Shhh. Did you hear that? That gentle “thunk” was the sound of my shoulders dropping by several inches, from up around the region of my ears back to where they ought to be. Aaaand relax.
Coach has given me a deload week. I knew it was on its way but didn’t know it would start today. The relief! It’s partly physical – I’ve been working damn hard and need a break – and largely mental. Bodybuilding training is hard work, and sometimes the easiest part is the bit you do in the gym. The rest of it is what takes its toll: planning, prepping, thinking, overthinking, rethinking, and trying to fit the rest of your life in around it all.
When you take into account time spent driving to and from the gym (I train both at a gym which is a few minutes’ walk from my house, and at one which is a 30 minute drive away), time spent training, showering, etc, I’ve essentially just been handed 10+ hours, all gift-wrapped with a tag which says “Dear Nicola, please use these over the next week in any way you wish, as long as it’s restful”.
Thunk. That was my shoulders dropping a bit further.
I do love a good list, even when things are meant to be unplanned. So, here is my Deload Week List of Things I’d Really Like to Do If The Mood Strikes (<—- catchy!)
- extra long walks with the dog, listening to podcasts or audio books
- baking (for my husband, not for me – yes, I find that restful. Husband, I know you’re reading this, any baking requests?)
- catch up with neglected loved-ones over Skype and phone (shamefully, this includes my own parents and my best friend)
- redeem Groupons (I am a hoarder of Groupons, etc and stockpile things like facials, manicures and other fripperies for occasions like this)
- get a sports massage (this is a definite. As is the phoning of the parents!)
- catch up on blogging (I owe a lot of nice PRs their product reviews!)
- and the ultimate, the big kahuna, the daddy of them all: the DuvetD Day. Don’t know what a DuvetD Day is? It’s a day (ideally) or an evening (poor man’s version) where you go and get a load of DVDs, get the duvet off the bed, make a nest out of duvet, cushions, pillows and living room furniture, ensure drinks and food are close at hand and then hibernate for hours. I think I last did a DuvetD Day in….erm….2007 or something.
I’m already missing training (crazy, I know, but I’m sure any of you who have had enforced rest days or weeks will know what I mean) but that’s just one more example of why deload weeks are so important. They give your body time to rest (and grow!) and your mind time to unravel, regroup and get ready to hit the next block of training even harder.
Do you take deload weeks? What would you do with 10+ “bonus” hours? Which DVDs should I get out of Blockbusters?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.