One advanced concept that you should be considering adding to your workout program regime is the deloading week. As you go about pushing the performance barrier, your body is going to need this more than ever and it can help to stop overtraining in its tracks.
If you’ve done any research at all, you know very well that should overtraining start to occur, you’re on a one way path to frustration.
Let’s go over what you should know about deloading.
WHAT IS DELOADING
Deloading is basically taking your usual workout program and cutting back on both the weight lifted as well as the volume performed.
If you normally squat 150 pounds for instance, doing 4 sets per workout, you would take that back to squatting only 100 pounds, doing 1-2 sets total.
Basically, you are taking an active rest break. You aren’t actually leaving the gym entirely, but you aren’t pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion any longer either.
This allows you to maintain the training stimulus, while still gaining the additional recovery time during the deloading week.
For those who hate taking full weeks off from the gym, this is a perfect strategy to get around that. Note this doesn’t mean you should never break from the gym, but if you want to deload every 8-10 weeks, you can reduce your total rest breaks each year to around 1-2 instead of the typical week off after every 10-12 week cycle.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
As you go about implementing this deloading week, there are some important points to remember. First, you must make sure that you don’t cut back on your nutrition during this week.
Some of you who are concerned about body composition may feel it’s best to reduce calories since you aren’t working as hard. Avoid this. Those calories are what will help you with the recovery process.
Second, also make sure that you tend to your sleep. Aim to get at least 8 hours each night, which will further help enhance the recovery that you see.
From there, focus on keeping your stress low as well. Remember that everyday stress – outside of the gym – financial stress, relationship stress, or otherwise will also influence your recovery ability.
Very often it’s not the workout program that pushes you over the edge into overtraining, but some stressful situation you’re facing instead.
As such, during this time of recovery promotion, you want to keep stress low so it doesn’t begin to interfere.
So there you have the basic concept of a deloading week. They are one of the most beneficial things to be doing as you approach higher training intensities to ensure that your body is constantly coming back, ready to work hard at the next workout you do.
The minute you go three or four workouts in a row without feeling as energetic as normal or seeing progress gains happening, consider a deloading week. Remember that you’ll make very little progress working out in a half recovered state. You’re better to back off, get to 100% and then push forward from there.