Hey 6 Week Bootcampers: We're officially halfway to our goal! For this week's Week 4 Circuit Workout, we're still changing up the moves a bit, but you may notice that the difference in difficulty isn't quite as significant as it was with last week's workout. That's because ETC is designed with an "unloading" week. I wasn't familiar with this concept, but it's incredibly important—and so interesting.
Here's the gist: Just as taking a rest day once a week is important, taking a full week of "recovery" every three to four weeks is also smart. But that doesn't mean you have to sit back and do nothing during that week.
It's just like with running. Many experts recommend that you take arecovery week after a few weeks of increasing intensity. For instance, a typical running training plan might have you up your mileage each week by 10 percent for three weeks, and then scale it back by 20 to 30 percent for one week (rather than not running at all).
Simply scaling back your strength routine for one week after three "heavy" weeks of building upon your progress can help you return even stronger,studies say. The concept is similar to tapering before a race or strength competition—taking that rest can help you perform at your best on the big day even though it may seem counterintuitive. An "unload" week also helps ward off burnout, whether mental or physical (think overtraining injuries) and helps your body to prepare for the next three weeks of progressively tougher work.
Got all that? Good! Now get going with this week’s slightly less intense strength training circuit workout. You're gonna love it—and be super thankful for it when week 5 rolls around!