Barbell Medicine - From Bench to Bedside

By Jordan Feigenbaum MS, CSCS, HFS, USAW Club Coach, Starting Strength Coach

Ahhh, deload weeks…..the week(s) that EVERYONE hates (including me). In this installment I’m posting how I’m letting my athlete do a mini-deload. I call this a mini-deload because it’s not a full-on deload where we are transitioning to a new cycle. Rather, this deload is used to facilitate PR’s during the subsequent two weeks of training. Basically, during the previous three weeks we accumulated volume, intensity, and stress and now we need a mini recovery period to get fresh for the Realizationphase.

A lot of people claim that they feel weak and slow coming off a deload week. This is completely normal and also, this is the reason why we have two realization weeks coming up. The first week increases the intensity a bit and allows the athlete to get back in the swing of lifting heavy and training hard. The second realization week is for the athlete to set some big time PR’s!

So basically we’re taking everything back to 80%, adding in some GPP circuits for recovery, and some moderate intensity conditioning to get a lot of blood flow into the muscles and joints. Here is what it would look like:

 

    Week 4 Cycle 1- Deload Week

    1. Day 1
      1. Snatch up to 80% x 2 x 2
      2. Press up to 80% x 2  x 2
      3.  Assistance Circuit: 3 rounds x 15 of: pushups, pullups (strict), dips, DB curls
      4.  Row x 500m x 3 @ 1:40 pace
    2. Day 2
      1.  Off
    3. Day 3
      1.  Clean and Jerk up to 80% x 2 x 2
      2.  Back Squat up to 80% x 2 x 2
      3.  Assistance Circuit: 3 rounds x 10 of: Glute Ham raises, walking lunges (no weight), 1 minute plank, toes to bar
      4. Prowler walks x 100’ x 4
    4. Day  4
      1.  Off
    5. Day 5
      1. Snatch  x 1 x 5 up to 90% (no misses)
      2. Clean and Jerk x 1 x 5 up to 85% (no misses)
      3. Deadlift up to 80% x 2 x 2
      4. Assistance: 3 rounds of 15 kb swings, 25 reverse hypers, 15 body weight squats, 15 banded terminal knee extensions
      5. Prowler walks x 100’ x 4
    6. Day 6
      1. Off
    7. Day 7
      1.  Off

About Jordan Feigenbaum

Jordan Feigenbaum, owner of Barbell Medicine, has an academic background including a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Science in Anatomy and Physiology, and Doctor of Medicine. Jordan also holds accreditations from many professional training organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting, CrossFit, and is a former Starting Strength coach and staff member. He’s been coaching folks from all over the world  for over a decade through Barbell Medicine. As a competitive powerlifter, Jordan has competition best lifts of a 640lb squat, 430lb bench press, 275lb overhead press, and 725lb deadlift as a 198lb raw lifter.

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