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Speed Week

193 pounds just didn’t work for me. That was the peak of my weight with CrossFit Football, a dramatic 13-pound change in just seven weeks. I put on 10 pounds of pure muscle, and 3 pounds of fat. My body fat inched up a bit. I loved the strength gains, the way I pulled 385 on the deadlift 5 times with smooth comfort, and my big jumps in the back squat. But my mobility suffered. My endurance suffered. Climbing 2 flights of stairs got me a bit gassed. Walking 2 miles to work was a chore. My hips got stiffer than usual. I snored for the first time in ages. Read the last paragraph from Mark Sisson’s post today – he had the same experience trying to put on muscle.

So contrary to every instruction of John Welbourn and others about not messing with the protocol, and not doing *anything* to mess with the beauty of the narrow window of linear progression, I’m doing a deload week. Now, deloading can be done in many different ways. It’s meant to give you a mental and physical break from heavy weightlifting, and it’s encouraged by most workout programs, most notably Jim Wendler and his 5-3-1 protocol. He recommends 3 days of light lifting at 50-60% of the usual weight lifted, with the same exercises done as during training. Welbourn doesn’t program deloads into CF Football, arguing that life programs its own deloads — vacations, long work hours, stresses, etc. Some people don’t exercise, period, during their deload week.

But my goals are different. I want to drop a bit of this weight, while still maintaining as much of my strength as possible. Now what’s the fastest way to burn fat? Sprint interval training (running hills), with lots of low-intensity cardio (walking, swimming), and relatively low carbohydrates (50-100g/day). So that’s my plan. Some sort of walking or swimming everyday for 30 minutes, hill sprints 4-5 times this week, as much sleep as possible, and keeping the diet clean and as close to traditional Paleo as possible. My goal is to drop 5 pounds before I get back to lifting, just so I don’t end up super-immobile and super-stiff. I’d still like to get my squat up to 300, deadlift up to 500, and my press/clean up to bodyweight.

How long should I keep this thing going? Well, next week, my mom’s in town, which means no meat allowed in the house. So my major protein sources are going to be eggs (30-40g a day), cheese/yogurt (another 20g), and a lot of whey protein (this could be nice for my post-lifting meals). And don’t forget the carbs. Rice and lentils, plenty of cheat meals as I take my mom out to different restaurants (burritos, pizza, cupcakes). I feel like heavy weightlifting absolves more eating sins than does walking/cardio.

Next time: 7-8 weeks of numbers = time for data analysis! Charts and spreadsheets galore!

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