I’m often asked about deload weeks…
1-What do you do during one?
2-Do I need them? And if so, how often?
FIRST – A good rule of thumb on a deload week is a 50-60% reduction compared to your normal volume and/or intensity. One isn’t necessarily better than the other and if you’re feeling really run down, reducing both is good.
What you don’t want to do during a deload is take the week totally off, because chances are you will come back, start training and get really sore and you can lose a bit of your fitness taking a total week off to boot. I think it is important to add in her that introducing new stressors during a deload week may impede your restoration, which is the entire purpose of a deload.
Deload weeks are also the perfect time to do as much passive restorative work as possible, like ice baths and contrast showers. These kind of things reduce inflammation and muscle damage..but they have a purpose in the training adaptation process that signals the body to grow/strengthen to prepare for the stress you’re imposing on it (SAID PRINCIPLE).
**Much Needed Insert Here** See Below
Guys.. I mandatory part to here is you need a deload week. Too many hate backing off in fear of losing strength, power, etc. And I get it, your’e motivated you want to push and push because only Va J J’s quit or punk out and rest. I have to say those who get rest by reduction will actually come out stronger, period.
Ok back on track…well I think we were anyway lol…
SECOND – If you actually understand how to train hard and you do that on a fairly high volume program (if you train on lower frequency/volume then you can probably go without deloads), then I would suggest you deload every 3rd to 7th week. The stronger you are, the more frequently you’ll need to deload. I know that I need a deload every 4th week in a meet training cycle to stay healthy and keep progressing, you might not need to as frequently, but you’ll be better off taking one before you really need one. Make sure that you are earning your deloads, so the training during the previous week should be very demanding. If you aren’t being honest with yourself about pushing yourself during regular training, then don’t pretend that you need a deload when you don’t and on the other side of things, don’t try to have the hardest deload/recovery work possible, as then things just all tend to turn into medium intensity work and that doesn’t really get you anywhere. Make your hard work hard and your easy work easy.
Review your programming variables…volume, frequency, intensity, loading, and I’ll toss in stress. These are key elements to progression vs regression in terms of your goals.