Tag Archives: mrv

Why Goldilocks had it right.

I’m sure you’ve all heard or read the story of Goldilocks & the three bears.
She essentially goes after what is ‘just right’ in ever situation which is actually very inspired and quite clever.
Now it may seem like common sense to want to have what is just right, yet getting there is the issue.
Goldilocks didn’t know exactly how, yet she did in the end.
So, how did she do it?
It wasn’t by stumbling across it by accident.
That’s how a lot of people this they will find their own ‘just right’.
Oh no, first of all she went too far to one extreme, then way over to the other side in to another extreme, then when she found the middle point it became apparent that this was optimal.
Yep, the hidden moral of the story is that you sometimes need to explore the extremes to find the place in-between that is called optimal.
This is true for pretty much most things, so much so I will say it again.
Explore YOUR extremes then you will be able to know where to find optimal.
Take training volume for example; too much will cause you to you burn out or get injured, too little means no progress of even regression. Knowing both can help you find the point where it all comes together nicely and allows you to know how to program for your physiology.
Remarkably simple, yet often ignored.

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Do You Even De-Load?

Afternoon Guys,


You need to increase it to keep progressing, but too much and you will find yourself in a world of trouble because your body can only recover from so much before you need to take your foot off the fas pedal. This is what;s known as a planned de-load, these usually work well at the end of a training block (4-12 weeks), or even after every 3 weeks of ‘hard’ training and will allow you to take some stress off the nervous system and reduce your overall else of fatigue. 

The 3 week increasing intensity followed by the 1 week de-load is quite popular in many programs written by some top strength coaches/athletes, the likes of which include Charles Poliquin, Jim Wendler, Christian Thibaudeau, Louis Simmons (well, he is more along the lines of not training the same movement at 90% intensity for more than 3 week), the list could go on but these are only a couple of examples.

I have known people to try and train at their top end intensity for extended periods of time and end up digging a hole that they struggle to recover from. Thus stalling their potential progress and in some cases regressing it.


If you have been tracking your total volume a de-load is a simple case of knocking you last total load down by a percentage that allows you still stay neurologically ready but reduces the fatigue. For example; you could reduce the total volume by up to 50%, meaning if your average amount of sets per movement was 20 per week you might only do 10 with a varying intensity (say working up to a double at 90% for example, you’d still keep the feeling of lifting the heavy weight but you’d greatly reduce the overall stress and aid recovery/adaptation).

It is true that some people can handle lighter de-loads than others, and place them farther apart because they have a higher MRV (maximum recoverable volume), but you’re not ‘some people’ you will need to take a specific approach and establish your INDIVIDUAL needs to the number, no guess work. If you can handle more volume and only need a reduction every 8 weeks then great, go for it, just be sure that’s the case. Don’t dig a hole in you can’t get out of without a complete rest week.

Now go and sit down with a pen/paper and work out what YOU need to do.


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