T Nation

Deload Periods


Hey guys my training partner and I are following a bench routine and progress has been great. The weights are starting to get very heavy the last 2 weeks and it's been a struggle to get our desired reps.

My question is should we wait until we fail one of our workouts and then take a deload or should we do the deload now because the weights are very heavy and avoid failing a workout.



anytime ive ran into this, i usually break the sets into singles, with a decent rest inbetween.

then do a deload the following week.


In my experience, if I feel I NEED a deload. I am usually better of just taking it and getting ready to push the next training cycle. I have run into this a few times, and probably 90% of the time, I have benefited more from taking the deload than not. I do 531, so they are usually just built in and I take them regardless now.


Personally I think the best thing is to do a very moderate deload. Time off = can be good or bad depending upon you and just how beat up you are. Taking a week off = 100% chance it will be bad for me, but some people like it. Whenver I feel super beat up I just do a regular week except drop the weights say 5-20% depending upon just how bad I feel.

By the end of the week, weights feel like air and then the next week is fantastic. This is my experience personally. Many people preach to take a full week off and it obviously works for them. Just look through your training log to see what has worked in the past and do it again. If you have never taken a deload before or never bothered to log it, I would say just try a 20% decrease in weight deload.

As far as do you even need a deload???
That is impossible to answer. I'd say after two tough weeks a bit of a deload wouldn't hurt.


OP, what do you consider your deload training to look like?

How much reduction in work are we talking? I never take a complete week OFF.

Where did you get this program? What does the person who made it recommend?


I got it from another poster here... BenchPress550... but I don't believe he posts here anymore. I never asked him about deload periods.

This is the routine.

Lift Mondays and Fridays

4x1 at 95% max
3x3 at 85% max
5x5 at 75% max
4x1 weight plus 5 pounds
3x3 weight plus 5 pounds
5x5 weight plus 5 pounds

Rinse and repeat.

So far this routine has been fantastic and neither my partner or I have failed a workout yet. My partner just benched 265 for 4 singles yesterday and he said it was VERY hard. He wants to bench 275 before he has to take a deload.

In my mind a deload would simply be dropping 15 pounds or so off of all our weights and working back up. It will take a few weeks to get back to the weights we're at now but in the long run it'll pay off.

The thing that's weird is the weights don't get harder in a linear fashion for me. I did singles at 300 that were hard, singles at 305 that were borderline impossible, and then singles at 310 that felt about the same as 300 did. 315 today... I'm trying to work up to the max I had as a fatty which was 335 lol. It's amazing what losing 20 pounds can do to your bench if you're not careful.

I'm just wondering if we should keep pushing it and take a deload right after we fail our first workout or if we should just go ahead and do it now.


You're confusing deloading with resetting.


Anyone have a preference between the two?


You deload when you need to deload.

You reset when you need to reset.

You need to reset.


A deload is a short period of time where you decrease the loads and volume to allow your body time to compensate from the stressors of training and THEN you can either: A. Continue to increase whichever variable you're currently manipulating or B. Reset your training weights, essentially taking a small step back after you've taken a few forward.

The ideas are not inherently interchangeable and you can use both at the same time. Does that make any sense?

Don't wait to fail to deload. It sounds like you both are in need of a deload and probably just a minor reset of your training weight.