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Any Math Equation For Deloading?


Hi Christian Thibaudeau! First of all, I would like to say that you are one of my favorite T-Nation contributors! Your books and articles are brilliant!

Anyway, for my question....

Is there any type of math equation for deloading? I've noticed that numbers seem to play a huge role in determining proper volume, intensity, etc... What about deloading? If x = volume, y = intensity, and d = deloading time frame, then what is the formula for d?

Should I take a one week deload? two week deload? How much?

Thanks a ton!


Not to butt in, but he has written some about this before: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_numbers_of_muscle_building&cr=

check page 3.


I see... Thanks a ton!

It says that deloading should be aroung 5-10 days. Can I get away with 14 days? Will detraining occur if I take a week off that long?

Oh, and another thing, my deload is CANNOT be done by simply reducing volume. Why? Cause it's exactly the reason why I overreached... lol, yes, you heard that right. I've been lifing max weights 5 days a week... lol, let me repeat that... I'VE BEEN LIFTING MAX WEIGHTS 5 DAYS A WEEK!! Day 1 of the week is a PR busting day while the other 4 days are done with the same load, but with 40-50% of the volume. I've made a PR with that training style so far...

...So, I've technically been deloaded for quite some time... What I need is a 100% break. As in not going to the gym AT ALL. My question is, how long should I do that? I think it varies but... is there an equation for it? The only answer that is answered in that article is a suggestion... 5-10 days... Okay, so if I have been chronically overreaching for 10 years would taking a 10 day deload be enough?... Or will it require more?

I year ago, when I used to troll at clutchfitness.com, (I was an even bigger idiot back then) some "well respected member" told me that there can be a point where I overreach waaay to much to the point where it would actually take me up to a month worth of deloading just to get back at homeostasis... And then all of a sudden, Thibaudeau made a general statement that "deloading should be 5-10 days depending on the length of your normal routine". I need (or more accurately, I WANT) a better guideline.

Thank you.


Simply put there is not a precise deloading equation... the body is an ever evolving organism and its main systems as it relates to lifting performance (muscular system, neuromuscular system, hormonal system, metabolic system) all recover at different rates.

Furthermore not all individuals are the same and not all training programs create the same demands on all 4 systems.

We can come up with general peaking methods, but it all has to be adjusted through personal experience. Heck, even olympic athletes who do nothing but train and work with great coaches, miss their peak quite often.


...Another inconclusive answer... (sigh...) Strength training scientists should spend a great deal of their time researching and experimenting various types of training parameters with all sorts of athletes in a controlled group so that they can create a guideline for proper peaking... Just like what Alexander Sergeyevitch Prilepin did with proper volume guideline...

Out of all these four systems, which one gets overtrained first 90% or more of the time when you're doing a typical strength training program? Do you know a specific order?



It depends on your type of training.

Heavy lifting (above 90%) is hardest on the nervous system and on the tendinious portion of the muscular system, the hormonal system (unless you train with too much volume at each session) and the metabolic systems are less put at harm.

Explosive lifting is pretty much the same boat as heavy lifting but with even a lesser impact on the metabolic system

Traditional bodybuilding training puts more strain on the muscular system. The metabolic system is also rather heavily strained if you use sets of more than 12 reps. The hormonal system will be hit hard if the individual is using a high volume of work. The nervous system is less involved with this type of lifting.


There are some basic tests that you can use to see the working state of the body (vertical jump before a workout, tap test, resting heart rate, heart rate recovery rate, body temperature) but these require you to establish a baseline (100% rested state) and must be measured ever day.