01 Feb DELOAD – JUST DO IT!
Being in the gym and training isn’t primarily where the results are made. Our bodies grow and repair through rest and recovery and the more we are on top of that, the better prepared we are for the next training session.
When we train, we are basically breaking down our body so that it can rejuvenate and rebuild to be even stronger than it was before. The better our bodies rejuvenate, the more work our body is ready to handle.
If you are focused and consistent with your training, then you are probably pushing the limit every time you train – over a prolonged period of time this can be extremely taxing on the body and the mind.
This is where Deload weeks are an important part of the training cycle.
Deload weeks are basically a period of time when you reduce the volume and / or intensity in your training to give your mind and body greater opportunity to recover.
It usually ranges from a week to two and can be scheduled anywhere from every 3 week to 8 week intervals, depending on your training age and the intensity you are training.
Deload doesn’t necessarily mean taking time off and not training at all. During a deload period there could be a reduction in volume of training, for example instead of normally completing 10 total sets in a workout, you may only have to complete 5. There could be a reduction in total weight you’d be lifting, instead of lifting a total of 500kg you may only lift 300kgs. Or there could be a reduction in intensity, like lifting lower percentage weights relative to your 1 rep max or more moderate to easy efforts in your conditioning pieces.
A good training program should wave the intensity of the training sessions each week – this means that each week the training will get progressively more intense so that in the week prior to the deload you are lifting at, or close to maximally and really pushing your body for what it is worth.
If you have really pushed this boundary, then your body will be exhausted from the physical work and your mind will be exhausted from the focus you have implemented to get the most out of training. By this stage you will be GLAD to know that the deload week is just ahead.
So if you aren’t implementing deload weeks, it is probably a good idea to start scheduling them in now. Especially if you enjoy training and expect to do it long term or if you want your body to last a lifetime.