T Nation

How I Hate Deload Weeks


Finished my 2nd out of 7 cycles of 5/3/1 and I'm 'supposed' to do a deload week this upcoming week.... I always end up making excuses as to why I don't need one, like: I'm only 20, my strength keeps going up (still getting 6-8 reps on my 1+ week), and I hate lifting light weights.

I know I need to listen to my body, but ohman ohman ohman do I hate them!


One time when I was 3, I shoved a pea so far up my nose that my dad had to use pliers to get it out. Man oh man that was one wild day.


If you don't want to deload or don't feel like you need it, then don't do it.


Here's the thing.

If you are following a program you need to do it as written. In particular the first 2-3 times using it because it removes variables.

In other words, you made good gains on the first 2 passes. What happens when you start adding/removing/changing shit and on the 5th training cycle you incur problems and the lifts aren't progressing like you think they should?

Does this mean the cycle doesn't work for you anymore (not likely) or that you changed stuff and created problems for yourself that weren't necessary.

When you do this you take away your ability to decipher any meaningful data from the program because you changed stuff and you won't be able to tell what you did or didn't do to slow your progress.

Changes to any program should be withheld until you get a couple cycles under your belt and then should be relatively small in nature and deliberate.

What you have posted is a natural inclination, particularly for a 20 yo but I would tell you that you need to take a long approach to your training, not a day to day, week to week, but cycle to cycle and skipping a deload is basically a manifestation of an urge to manage day to day (I don't think I need to because today.....) which is one thing you need to avoid when following a program.


I hate it when that happens.


I skipped some of the deloads my first time around on 5/3/1. It was a mistake. I kept them in the second time through and I've just completed my 8th cycle without a reset for the big 3 (I had to reset the press). I'll be resetting after a meet I have at the end of the month, but I think the deload weeks help with long-term progress.


WOW we are so alike!! I "accidently" skipped my deload for like 6 months and though I never got injured and my lifts kept going up I ended up feeling like shit. I was ALWAYS so freakin tired and after my work outs I felt like I couldn't calm my heart rate down. Now I force myself to take as much deload I can stand. Two cycles ago it was 3 days, then next cycle 4 days, I will try for 5 this time around and eventually it will become "normal" and hopefully it wont bother me so much.


If you're not looking forward to deload week you're not training hard enough .


I have a love hate relationship with deloads. I enjoy being in the gym and training full blast since it's mentally enjoyable for me and a great stress reliever. Physically I love deload weeks since my body always feels beat to hell by the time I get there. This cycle I'm extending my training out a week as I'm peaking for a meet and I'm already dreading it. Yay for liniment.


Yeah, I know I need one. Been feeling moody, extra sore, and all the classic signs of needing a rest. Gonna definitely deload this week, at least I'll still be able to do my assistance work.


haaa the problem of deload weeks..Lots of strong and succesfull lifters recommend them but lots of OCD weak lifters hate them, I really don't know what to do.





I've always felt a week deload is far too long for me. Also I usually find that planning a deload for a time when you really need it can be tricky. I prefer to take 3-4 days or "long weekends" of doing absolutely nothing avery 4-5 weeks. I don't plan these but take them when I feel I need them.


I spend my deloads doing stuff like mountain biking or kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and doing lots and lots of stretching, foam rolling/tennis ball work, liesurely cardio type activities, and taking hot baths.

Just b/c it's a deload doesn't mean you can't be doing anything.


It's true Luke. I just started getting online coaching for myself and my son. I count the days to a deload. And the first week back I'm a machine. By week three I'm wearing down.


I don't have online coaching, but I too do blocks of 3 weeks, then have a deload.


I think Josh would push me harder than I would on my own. But those light weeks are so welcomed when they get here .


Been doing a deload week this week. I've kept my assistance lifts the same, and just went down to 40%,50,60 on core lifts. Sure doesn't feel like a "deload" week, my whole body hurt yesterday after doing my standing military day. I'm glad I didn't skip it, I can tell this week would have been awful for my PR's would I have started a new cycle with 5/3/1.


I agree with that. The last few hard workouts you know you have to complete, before you can take it a bit more easy. That's what keeps me going, I know I just have to complete a few more hard workouts before I can deload.


Exactly stallion .