While we would all love to believe that we could go to the gym and operate at maximum efficiency and power for months on end, we know that this simply isn’t possible. You get stronger by recovering from exercise. Feel like you're stuck in a rut with your training or your numbers in the gym have plateau? I urge you if you aren't already to incorporate a de-load week into your training programme.
What is a deload week?
A deload week, as the name implies, is a week of training in which you still go to the gym to workout, but the intensity and volume of your workouts are far easier to manage. A deload week is a scheduled reduction in the total intensity and/ or volume of your workouts.
Why have a deload week?
The purpose of a deload week is as an opportunity to prepare the body for the increased demand of the next phase or period, and to mitigate the risk of overtraining. The sole purpose of the deload week is to give your muscles and joints time to rebuild, heal and grow stronger. A properly planned deload week allows your connective tissue to repair plus restores testosterone and cortisol levels. Furthermore, a deload week gives your mind the chance to take things easy for a week and get away from the intensity that consistently tough workouts can cause.
If done correctly, you should return from a deload week with a properly adapted, well-rested, stronger and more focused body—which equates to new personal bests and new levels of stimulus, making the process start all over again.
How to perform a deload week?
If looking to perform a deload week I would recommend doing one every 4 - 6 weeks of your training programme. This is what I have found works the best for me and has seen me break through a number of plateau and reduce physical and mental fatigue.
Do your normal routine and normal sets & reps but reduce the weight you use to about 50-60% of what you normally work out with for each exercise.
Alternatively you can use the same weight as you normally would, but drop your number of total volume (sets x reps) to 50-60% of your normal volume.
Use light weight and focus on refining your form and technique
Help and Advice
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