Sometimes Less is More: De-loading Your Training Volume

High intensity training has become very popular, as it has shown to be effective in improving fitness. In some training programs, such as CrossFit, high intensity training can be accompanied by high volume training. High volume training consists of multiple workouts per day, with a plethora of movements. High intensity/high volume training can be beneficial for working on several weaknesses at the same time, improving your fitness more quickly than a traditional strength and conditioning program will. The negative aspect of high intensity/high volume training is that too much of it can lead to injury or burnout. Many people do not understand this, nor they understand how to manipulate the volume in order to keep them from burning out or getting injured. A de-load of volume in your training is very important to reset your body and recover in order to ramp up the volume going in to the next phase of your training.

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At the Maddox Method, we utilize a system of volume progression, where we increase the volume weekly and then, at the peak of the volume, follow with a de-load week where we decrease the volume but still remain active. The number of weeks that the volume increases over is dependent on the competition schedule. If there is no competition scheduled in the near future, we recommend building the volume for three weeks and then de-loading on the fourth week. The volume increase per week should not be too drastic. You should add only one or two (at most) additional workouts per week. You should have a main WOD (workout of the day), some strength training (resistance training), and everything else should be supplemental to your training. The supplemental exercise to your training should help you improve weaknesses and improve your skills and conditioning.

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Along with implementing a de-load into your training schedule, it is also important to be in-tune with your body so that you know when you may have to make adjustments to your training schedule. As in life, not everything is going to go according to schedule with your training. If you are feeling a little banged up or worn out, you may need to decrease the volume for that day; even if it is not in your schedule. The main thing is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If your body is telling you to back off, you should decrease the volume and lighten the intensity and live to train another day. Your body will thank you for it.   

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