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Old 03-19-2014, 07:37 AM   #1
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Default Letís talk Deload!

I would like to get some thoughts and opinions on deloading being that I have seen several different approaches to this. In the time I have been training seriously (little less than a year) and consistently with a good diet and training program I have only took about it easy about a week or so because of a slight injury. Seems like some people think deloading for a week every so often is the way to go and other people say itís not necessary if everything in your program is in check. What defines a deload also? Same routine with half the normal weight, less reps and less weight, etc?

Here is my current situation if anyone cares to give their thoughts on what I should do:

1) I am on a 3 day per week full body program currently on week 14 and havenít skipped a beat
2) I have made some good progression and continue to do so
3) My diet is in check and I been on a surplus to match my training and goals
4) My sleep and overall social life is good I do not have any stress problems

With all that being said I seem to be experiencing a few minor aches in some joints (elbows, knees) this week and feel like my CNS is a little more taxed than normal. I have a hard time backing off sometimes and like to go full bore all the time so I feel like my body may be telling me to take a little break. I see it a lot, people saying to take a ďdeloadĒ then come back the next week hammering it hard being even stronger.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:21 AM   #2
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A typical deload is usually around 60% of usual working weight and 60% volume. (3x5 with 60kg instead of 5x5 with 100kg) I think auto regulating your training is the best way to reach your potential. You know your body better than anyone else does. If you think you'll feel better after a deload and come back stronger, ready to make some gains then take a deload. There's a lot of trial and error in this game, keep whatever works and get rid of the stuff that doesn't. You'll figure it out in time.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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A deload for me is just a form of rest. When I feel beat up I take several days off until I feel human again. I don't run with a set deload time.

You can also deload to take a break from the demands of a heavy work, even if you don't feel overly beat up. I recommend dropping either 60% of the volume, or better yet 60% of the weight.

Dual factor training looks at 2 things: fitness and fatigue levels. Sometimes fatigue can hinder fitness, or performance. Rest can allow fatigue to rescind so your performance/fitness levels shine.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:40 AM   #4
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I've not been able to train consistently for a long time now, I usually lift twice a week if I'm lucky with multiple days in between each session. I feel okay every time I go and I haven't lost any strength from this. I think you should maybe cut back for one session and see if you start feeling better, or taking a couple days off.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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This is an interesting topic. I don't have anything to add, but subbing to see what folks think.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:01 AM   #6
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Thorney's post was spot on. I have found the need for a de-load for me can be a random kind of thing. I was sick for 2 1/2 months and felt weak when I resumed lifting. A de-load was what I needed. If I have been hitting it hard and my recovery begins to suck even with good rest and nutrition a de-load is a good thing. Being 50 years old, the older I get the more I find de-loads to be a good periodic remedy to suck sessions or recovery.

I also find a de-load week to be better for me than a complete week off without lifting. It keeps you in the groove of things without beating your body to crap any farther.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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I like to combine deload days in order to get more complete days off. For example, if I am on a 4 day a week routine, I will train just 2 days, doing mainly the same lifts, but with appropriately reduced volume and weights. My body responds better to complete days off.

As far as frequency goes, listen to your body. I know that has been said a million times, but most lifters seem to not listen to their bodies, or do not yet know how. If this is the case, perhaps a pre-determined deload week is in order, as I always say better safe than sorry.

JB had me deload only after 4 weeks on his program, even tho I didn't feel a need for it at the start of the week, but I sure did feel the need a few days later. I am glad I did the deload, as my squats the week following were huge.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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I hate it when people ascribe specific definitions to the term deload. I've never deloaded. If you're tired, then back off for a little while. If you're tired of training heavy, then do some light pump work for a session, or a week, or a month. If you like what you're doing, keep doing it.

If you aren't sure if you need a rest, then keep hitting it. A little overreaching is a good thing. If you feel achy in specific places, then use those aches to try and reevaluate your training and possibly shift the focus a little. Add some prehad and mobility stuff. If you just feel tired, unmotivated, sad, or generally not so great, just back off a little. do what you feel like doing for a few days. If that means training a little differently, then train differently. If it means going golfing, then go golfing. If it means sitting around and watching movies, then...well there you go.

Long term goals are good, but sometimes it's good to forget about them and just enjoy yourself for a little while. That will get your head back in the game.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:56 PM   #9
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Unless someone is programming for you like in Squatters example, I wouldnt take a deload/off time on a schedule, because what if I still feel good?

What you describe sounds like its about time to back it down for a session or two. Dont forget about other factors, if youre sleep or food has changed.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:05 PM   #10
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I absolutely HATE to deload and take time off. I just really enjoy lifting and being in the gym with friends. Sometimes it is necessary though. I usually just need a mental break. I try to take some time off right before I get to that point I'm forced to. As long as everything is going OK I usually don't worry about deloads until I'm closing in on a meet.
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