Anyone that knows me, knows I don’t like slackers, especially slacking off on my own training. Whether it be running my business or running my ass around the CrossFit box, I have to push.

And like most of us, I hate cheating reps. What’s the point of pushing that hard for that relatively short time if I don’t do it to the max.

I also REALLY get peeved if I know someone else is cheating reps. I’m working on that one…it really has nothing to do with me but it still gets my goat. I need to let that go. Yeah right.

However, no matter how hard I push, how well I diet or how careful I am about my sleep, there are physical realities that can’t be ignored: The older I get, the more I have to admit that if I’m going to stand a chance in hell at competing without handicapping my performances, then a) I need to take more time to recover, b) the active recovery has to be planned and scheduled and c) I gotta act smarter than I did when I was 20. “Age-as-excuse” just doesn’t compute for me but I can’t deny that recovery rates for a 20 year old caveboy are faster than for a 55 year old caveman like me.

Gawd I hate admitting that.

So, imagine my happy surprise to see a post from the awesomely awesome Mark Sisson: The Deload Week: What It Is, How to Do it, and Why It Might Help You Get Stronger.

Go check it out, fellow bloggites, and tell me what you think…Have you done this recently? Does it sound like sound advice? Or does it freak you out and make you say ‘WHIMP!’ if you do workouts that don’t make you throw up or shoot blood outa your eyeballs? Cuz if the last is true, you’d better rethink that attitude.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. kikerchef says:

    Good one! This really applies to me. I think as I approach 50 I see that recovery is not so quick. A trainer of mine used to say “Give yourself at least 24 hours”. Uh, I need more. He must’ve been talking about somebody else. Sure, I still end up in the gym 5 days a week on the average. Anybody who knows me, knows I gotta move! I’m sore in various places all week long. I bet I’d feel better if I took just a little more time to stop being sore. How rational of me.
    So interesting story.. I read this article a while ago and looked back on the last two weeks. I hurt my foot (minor injury) so I decided to do what the article said and took 1 1/2 weeks off. It’s not that bad. Nothing happened to my endurance or strength and I didn’t get fat. And isn’t that’s what we all think if we take that much time off? Now that I don’t have to worry about that, maybe I’ll be more likely to do this in the future.


  2. Jeffrey says:

    Thumbs Up!


  3. Narelle says:

    As I am 41 but come from both junior high level training to adult unfit over weight and very unhealthy background I struggle now with taking time off. However just before last comp I took three days off and well u know the results of that :))) and a week off in Bali I came back so strong rested and firing but I did feel that the whole week for me was two days too long it took me three training to get my breathe again just my personal experience I like somewhere in between


    1. ninjaneil says:

      Sometimes a short 3 day break is enough. A whole week does task the brain, though. I think the longer breaks should always include forms of active rest such as cycling, mountain climbing, rafting, hiking, swimming…activities that keep our minds busy, our body’s moving and our moods elevated. From experience, though it’s mentally hard to ignore the gym or the box for a period of time, it’s always accompanied by PR’s and breakthroughs in speed.


  4. Narelle says:

    Ps I dislike cheaters with a passion almost as much as I like to win


  5. I see what he is saying but for me it is difficult to sit around for a week and not go to ‘the box’ I enjoy working out. It is not only a health thing for me it is my stress release from many things in my life. Even though injury I will go and just scale or work on different areas. I’m sitting on the fence with this one, as in my case it is not always about the gains attributed to exercise.


    1. ninjaneil says:

      Neil: I tend to sit a bit in your camp, Ratty, though I’m also extremely motivated to make progress. Part of my problem is my need to “push to succeed”, a trait that’s pretty much genetic; ask my siblings. It’s a double-edged sword that I’m learning to harness. Mark’s article might be one way to help balance my approach but I don’t expect it to sit well in my head at first. I’ll keep you posted…


  6. Tash says:

    Neil – had a similar issue about 2 months ago working out right next to someone and going at the same rate exactly. Someone asked the other person’s score at quarter time (wierd wod) and they came up with a higher number than I knew was true. Got me cross for days!!! Made resolutions to ignore, workout on other side ox box, confront, shame. Then worked out it didn’t matter. I knew and that was enough. It is hard to look at the board at the end of the day sometimes but it is okay. Makes me slightly sensitive around that person!!!
    Re: that rest thing. Tis true. My brain doesn’t like de-loading but obviously good for you. My brain need someone else to tell me ( pen on whiteboard) when it is “rest” day!!! Perhaps our old brains and bodies are just stubborn?


    1. ninjaneil says:

      It really doesn’t matter does it, Tash? The purpose of the workout is to push our OWN limits. I totally get that a cheated score pisses us off but I try to remember the above.

      And you know what helps me get over it? 1) I’m getting in better shape and 2) knowing that if there is ever a judged competition with that individual, they haven’t actually trained hard enough and will get pipped.

      Is that petty? I don’t really care. That’s me. I’m complicated.


      1. Tash says:

        I too am complicated but also fitter and faster than ever before. Tx


      2. ninjaneil says:

        Job well done, then.


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