De-loading: The Best Week of your Life

Over the past week, apart from being extremely busy, I performed my first ever de-load week. For those of you that are unaware of what a de-load week is, our friends at bodybuilding.com have a perfectly reasonable definition at hand:

“A de-load is a planned reduction in volume or intensity, whose purpose is to allow the body to dissipate accumulated fatigue, allow you to fully recover and prepare you for further gains.”

The goal of de-loading is to allow you to become stronger, faster and bigger by putting in a week of active recovery in your workout plan. A de-load week is better than taking whole rest week because de-loading allows you to keep making progress as a lifter without abandoning training altogether for a week. Besides from this, it is recommended that you do some physical activity regularly throughout the week. Were you really going to do nothing all week?! (I’m shocked if you said yes).

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Some of the biggest benefits of de-loading

  • Allowing your central nervous system to recover from fatigue.
  • Reduce the risk of overtraining.
  • Allow you to take your mind off lifting heavy for a short period of time

And most of all:

  • Prepare you for more gains!

How to de-load properly

  • Do your normal routine workout with half the weight you currently work at.
  • Or: Use the same weight but DRASTICALLY decrease the volume i.e. the number of reps you perform the exercise at.
  • Focus on refining the form of your major lifts and isolating exercises.

And finally:

  • Enjoy the week! Do something you may not regularly do in the gym. I myself have rarely used a medicine ball to train, but last week I did a couple of balance exercises using it.

Photo Credit:
http://tonygentilcore.com/2012/01/the-deload-week-and-why-you-should-use-it/

http://www.crossfitready.com/2014/06/wendler-deload-week/

Bulking on a Budget

It is often said that the road to six-pack abs or buns of steel starts in the kitchen. Here we’ll be giving you a couple of tips to help you on your way, and how you can do it on a budget!

Location matters

There is a lot of emphasis around in the media at the moment around so called “high quality meat” and food in general, but what does it actually mean for you and your pocket? Well first we’ll start by saying that there’s never been any real scientific evidence that suggests that organic food is better for you or that GM food will harm you. So you can look away from that £10 chicken breast and not be afraid to take a peek at the own brand food that’s on offer from Aldi or Lidl.

Trying not to cheat

It can be tempting in between meals to open up a bar of chocolate and nibble on it. But by doing that you are only cheating yourself. Try to stick closely to the foods you should be eating, believe us when we say the rewards will outweigh the hardship. (Don’t worry, a cupcake every once in a while won’t kill you.)

And now onto the most important part, the most essential foods that will give you the most nutritional value for your money.

Whole Chicken

A whole chicken is not only economic, but is also a great way to obtain a lean source of protein and energy. Every part of a whole chicken can be used towards your daily meals – you can even use the bone to make chicken stock.  Some upmarket stores will charge a higher amount for “improved quality”, but as always its up to you. The price of a medium sized chicken is only £3 a kilo.

Ground Beef

In terms of bulking foods, beef is the winner. It’s easy to prepare, doesn’t leave any food wasted and can be bought for a good price. In addition, beef mince has a large number of cooking possibilities. Beef mince will cost around £4 per kilo.

Tuna

Tuna is an excellent lean source of protein. To make things even better, it’s usually a case of opening a tin of tuna and eating it straight from the can. No mess, no fuss. Depending on the type of branding of tuna bought, tuna can be bought for as little as £1.00 per can.

Oats

The key to a perfect breakfast is oats. When added to water or milk, oats blend to make the perfect breakfast. What makes oats even better is the range of foods you can put into a bowl of oats. Common additions include bananas, cinnamon and honey. Oats can be bought at a dirt cheap price. A kilo’s worth will cost about £1. Excellent value.

Oats

Rice

Long grain rice is our carbohydrate of choice, and is a fantastic accompaniment to meat. Rice is one of the best carbs around for digestion, gaining mass and cutting. Rice is best bought in bulk, and will cost around £6 for 5kg of long gain goodness.

And that’s it! Let us know about some of your favourite recipe/bulking choices in the comments below!

 

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.rinzlermeats.com/html/chicken.html

http://test.transformationisbelieving.com/?page_id=1239

http://fillyourplate.org/blog/50-things-oats/