Deloading: Why And When You Should Do It

I’m currently on a weight lifting, peanut butter, and caffeine ban this week – GASP!! None of these were planned, it just kind of happened at once….and IT’S HORRIBLE. The exhaustion isn’t as severe as Monday so that’s a good thing, but it still takes a lot of energy to walk up a flight of stairs so my recovery is slow.

Let’s talk about de-loading. The fact is, you are only as strong as your ability to recover. Smart training should incorporate a planned deload, and I haven’t been smart about my training because this is my first true deload after a year of heavy lifting with increasing volume and intensity over the last 21 weeks.

After setting PRs each week for 6 weeks, my strength started to decline. What did I do? HYPERTROPHY TRAINING, BABY. Gettin’ swolle and increasing volume because I’m #TeamNoDaysOff, brah. I continued to train, ignored the constant soreness, and ended up in a training rut with low motivation.

Don’t do what I did!

Planned deloads are best (every 4-6 weeks), but if you haven’t and you’re feeling any combination of the following you need to ease up:
– Experiencing prolonged muscle soreness
– Low motivation to train and general fatigue
– Prolonged decrease in strength (2 weeks)
– Increase in appetite
– Prolonged feeling of oncoming sickness

There are several different ways to approach a deload week and it’s largely up to you:
1. Decrease volume and load (50% of each)
This is a great option for experienced lifters who go balls to the wall with their training. If you’re pulling 405lbs, going down to 202lbs is a frickin’ piece of cake.
2. Focus on bodyweight, mobility, and soft tissue work
Most people don’t get enough mobility and soft tissue work in, so now is the time for your connective tissues to heal and for you to become viscous (I used that word last week after rolling :D)
3.  Stay completely out of the gym, but remain active through biking, jogging, boarding, etc.
It’s still important to remain active and conditioned so that your muscles continue to get the oxygen it needs. Besides, do you really want to eat less poptarts?

 

Das it, mane.

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