For us as athletes we are always striving to drive our performance to new heights, we obsess over the smallest details that will allow us to get most out of our training and to maximise our results. For many individuals, they believe the way to achieve this is by finding the next product or a new secret technique but, sometimes less is more! The belief that all improvement takes is a little more work along with some extra blood and tears is a frame of mind that is prevalent within the lifting community but, just because some is good DOES NOT mean more is better. Sometimes it is not a lack of work that holds back progress but a lack of structured recovery, that is why today I wish to explore the importance of deloading and the place it should hold within your programming.
First things first, what classifies a deload and how should they be structured? A deload is defined as a pre-determined or self-regulated period (usually a week), in which your volume or intensity is titrated to...
When it comes to preparing for competition, I want my athletes to be as ready as they can be and this includes down to their preferred method of caffeine consumption (pending they are able to tolerate caffeine)
If unsure what their preferred approach is, I like to get my clients to test multiple methods around their training to help determine what works best for them.
Before we get into it, why would someone use caffeine to assist with performance? For starters, we experience the following benefits:
Physiological changes occurring following caffeine ingestion:
- Stimulation of areas of the brain and nervous system reducing tiredness and improving cognition
- Releases epinephrine, which is involved in increased performance and the fight or flight response
- Increased neuronal activity and excitability, improving motor performance and increasing the strength of muscle contractions
Some other potential benefits specific to performance and strength training:
For many athletes and coaches their programs and exercises within it are like a revolving door. As soon as a movement gives the slightest hint of stall or the pre-thought out 4 weeks has concluded, it seems there is a complete teardown and rebuild of the entire program's exercise selection.
It is a habit which can become an easy pitfall to slowly leak possible progression over time. This is the problem which i wish to attack in today's instalment of coach zac writes things on the internet, how often should a program change? How often should you change movements and when do you know it is the correct time to do so on a per athlete basis. WELL, keep scrolling to find out.
To set the precedence, for me how I would visualise a program at its base form, (which includes things like rep schemes, your main lift variations and your adherence to basic training principles) is like the foundation and scaffolding of a building. Before anything...