The Importance of De-Training

Explanation/What is Detraining?:

A temporary reduction in training volume, intensity and duration to allow the body to fully restore, recover and supercompensate itself.


The typical T-Rex prep program involves high volume and several high intensity principles that can place a large demand on the body’s recovery ability. Combine this with a calorie and/or carb-controlled diet, there is potential to occasionally slip into an overtrained state which is counterproductive to our goals. Although it can be a tough concept for some athletes to grasp,  it’s essential to take some time to scale back on your training for a week about twice during a 16-20 week prep to allow for a FULL physiological recovery of the muscles, hormones, enzymes and central nervous system. The body will never be as full, dense or as shredded while in an overtrained state so don’t think of this as being lazy. Think of it as training smart. Doing an entire prep without allowing for this full recovery will result in slow progress, sticking points and minor sicknesses and injuries.

When to do it:

I typically recommend performing two de-training weeks in a 16-20 week prep, typically around the midpoint (9 weeks out) and another before moving into the final phase of the prep at around 4-5 weeks out.

How to do it:

-Each workout should consist of no more than 15 sets per workout including warm-up sets.

-Each workout should be done in under 60 minutes. Ideally 45 minutes.

-Rest between sets should be around 1:30-2 minutes (more than normal)

-Typically, each exercise should consist of a total of 3 sets, including the warm up. So do a warm-up set of about 15-20 reps, a moderate set in the 12-15 range and then one heavy, challenging set in the 8-12 rep range to failure (upper body example). If it was lower body, go with warm-up in the range of 25-30, moderate set in the range of 20-25 and a heavy set in the range of 15-20 to failure.

-Do not perform any drop sets, supersets, forced reps or any other beyond failure high intensity techniques. Just take the third set t of failure and that’s it.

-You should get a pump during this workout and use weights that are close to your max on that 3rd set.

-We are reducing the volume, but keeping intensity up on one set.

Other/Things to remember:

-Keep the diet the same, do not change it. This is not a week to eat whatever you want.

-Speak to your coach about a cheat meal for this week

-Continue with all supplements

-If you are doing HIIT cardio, you can reduce the total number of intervals you are doing. So if you typically do 7 or 10 all-out intervals. You can do 3-5. This will go in hand with the training.

You’ll never get your body to do what you want it to if it’s chronically overtrained and worn out. Train all out for the majority of your prep and allow a few weeks of detraining and you’ll see how much easier it is for your body to cooperate with you.

Coach Sean

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