Ashman – how I know when I need to deload

Others like to have a pre-programmed deload but I like to push it until my body tells me it’s time to take a back-off week.

Why do I do that? The human body is not a static template, we are dynamic. Some people do well with a very rigid and structured format; I tend to play it by ear but have an idea of where I want my training to go for the day and week.

This is not ideal for everyone, and I never have my clients do this, but for my mentality, my goals and my life this works out great for me.

It is about improving, having fun and being better than I was last year.

At 40 and with a 20+ year history of violent sports, strongman, reckless actions in my sports and several injuries I take each bit of progress with a grain of salt and enjoy the ride.

This is why I like the idea of a dynamic deload for myself. There are times I can go 4-5 weeks pushing it and there are times when 2 weeks in a row of solid work makes me want to back off.

I take advantage of that in the best way I can and program accordingly.

Again, this is not the best thing for everyone, but for me and my goals it is working so far.

Wed 21 Jan

** Dimel Deadlift **
– 225.0 lbs x 10 reps
– 275.0 lbs x 20 reps
– 275.0 lbs x 20 reps
– 275.0 lbs x 20 reps

** Smith Machine Row **
– 135.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 225.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 225.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 225.0 lbs x 12 reps

** Sumo Barbell Shrugs **
– 225.0 lbs x 15 reps
– 225.0 lbs x 15 reps
– 225.0 lbs x 15 reps

** Inverted Row **
– 10 reps
– 10 reps
– 10 reps

—-

Fri 23 Jan

** Neutral Chin Up **
– 5 reps
– 5 reps
– 5 reps
– 5 reps

** Lat Pulldown **
– 150.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 150.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 150.0 lbs x 12 reps

** Lateral Dumbbell Raise **
– 50.0 lbs x 25 reps
– 20.0 lbs x 15 reps
– 50.0 lbs x 25 reps
– 20.0 lbs x 15 reps
– 50.0 lbs x 25 reps
– 20.0 lbs x 15 reps

This was done in the partial/full rep superset as made popular by John Meadows. It is a delt scorcher and it works.

** Straight Bar Push down **
– 145.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 145.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 145.0 lbs x 12 reps

** KB Curls **
– 25.0 lbs x 20 reps
– 25.0 lbs x 20 reps
– 25.0 lbs x 20 reps

Sun 25 Jan

Deload starts this week as I feel I need one.

** SSB Squat **
– 160.0 lbs x 5 reps
– 160.0 lbs x 5 reps
– 250.0 lbs x 3 reps
– 250.0 lbs x 3 reps
– 250.0 lbs x 3 reps

** Goblet Squat **
– 90.0 lbs x 15 reps
– 90.0 lbs x 15 reps
– 90.0 lbs x 15 reps

** Seated Leg Curl Machine **
– 135.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 135.0 lbs x 12 reps
– 135.0 lbs x 12 reps

This entire week will be light and easy for me as I ramp up training and intensity next week while adding more work to the bodyparts I need to work on.

I compare myself to old pics of me and I see a difference in arms, delts and quads that I am not happy with.

Time to adjust on the fly.

We are a block of granite which we mold into what we deem acceptable to ourselves, it is the coach’s job to mold that block, it is the trainees job to mold it.

If your goal is pure strength, it is your job to use your tools to mold yourself into a strong machine.

My goal is always a balance of strength and aesthetics and I tread a line between both as much as I can.

If my numbers increase, I am happy. I also want those numbers to increase as I attempt to improve how I look from year to year. It’s not an easy process to keep improving as you get older and with each year you have to be honest with yourself as to what you need to work on.

Not everyone is able to be honest with themselves to that degree, which is why coaching is so damn important.

Hire one if you need help. Some of the best lifters and bodybuilders on this planet work with coaches.

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