"What the hell is a deload?"
This is a quote from one of my all-time American weightlifters, Jon North. Jon was just making the point that athletes at his level rarely drop training volume, intensity or frequency (which, for all of you that are unsure, is what a deload is - a period of training in which the amount or intensity of your training is reduced compared to the norm).
This does beg the question, however, of whether or not general population athletes should plan deload weeks in order to avoid burn-out, mitigate injury risk and perhaps enhance training outcomes.
A recent study has investigated this issue and has come to the conclusion that planned deloads (reducing training volume and/or intensity at prescribed intervals) did not actually lead to any of those outcomes are were likely unecessary.
However, they were not opposed to deloads all together. They did find some benefit in taking a deload period when athletes instinctively felt rundown or burnt out.
You can read the details of this research HERE
Good news for all you pizza with extra cheese lovers out there.
A recent study in the journal of nutrition has show that cheese ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis during recovery from exercise.
A few things to keep in mind. The study was performed on healthy, young men who did not report any allergies or sensitivities to dairy. Secondly, there was no claim that cheese/dairy protein ingestion was superior to other dairy proteins when it came to muscle gains, simply that it was as effective.
If you want to read all the details you can find the study HERE.
There is a time to maximize the things you are good at and a time to explore and improve the skills that you suck at.
The time for both of those things is right now.