There are instances during an athletes training program and competitive season (or off-season) where it may require adjustments. Without a HRV monitoring system (a way to determine if the athlete should go hard on that day) we won’t be 100% certain but if the person is going through a stressful point in their life (poor sleep, nutritional habits, relationship problems, major school issues etc…) it may be beneficial to make changes to the program to help them “feel good.”
There are a few methods that I have implemented with athletes who had long weekend tournaments (either before or after) and in my own training that have left me or the athlete feeling great afterwards. These are…
- Less total sets for that days work. Back off on 1 set for each exercise prescribed for that day
- Lower the intensity. If it calls for high intensity (>5 reps), practice good form still and try NOT to get close to a PR
- Perform a full body circuit but try to keep HR between 120-150. My favorite is to hit sets of goblet squats, swings, push ups, rows, and a light jog for 100 yards in circuit fashion with lighter weight for about 20 minutes
- Go through a full mobility circuit (think: warm-up) a few times through.
- Go for a walk, light jog, or elliptical session for 30 minutes (HR on lower end 120-140)
My favorite, by far, is doing mobility/full body circuits because I am the kind of person that wants to feel as though I lifted something instead of nothing on days where I feel like garbage. My typical light session go-to would be…
A1) KB swing (20kg) x 8
A2) Bodyweight Push Up x8 or Push Up w/ Rotation x 4/side
A3) Goblet or Double KB goblet squat with no more than 60 lbs x 6-8
A4) Row variation x 6-8
A5) Core movement
A6) Shuttle for distance 100-200 yards at easy pace
Rest until HR goes down to 120 or keep HR under 160 the entire time. Repeat until 15-25 mins is accomplished.