This week was a deload week for me, or what I sometimes call a contrast week. If you think about it for a moment, what’s the purpose of a traditional deload week? Recovery, right? So if that’s the case, you need to look at what you need to recover from, and then do less of that thing for a week.

 

 

Two Questions That Arise

  1. “What do I mean my “less”? and…
  2. “Does that mean I do less of everything?”

 

Regarding the first question, “less” can mean at least two things: it can mean less volume or less intensity. The question is, assuming you’re beat up and need a break, are you beat up from heavy weights, or are you tired from just doing a shit-ton of total work? Whatever the answer is, it reveals what you need a break from, so do the opposite type of work for your contrast week.

 

READ: Deloading 101: What Is a Deload and How Do You Do It?

 

If you’re a powerlifter and you do a lot of heavy singles, doubles, and triples, then your contrast week might involve some high-rep bodybuilding-style training. If you’re a bodybuilder, maybe you should training more like a powerlifter for a week.

 

"The question is, assuming you’re beat up and need a break, are you beat up from heavy weights, or are you tired from just doing a shit-ton of total work?"

Generally speaking, your contrast week should involve less overall training volume than usual, since volume tends to be the biggest culprit in compromised recovery. In my case, my normal weekly volume is between 50,000-60,000lb, and my volume this week was about 30,000lb.

 

The contrast week can also be used as a time to work on things your training schedule normally doesn’t permit, or things you should be doing but usually don’t because time and energy are tight - things like mobility work, cardiovascular training, and so on.

 

RELATED: 5 Ways to Better Your Mobility Work

 

One last about the contrast week (or deload if you still insist on calling it that) - rest needs to be deserved in order to be profited from. So make sure the three weeks preceding the deload are sufficiently challenging. If, for whatever reason, your normal training isn’t particularly strenuous, there’s no need for an easier week of training.

 

This Week’s Training

I did manage to hit some fairly good singles on a few key lifts this week, and I’m still feeling healthy - no real orthopedic issues at all, which is nice to say given that I’m now back into working on the Olympic lifts.

 

"Generally speaking, your contrast week should involve less overall training volume than usual, since volume tends to be the biggest culprit in compromised recovery."

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t really buckled down to doing the mobility work that I’m intent on doing this year. I have done some, but I need to step it up a bit more. I’m focused on working my weaknesses in 2015, which in my mind are thoracic and shoulder mobility, as well as tricep, quad, and glute development.

 

RELATED: Varying Squat Stance for Quad Development (Athlete Journal 121)

 

That’s all for now, folks. Enjoy the videos and keep those comments and questions coming!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 31,411 lb (Last Week: 57,207 lb)

 

Significant Lifts:

 

  • Power Snatch 154x1
  • Low Bar Squat 365x1
  • Clean and Jerk 185x1
  • Close Grip Bench Press: 225x1

 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bodyweight: 199.6 lb

Volume: 8121 lb

 

Power Snatch

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 88 lbs × 3

Set 3: 88 lbs × 3

Set 4: 110 lbs × 3

Set 5: 132 lbs × 2 (Video Below)

Set 6: 154 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 88.29

 

 

Low Bar Squat

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 95 lbs × 5

Set 4: 135 lbs × 5

Set 5: 185 lbs × 2

Set 6: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 275 lbs × 1

Set 8: 315 lbs × 1

Set 9: 350 lbs × 1

Set 10: 365 lbs × 1 (Video Below)

Notes: IQ: 138.88

 

 

Trap Bar Deadlift

Set 1: 315 lbs × 3

Notes: IQ: 315

 

45° Back Extension

Set 1: 120 lbs × 10

Set 2: 120 lbs × 10

Notes: IQ: 120

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bodyweight: 201.2 lb

Volume: 15,280 lb

Average Weight Per Rep: 193.41 lb

 

Clean and Jerk

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 65 lbs × 3

Set 3: 65 lbs × 3

Set 4: 95 lbs × 2

Set 5: 115 lbs × 2

Set 6: 135 lbs × 1

Set 7: 155 lbs × 1

Set 8: 175 lbs × 1

Set 9: 185 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 88.68

 

Deadlift

Set 1: 185 lbs × 2

Set 2: 185 lbs × 3

Set 3: 225 lbs × 3

Set 4: 275 lbs × 1

Set 5: 315 lbs × 1

Set 6: 365 lbs × 1

Set 7: 405 lbs × 1

Set 8: 455 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 262.69

 

1/2 Front Squat

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 5

Set 5: 225 lbs × 5

Set 6: 225 lbs × 5

Notes: IQ: 151.66

 

Back Extension

Set 1: +130 lbs × 17 (Video of this entire session with commentary below)

Notes: IQ: 130

 

 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bodyweight: 200.2 lb

Volume: 8,010 lb

Average Weight Per Rep: 151.13 lb

 

Close Grip Bench Press (Pinkies On Rings)

Set 1: 95 lbs × 10

Set 2: 135 lbs × 10

Set 3: 185 lbs × 3

Set 4: 205 lbs × 1

Set 5: 225 lbs × 1

Set 6: 185 lbs × 5

Notes: IQ: 140.33

 

Bench Press (Dumbbell)

Set 1: 160 lbs × 10

Set 2: 200 lbs × 5

Notes: IQ: 173.33

 

Seated Row

Set 1: 150 lbs × 8

Notes: IQ: 150

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done in his workout sessions.

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