If you’re working out hard month to month without taking many rest and recovery days then you may start to notice the following issues…
- Regular plateaus, not feeling like you’re progressing anymore
- Overuse injuries, feeling aches and niggles way more
- Lack of motivation for more of your workouts during the week
- Lackluster workouts, feeling like you just ain’t on your game
This is where a good deload comes in…
What is a deload?
A deload (usually a week) is a planned period of rest and recovery that’s designed to help you avoid the points listed above that come from constant intense workouts.
How do you do a deload?
- Deload your volume.
Reduce the amount of volume you do, but maintaining the intensity you normally use in your workouts. Do this by using the same weight you normally do, but reduce your overall SETS or REPS.
- Do a full deload.
Lower your total workout volume and intensity. Try reducing the usual WEIGHT you use by 50% as well as reducing your total sets and reps too.
- Take a full week off.
Some would happily take a full week off to recover while others wouldn’t. There’s no harm in allowing yourself a recovery week if you wanted too by only doing things like light cardio (walking etc.) or stretching/mobility.
When should you do a deload?
More advanced people may need to deload more often because they tend to either lift heavier as they’ve progressed over the years, or may do more advanced workouts than those new to working out.
- If you’re new to training, plan a deload week after every 8-to-10 weeks
- If you’ve been lifting weights for 1-to-3 years, plan a deload week after every 6-to-8 weeks
- If you’ve been lifting weights for 3-to-6 years or more, plan a deload week after every 3-to-6 weeks
Benefits of adding a deload into your routine.
Deload weeks also allow you to keep having productive workouts. By constantly training hard month to month, you’re bound to eventually reach a point where progress stalls and you plateau. By adding in a much needed deload week you’ll benefit your strength (building more muscle over time), allow your central nervous system to recover (which will give you more energy again) and it’ll also benefit any injuries or aches with tendons/ligaments too.
Train hard, recover harder!