[i]Originally posted by pete[/i]
Mike, I think you wrote before that one possible way to do an unloading week would be to cut out some of the low intensity days and just use them as off days? I didn’t really understand this since it was my belief that a low intensity day like CF tempo or the strength/MB circuits you use at LSU actually helped recovery.
I think we might have a misunderstanding. I remember the thread you are speaking of and I was offering several options for unloading….that is just one of at least 3 that I named….it doesn’t mean that it would be the best for all situations. In fact, that is most often used during unloading weeks that are also test weeks. The field tests that take place in those weeks over 2-3 days may actually increase the intensity of the week relative to previous weeks so to still allow for supercompensation, some of the lower intensity work is replaced by passive recovery (days off). The central question then focuses on what appears to be a contradiction when I say that low intensity days facilitate recovery and the fact that I don’t have a problem taking them out of recovery / unloading weeks.
The key here is that while I do think high volume / low-intensity work facilitates recovery, I don’t think it’s from an acute standpoint. That is, in my opinion (and several studies support this) one low-intensity session (by itself) won’t have a more significant effect on an athlete’s recovery than if one were to do nothing at all on that day. Having said that, I do think that a steady and continuous diet of high volume / low-intensity days over the course of 4 or more weeks will produce beneficial changes in an athlete’s hormonal profile which will facilitate recovery. So summing all that up, I don’t think missing one or two low intensity days will have any effect at all on recovery if they are replaced with passive (no activity) rest, rather, it is the training effect produced by prolonged exposure to intermittent higher volume / low-intensity work which will allow the body to recover faster.