Load Management

I’ve placed this chapter first because I honestly believe it is the single most important thing you could change in your training tomorrow and see significant results. Strength takes time to build. Changing these things does not.

Consider your training week. Where are your hardest sessions? Where are your easiest sessions? Do you have easy sessions?

Below is one of my athlete’s training weeks:

We can see here an emphasis on more training towards the start of the week, followed by a rest day, another hard day’s training, and more rest. Let’s dive into this.

1)      Load the hard training together and towards the start of the week.

You can do more when you’re fresh after the weekend and you’re well fed and recovered. Take advantage of this and train hard at the start of the week. You can get away with several sessions like this, accumulating fatigue, before needing to take a rest…

2)      Rest following hard training days.

You NEED to recover from your training. This is both where adaptation takes place, you learn, and you prepare for the coming bouts of training. For this reason, I like to stack hard training days, followed by a full day off recovery day. This allows for a good push at the start of the week, and a good rest following, which allows for…

3)      Get the most out of the week.

You’re more than likely going to have some time to chill over the weekend. As a result of this, get more hard training in before the weekend comes, and you have a great chance to recover. You’ll see this reflected above in the hard Friday.

Truthfully there’s lots more scope for work in this athlete’s week but he has a job and doesn’t have the time for more training. However, through smart recovery, he’s able to get a semi-professional training volume in and still have plenty of time to recover and live/work in the week.

More Thoughts:

·         Aerobic Sessions are easy. You should, by definition, not be raising your heart rate above 75%. Therefore, these are easy 30 min sessions and can be completed anytime in the week.

·         Two sessions in a day constitutes a hard day, unless one of those sessions is aerobic work.

·         Keep easy days as easy days, light cardio at best. Use as carbohydrate refeed days.

·         Monitor your skills sessions. If they’re supposed to be light, technical sessions (you can have green days on the mat) then leave them as such and don’t have them ramp up to full send sparring sessions.

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