deload weeks/off weeks

after going hard on the cns for a period of time (ie heavy lfiting/plyos olifts sprints etc)… is it best to take :
1.a full week off
2. A deload week with same amount of tempo but less volume fo hi cns work
3. a week with jsut tempos and general strength?

I was thinking of taking 7 days of all high cns work except some low volume plyos on 1 or 2 of the days (3x10 tuck jumps, 2x10 bounds)

and the rest of the days would be extentisve tempos (3000m total each ession at 75%) and GS

what do you guys think?

How many weeks/months have you been going? I usually don’t see much need for an entire week off of high int. work–in fact, I usually feel off when I go back. You could reduce the volume and frequency (ie, if you normally go 3x a week, maybe go 2x a week at lower volume if you really need a big deload).

If you feel like you need time off though, then you probably do.

I usually try to get one high CNS in during the week with slightly less intensity/volume than normal. That usually is enough that I feel ‘refreshed’ but also still not so long of a break that I am sore when I begin the next week’s training.

do you think its ok to do the same amount of tempo or even a little more during a deload week?

I would say switch one of your high intensity days with a tempo session and just take one of the other high intensity days off completely. Of course alot of this is subjective and you will have to judge it by how you feel you are recovering.

I agree with Davan. After an unloading week (with too much unload) it follows usually some days with the status set to “off”. Don’t know why to tell the truth. And this is my short experience.

This is of course looking not at the “small picture”. Zooming out, maybe the previous weeks were to hard (or better the directions of the stimuli weren’t given properly).
But,again i don’t know :slight_smile:

What is happening is you down regulate your CNS baseline status:your CNS is not “off” hopefully,it is only set to a lower level of activation.

Just doing perhaps 2 sets of speed work at 95% is enought to allow you to rebound. Sometimes you can even increase the volume slightly so long as the athletes don’t run too fast. In fact to make sure they don’t go too fast i sometimes tell them we are going to do more reps than we really do :smiley: ! Now that is sneeky!

by downregualting the CNS like that, does it give it a chance to recharge more effectively by the time it is back to a ‘higher setting’ if that makes sense?

Not really,that is just NOT the way our NS works.

Ok so the downregulating of the CNS has no benefits as such, it’s just a by product of allowing it to recover.

Yes,and note that such a recovery is only needed after OVER,or INAPPROPRIATE Stimulation has occurred,which your NS will openly let you know about.

Interesting comments- in light of this, how would you suggest one handle a deload week. How would it change depending on the level of the athlete?

It entirely depends on what has been done and what is to be done.
What do you mean more exactly?

I have never heard that a deload week causes downregulation of the CNS (I don’t feel entirely confident about what exactly that means- feel free to elaborate :smiley: ) and I am just interested in how that effects training. I have always been under the impression that deload weeks allowed you to recover and “recharge” your CNS to avoid over-reaching and that often one comes back better able to express their speed (or whatever it is they are training).

If (as I am assuming) that the downregulation of the CNS causes it to temporarily be less able to put out strong signals or high quality performances (a feeling of “flatness”) that one would be losing out on more effective training that they would be doing if they hadn’t caused a downregulation of their CNS since they have to allow their body to get back into the swing of doing the high intensity elements with high level of output from the CNS.

So I guess my question is: how do you allow for proper recovery of the athlete in order to maximize gains in performance without over-reaching/overtraining while avoiding the downregulation of the CNS that comes with a deload period? How does “what comes before and what comes after” affect how you handle this?


Interesting question and I would love to hear the answer also. Got to be a fine balance I guess, and a level of experience with the individual concerned, whether it be yourself or an athlete you coach.

I do not mean to answer your question by posing another question,but let me ask you:everybody talks about CNS Fatigue,and at least a couple of threads here were meant to discuss the topic at length,and did not produce a single definition of the phenomenon,but here we should start discussing CNS Recovery…WHAT IS CNS Recovery really?
We all are aware of the phenomenologies of “feeling of flatness”,as well as of “feeling recovered”,but what is really happening inside the organism that cause these?
Then,we may start discussing the how’s and why’s of any different training organization.

does anyone know of any studies relating to cns fatigue/recovery, recommended times to allow recovery. i have an assignment and an any academic references to this would be very useful. we all take it as minimum of 48 hours between high intensity cns taxing sessions, but are they any studies that show/support this?

This is a very good question. I had assumed CNS recovery was when the body felt that there is no further threat posed(ie. it is no longer receiving input that tells it to inhibit itself), and allows the body to operate as it did or slightly better depending on the level of supercompensation. Also, how much do you feel peripheral factors play into the amount of negative feedback?

As far as flatness/sluggishness due to inactivity. I am not exactly sure, but think that comes when there is too little stimulation, I think it is just because it is such a contrast compared to what the body is used to. Its kind of like those guys that have very stressful, competitive jobs and get bored during retirement. Once they retire, they don’t know what to do with themselves because they are accustomed to being busy. They feel sluggish just because they are unused to that level on unactivity. What are your thoughts on these topics?

Exactly along the lines of yours,apparently.
Your reference to the levels of stimulation as I understand it seems to mean what I was trying to point out referring to up and down regulations,and your question about peripheral factors is extremely pertinent,as it is right there that I feel a lot of misunderstanding of how’s and why’s of the functions of Nervous System is generated.
BTW,how much peripheral factors play into the amount of negative feedback? It depends ,of course,but I would say a lot…and they surely are to be considered no less than central ones in this regard.