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Old 09-22-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
Jesse Martin
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CrossFit's take on deloads?

Hey all,

Just a little background: I come from 6 yrs working out in a conventional gym. I more or less have been following training programs from some of the more popular strength and conditioning coaches out there- Rippetoe (SS, texas method), Alwyn Cosgrove (New rules), Jim Wendler (5/3/1), Bill Starr (5x5) etc..

One thing consistent with all these programs is the use of "deloads" or back off periods or recovery weeks. They all incorporate them in one way, shape or form. Not only do they incorporate them but go out of their way to stress the importance of them within the context of programming. I credit my 6 yrs of injury free training to this!

Anyways I have been working out at a CF box in my area for about 8 weeks now and I notice that people just seem to continue to show up every single day and not only workout but go 100% every single workout. Does CF not follow standard deloads? How do people just go balls to the wall every day year round without over training or injury? This goes against everything I have learned.

I am asking this because for the first time in my exercise history I am getting shoulder pain. It's not an injury but I know darn well it will be. I realize I can just take the week off and don't show up but that just seems counterproductive. Deloads in my previous training protocols consisted of using 50-60% of total weight and so called "active recovery" modes of exercise for that week. Can I just show up and do the WOD at like 50% and let everyone wait till I finish? I am confused at how this would be implemented with the go hard or go home mentality I see at every single WOD.


Last edited by Jesse Martin : 09-22-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: CrossFit's take on deloads?

this is very hard to answer as every box program is different. it will vary greatly depending upon the box program, the individual's goals, etc. speak with your coach and ask them this question specifically based upon what they do. you might also ask what their goal of their program is - i.e., general GPP, competitive CF athletes, strength bias, endurance bias, etc. knowing your coaches training philosophy and programs purpose should be something that every person knows. additionally, share your personal goals, limits, concerns, and questions with your coach. at the end of the day, you have to take some personal responsibility and use common sense, and when you need a deload then take one. you can discuss the best way to do this with your coach too, or you can figure out for yourself. with appropriate scaling it shouldn't mess up the class schedule at all. sub exercises, reduce weight, do less reps, etc. also, if your box isn't giving enough focus to pre-hab, mobility, dynamic warmup, balance of exercises, etc, then they should. but if they are not, you may need to take some extra time during your day to do so.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: CrossFit's take on deloads?

Originally Posted by Jesse Martin View Post
Does CF not follow standard deloads? How do people just go balls to the wall every day year round without over training or injury? This goes against everything I have learned.
Most people don't do that, or if they do they end up on the injury forum here or stop posting because they get burnt out and move on to something different. The people who can get away with it tend to be genetic freaks along the same lines as the kids we all knew in high school who ate McDonald's 5 times per week yet still benched 400lbs and ran 4.5 on the 40yd dash and were absolutely shredded. If you look at the training methods followed by most of the top-level CFers, they follow periodization just like any athlete in any other sport, usually designed so they can peak around the time of the CF Games.

Actually, somewhere in the CF FAQ they talk about taking a 50% intensity week every 6-8 weeks, and taking a week off every 3-4 months. It's just not built into the mainsite programming. A lot of gyms will modulate frequency and intensity in their programming though....the good coaches will be able to monitor performance of their clients and know when they need to dial things back.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: CrossFit's take on deloads?

Many people get confused about the goal in CrossFit. The goal is not to see how much work you can do day after day. This leads to burnout and injury.

The goal is to get better. Getting better involves a lot of different things. Training, skill practice, nutrition, days off, sleep and variety to name a few.

Your body's ability to recover from your work load is individual.

I own an affiliate, am 44 years old and work a lot. I know sleep is my biggest issue. The more I get the harder I can go and recover. The weeks I don't get as much sleep as my body needs I have to back off how hard I train.

Backing off and scaling a WOD should lead to you finishing faster not slower then the class so it shouldn't be a problem in a class setting.

Listen to your body and take care of your shoulder. Having injured one for real I can tell you it sucks.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
Jesse Martin
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Re: CrossFit's take on deloads?

Thanks for the replies everyone. I am thinking I can be selective with the WODS on that week and just perform them at 60 or so % effort.
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