As a almost 41 year old would it be safer to stick with the 4 week cycle deload or the six week cycle. I know at my age I need to be a little easier on my joints.
Everyone is different.
Depending on your training age, injury history and ability to recover, either the 4 week or 6 week cycle may be appropriate. I'm 38 years old and using the 6 weeks on, 1 week deload cycle; but I've also used the 4 week cycle in the past.
I've found that the six week cycle helps me keep my numbers higher and make consistent progress (reps speaking). I know it's all in my head, but when I take a week off every 4th week, my ability to push out the reps goes down. I always feel much stronger in the second half of the six week cycle than in the first half after a deload. In a 4 week cycle, I always feel like I'm playing catch up and by the time I'm done with the 5/3/1 week, I've gotten all my strength back, only to deload again and play catch up the subsequent week.
I know it's all in my head and I'm not getting weaker per-say, but that's been my experience so I stick with the six week cycle. At this point in my training, its what works for me. You'll have to find the same balance that works for you.
I have already planned out that I am going to do 2x2x2 after my next two cycles to see how my body reacts to that training style. I'm in the middle of an up/down ladder (week 3 of 6), next cycle will be rep maxes and TM for max reps, and then rep maxes and joker sets. When those cycles are done and I start 2x2x2, I may find that to be more beneficial since there isn't much of a deload prescription. I want to experience that type of training to see how my body feels. You'll have to experiment and see what works best for you and your goals in the same fashion.
Best of luck!
Start with the 4th week deload style. Get used to running the Waves. Figure out how to use Mobility/Recovery time to keep your joints feeling good.
Keep track of your numbers, and how you feel, in your log book.
When you can get through a cycle or two, hit your numbers, and feel OK, try the 6 week set up.
Think of it as one more way to progress your training.
Like marc4497 said everyone is different.
I am 47, train 4 days a week, and through trial and error have come to the conclusion that taking the deload every 4th week is better on my joints and health in general.
There are so many factors involved like overall strength levels, training experience, external stress factors, amount of assistance/accessory work, etc... that I think it is safe to always plan on taking the 4th week deload except on those rare occasions when you feel great.
Lots of great comments.
At 56 with years of training , what works for me is to lift every other day then take 2 days off at the end of the week. So a 10 day week per wave. I rarely deload and rarely feel burned out. I save the deloads for weeks when I travel and can't barbell train. Maybe 2-4 times a year.
I'm 43yo and I like the 4th week deload - a lot. Part of the reason is that my favorite, and most effective for me, template is Full Body Full Boring. After 3 week so of FBFB I really appreciate the 4th week deload.
I lift twice a week. Lower body on Saturday and upper body on Sunday. I use 6-week cycles (each main lift once every two weeks). I deload every 13th week, after two cycles. I don't feel that I need to, but maybe that's because I do.
Fifty three here, did two six week (four total) cycles and never made it to the re set at five, I re- set after four. When it starts to get heavy, four weeks would probably be better, but if you set your TM's right, you can probably do six week cycles for (four, then reset after five), and then again after going three back.
Auto-regulate. I actually use my FitBit and my resting heart rate as a guide. If it's up a few beats, and I'm feeling trashed, I de-load.
53 years old here. I usually do 2 cycles (6 weeks) of something moderate and then deload. I follow this with 1 cycle (3 weeks) of something more intense and then deload again.
Cycle 1; 5s Pro + FSL
Cycle 2; 5s Pro + FSL
Cycle 3; 3/5/1 PR sets