Sunday 5th April & It’s my Deload week again Gymrats. Now that I am entering into my 8th month of my Wendler training & lifting over my training maxes, deload week couldn’t come quick enough for me. So glad that it is here! So let me tell you what has got me so hyped up…
WHAT IS A DELOAD?
Deload is an active break in training which usually lasts a duration of one week. It is there to allow muscular & neural recovery. Your Central Nervous System (CNS) cannot work day in day out beasting it in out in the gym. After a period of time, lifting heavy will eventually take its toll and run you down.
WHEN & WHY IS IT NECESSARY?
If you train day in and day out, week after week, month after month, you will notice that you will find yourself hitting a plateau or even worse, lose strength, find a dip in performance and a lack of motivation may occur and you will start to feel joint and muscle pains. This is a sign that your body is telling you that you need rest or even slow things down by lifting lighter.
Taking a week to do an active recovery or what we call “deload,” is a simple training method that will help you to move forward and progress without abandoning training all together. This deload allows your body, the muscles and your CNS to Repair, Recover, Rest and Refresh and will benefit your body by becoming stronger. This is an absolutely essential part of strength training and will help you in the long run.
HOW TO DELOAD PROPERLY
Don’t think that you don’t have to take a full week off from doing anything to deload but you should just take things easier and lift lighter. Planning deloads into your training, going light or listening to your body and taking weight off the bar on planned deload weeks will help to prevent fatigue & overtraining from killing your progress.
There are various ways you can deload;
- Decrease the number of sets for each exercise
- Decrease the reps
- Increase rest period
- Reduce volume down to between 20%-40% of your 1 max rep (Use lighter weight for each exercise)
Other things you can do to incorporate into your Deloads
Since I have been training the Wendler 531 way, a deload is included in the training program. During this periodization I have found it a good time to make little tweaks here and there in my various core lifts to optimise my performance. I look at hand and feet placement to the bar I am handling. Checking my cues when lifting, like tightening my lats and getting my body close to the bar on my sumo deadlifts. Breathing is another important cue as something as simple as exhaling and inhaling can produce optimal lifts. Trust me, I have seen quite a lot of people in the gym holding their breath and going blue in the face trying to lift heavy and not succeeding! Just learn to breathe dude!
Remember, You cannot constantly train beast mode 365 days a year, every year. You will definitely burn out and worst case scenario, you could injure yourself and set your progression and goals a whole lot further away and that is something you certainly do not want to happen!
You have nothing to lose by incorporating this helpful active method, sometimes you need to take a step back in order to progress and move forward.