The taper week (AKA back off week). This is the week that your coach programmes weights and sets that you can do with your eyes closed… AND IT WILL DRIVE YOU MAD!!! I swear my athletes think I program things just to annoy them, the truth is the body needs time recover in order to work properly. You can’t keep pushing your body to 110% every hour of every day. Something will give.
Not sure what to do with your back off week? Here’s the answer.
1. Get stuff done that you keep putting off
Firstly, you’ll be in and out of the gym faster than ever in this week so utilise it as your chance to catch up on things. Go for that hike you’ve been putting off, have lunch with friends you haven’t seen (because we’re always training), do things you’ve been putting of or just get some fresh air and relax. This is the part of the program that we want to engage the rest and digest part of your nervous system so don’t go increasing your CrossFit workouts or add in something that creates stress.
2. Do extra mobility
You have more time and you need to relax. Go to a yoga class or two. Do some long mobility sessions at home. Sleep more. Do all of these things and it will help with the rest and digest elements that we aim for in this week and you’ll be moving better than ever when you hit the heavy weights again.
3. Focus on positions and speed
This week is perfect for working on getting minor kinks out of the way and getting faster. If your feet move slow and you aren’t very explosive with your actions, focus on that in this week and continue to implement what you learn as you start to ramp the load back up.
Overall, If you do too much on your back off week your body will adapt wrong and you won’t make the weight increases that you or your coach had hoped for. If you focus on positions and speed with light weights when you’re training and relax and mobilise while you’re away from the gym then the programme will go as planned and you will be hitting the numbers you were expecting to. If you catch up on life and enjoy the small things you will keep your sanity and the world will keep spinning for you.