|Green means GO, GO, GO!|
When you train at a consistent base your muscles are breaking down and experiencing what is known as exercise induced muscle damage. The broken down muscles send signals to your body so that it can adapt (2) to the stress. With proper nutrition, sleep and a progressive training program catered to your fight schedule, you can speed up this adaption phase.
That is why I choose to add a deload week to my fight training. A deload week can be used to prevent the stagnation of your techniques, skills or your strength & conditioning levels by promoting active recovery. This will assist your muscles to adapt, prevent mental exhaustion, and over training while keeping your techniques sharp so that you can train at a position equal to or lower than your baseline levels of fitness.
|Brushing up my monkey steal the peach technique.|
Adding a maintenance week to your training
- Don't aim for personal records (PR). Keep the intensity low or at the medium range of your fitness level.
- Make technique and skill work your top priority.
- This week isn't an excuse to eat whatever you want. Be flexible and reasonable with your food choices.
- Take an extra day or two off from any form of training. Remember this is REST.
- Warm up as normal and add mobility work. It'll be counter productive if you skip the warmup because you are going to train light. The whole point of deloading your training is to improve recovery, not add injuries.
- Use the same recovery methods you use for your regular training. Stretch, foam roll, massage, contrast showers, eat and sleep as you do after your normal workouts. You want to use this time to speed up recovery.
- Typically fighters take a week or two off after a fight. Deloading is a great method to introduce you back to training after your time off.
- It's commonly recommended to use a deload week every 4-6 weeks. You should experiment with this protocol to fit your needs.
|If you are not getting better you are getting worse.|
Maintenance week or deload week is a great addition to your yearly training schedule. By adding a week or two of these lower intensity training methods you are reducing the risk of injury while improving your technique. This will ensure your conditioning and techniques are not descending.