athletes (and even coaches) don't realize these things. Exercise and getting stronger/more powerful/increased endurance is a two part cycle. One, work hard to stress your body, and Two, allow it to recover stronger than it was before.

And heck, it's the recovery and rebuilding that makes us stronger, so why do people skip it?

(Message edited by Matt_DeMinico on July 14, 2007)

Milton Grasle 07-14-2007 08:11 AM

Matt, I believe people skip the recovery and rebuilding state because somewhere in the back of their minds a little voice keeps whispering,"Don't rest too'll lose your gains and you'll not meet your desired goals and training schedule. At least that's what has always made me push myself into overtraining, and very few, if any gains. I've been guilty of that in the past but I'm getting better. Also I always have so many different things going on. I've recently discovered X/F and think its great, then I also do Krav Maga, acouple times a week...and a rigorous weekly sprinting schedule...and I try to keep some kind of gymnastics schedule also. Just some thoughts.

David Sailor 07-14-2007 08:35 AM

I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow and will likely not have much time or equipment at my disposal which is a good thing as I don't often take time off. I realize the importance of it but am just too antsy to actually be at home around my gym and actually do nothing. I don't travel for work so the only time I'm really away is on a vacation and I have begun to treat them as my mandatory recovery time. I'm sure I'll still do something, run some with the kids, see what the gym at the hotel is like but for the most part, just enjoying the vacation, the family and the sights. David.

Milton Grasle 07-14-2007 08:48 AM

One other thing I realized while watching some of the crossfit videos. Some like "Nasty Girls" There is a real satisfaction in pushing yourself hard. Some people are almost addicted to the feeling. Even though at the end of the workout your legs are jelly and your completely spent. It is so easy to go out for a light workout and have it end up anything but that. Maybe I'm stating the obvious or maybe some of you might this guy is really weird,regardless, those are some of the reasons I don't rest as often as I should.

Steve Kaspar 07-14-2007 02:57 PM

seen a great special a few years back on the kenyan distance runners. as a former runner i was very interested in this special, already knowing their results and how tough these guys are.
on their hard days, they ran hard. very hard. what i was really amazed at, was that on their ez days, they went ez. super ez, almost looking like they were walking.they still covered the distance the workout called for. i think it was a 12 mile ez run. but the idea behind this training was NO moderate days. you cant improve on a moderate training. its very hard then a few very ez days. then very blew my mind watching them , with all their energy they saved doing ez distance instead of moderate paced runs, how fast they went on hard days was awsome... it was over a 12 mile run up and down the valleys on grass/weeds and trails at sub 5 minute pace. lesson. train very hard on hard days and very ez on ez days.
not too many have beaten the kenyans either.
i always knew that ez days are meant to be ez, so in my bike racing, i try to train alone on these days. i see so much improvement. the energy is there for the hard days. stress plus rest = success.
steve kaspar

Luke Hope 07-14-2007 06:02 PM


Craig Van De Walker 07-14-2007 09:01 PM

I wish I would have known about this ~30 years ago.

I am still trying to get the hang of it...

Luke Rossmo 07-14-2007 10:55 PM

Is the prescribed one day rest, which the WODS imply enough? I ache to get back out and do the workouts, the off days are like torture. I can't imagine resting for more than one day.. and i dont see the point of an "ez" workout, it feels like just going through the motions. I've learnt to do the least amount possible on the rest day, and use it as a rest day. Is it enough?

Matt DeMinico 07-15-2007 10:51 AM

Luke, typically people (depending on how fit they are, and when I say "how fit", I mean have they been doing the prescribed WOD's or equivalent training for a few years), typically people will go on a 3 weeks on, 1 week 50% for a few months, then maybe the 3rd month they'd take one of those rest weeks as an active rest (like LIGHT cycling, very VERY VERY light jogging (like heart rate under 120), etc for the whole week. Nothing extremely strenuous. Don't go play in a basketball tournament that week or whatever, just take it easy but stay moving.

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