So what is on the training plan for Adam this week after his 1620lb. performance last week? Exactly what you see here…..rest. This doesn’t seem to be a commonly held belief, but barring a quick turnover for another meet, I have all my athletes take the week off following a meet. I have them do this for two reasons:
1.) The body takes a beating through all the training leading into a meet. Weeks upon weeks of hard training creates wear and tear on the joints that just cannot be fully recovered unless you just take a break at some point to allow a decrease in inflammation. While this may be an unpopular belief, the only thing that will suffer is short term progress. In the long term, which is what most of us should be focusing on, a week off is going to pay its dividends years down the road when you are still lifting, healthy, and making progress.
2.) The first reason was physical, but the second reason is mental. Powerlifting can be monotonous. As powerlifters we thrive on motivation and passion. If we never have a chance to “miss” lifting though, this motivation and passion tends to dissipate, and that grind turns into something we have to do versus love to do. I usually find that if people hop right back into training after a meet, they get into a rut and find themselves bored. This is especially true when volume/hypertrophy cycles are usually following a meet and the progression of strength is not the main goal at that time. But give them a week off, and by that next Monday they are begging to get at back at it.
While I won’t argue that this is a make or break choice, I think its definitely wise to give yourself a break after a hard and long training cycle leading up to a meet. You’ll usually find that you feel rejuvenated and ready to go once training resumes, and the following training blocks are more productive because of it.