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After 12 weeks of working ridiculously hard, my body has started to breakdown.  While I am a highly conditioned athlete, I’ve always been more of an endurance athlete than a max strength/explosive athlete and the type of strength training I’ve been doing has been a shock to my body.  The benefit of this is that I’ve made huge gains rather quickly.  The negative is that after 12-14 weeks of putting in serious max strength based training, my body has started to breakdown.  My left shoulder has some for of an impingement which has led to a pinched nerve in my neck as well.  I’ve also reached a point where my body just generally feels tired and broken down.  With that being said, I’ve realized that I simply need to give my body some form of a break from heavy lifting.  This rest period will allow me to recover, work on some mobility issues, and ultimately increase my performance when I come back.

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Taking a break week or even a break cycle can be really beneficial.  It’s a big reason why most training programs range between 8-12 weeks before we change them anyway.  For the next 10 days, until Monday, March 31, I’m not going to touch a weight.  This doesn’t mean that I’m going to just sit around, it only means that I’m taking a break from my strength training.  This roughly 10 day period away from weights will give my joints time to recover, while I work on mobility and cardio.  Over the next 10 days my workouts will consist of a mix of the following:

  • Foam Rolling: I will be foam rolling every single day.  15-20 minutes and total body.
  • Stretching:  Both dynamic and static stretching will be done every single day for 15-20 minutes
  • Running:  I will be running at least 5 days a week ranging from 3-7 miles.  For most people this may be a lot, however with my running background I’m not worried about the impact work.  My body is conditioned for it, and to be honest, all of my strength training has caused me to neglect my running.
  • Swimming: I will swim at least 4 times over the next 10 days between 800 – 1,500 meters.  Swimming will give me a chance to get in both non-impact cardio, as well as some anaerobic conditioning.
  • Yoga:  I will do yoga, to some level, at least 3 times over the next 10 days.  Yoga, much like swimming, has both a strength and recovery benefit.  Strength comes from holding positions, and the recovery aspect (as you’d expect) centers around working on my flexibility.
  • Massage: Believe it or not, massages are an extremely important part of the recovery phase and I will get 2 over the next two weeks

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Just a quick reminder about diet.  Because I will not be putting in the strength work that I was before, I’m going to have to adjust my diet accordingly.  I have been eating about 3800-4500 calories a day for the past 3 months as part of my program, spread across 5-8 meals a day.  For the next 2 weeks, however, I’ll only be consuming about 2500-3500 calories a day, with very minimal fat and carbohydrate intake.  I don’t want to get fat or soft while I’m not lifting – I simple want to allow my body to recover.

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The last thing that I’m going to attempt to do, to aid in the the recovery process, is get my sleep patterns correct.  This means trryyingggg to passout at a normal out 11-12 at night and waking up earlyish, 6am, everyday.  Getting into a consistent sleep cycle is not just important for recovery, but also for performance.  Everything is about finding some level of consistency.

So that’s it, I’ll see everyone on March 31st to begin our Summer Shred Programming.

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