Approaching a Deloading Week
If you’ve always wondered what a deloading week is when it comes to training, or have not heard of deloading, this article will surely help you understand what it is, why the body needs it, and why it is beneficial to the body to take a week to do it.
First of all, what is deloading?
Deloading is basically a week where you basically take it easy on all of your lifts in the gym, or take a full week off from the gym completely. If you have been lifting heavy and putting stress on your body for a long period of time, a deloading week serves as a recovery week for the body. The reason why we need a week of ‘taking it easy,’ every so often, is because we are not machines. Though the body is an intricate machine in it’s own ways, we cannot run on high outputs for long periods of time, often without resting. The human body cannot do that, no matter how much rest we claim to get between workouts. Especially if you’re in the gym frequently and training hard.
As I’ve said, many guys train for months on end without fully getting a break from the gym. Sure, taking 2 days out of the week off will do you some good in terms of recovering, but you are never FULLY recovered. Chances are on the Saturday and Sunday that you have scheduled off, your legs will be sore from Friday’s workout, but your chest will feel like it’s ready for Monday’s workout. This is where a deloading week is effective. If you’ve been reading my articles on muscle building, you’ll know that muscle and strength gains don’t happen while in the gym. It’s while the body is resting and recovering, is when muscle and strength is increased. And the full week that you aren’t stressing your body to the maximum, it’s a great way for your body to fully recover. Having a deloading week once in a while can sometimes cause you to become stronger the following week during your workout.
So how to approach a deload week?
Deloading is pretty simple, you can either take a full week off from the gym, or reduce your overall intensity and volume in your workouts if you choose to continue going. During my deloading week, I usually continue going to the gym, but reduce my workload capacity by 50% of my 1 rep max and also reduce the volume of my workouts. I find this is the best way to do it, because I don’t like being away from the gym for a week. If you do choose to take a week off from the gym, remember that it’s a deload week, not an unload week. Don’t spend your time laying on the couch watching tv, being immobile for the whole week. Try to remain active, but don’t do anything that will impact your recovery. Hope this helps you out!
So go ahead and take have a deloading week once in a while. It is recommended that if you train with full intensity every time you’re in the gym and are doing very heavy compound lifts, to take a week to deload every 4-6 weeks or so. If you don’t lift with high intensity, taking a week off every 6-8 weeks will serve you well. It’ll not only benefit your muscles, but your central nervous system and your joints as well.