T Nation

How Often to Deload for Growth?

Paul, wondering how often u would schedule a deload when doing high intensity training (usually working up to one all out set 6-8 reps to failure) for growth and recovery?

I’ve seen recommendations to deload every fourth week doing light work of 50% of max for 3x5…

I’ve seen recommendations to take a complete week off of training every 8 weeks…

Just wondering what u would recommend for long term size and strength?

My current routine is

MONDAY - Chest and Biceps (Bench Press)
TUESDAY- Legs and Abs (Squat)
THURSDAY- Shoulders and Triceps (Overhead Press)
FRIDAY- Back and Traps (Deadlift)

Thank you.

I don’t do planned deloads. I personally think that’s counter productive and completely counter intuitive. What if you’re dialed in on training for three weeks, getting stronger, and smashing it in the gym because recovery is being met…then you what…take time off because it was planned?

I have something called “being hungry or being full.” When you’re “full” you know it. You dread training and lifting sucks. You feel stale and worn out. Take time off. How much? Until you yearn for training again.

When I did doggcrapp training I didn’t deload sometimes for months at a time, because training was going awesome. And I was making progress.

However there’s a way to deload without actually “deloading”. This will probably be a future article of mine, but basically it’s more systemic than muscular. From a muscular perspective, recovery is not that hard. It’s systemic recovery that really drains us.

Deloading can be done by simply changing around training modalities. Going from high volume, to low volume, but still keeping the weight on the bar high and intensity high - but possibly lowering frequency. My thinking has always been, the longer I can train to stimulate growth, the more progress that will be made. Certainly, time off can be needed, but here’s the thing - ask yourself how you can train consistently for a year instead of say, 6 weeks. I will expound on that in the article most likely.


Appreciate the response. I look forward to the article

How would you deload (when you feel like you need it) if you already train very low volume of 1 all out effort per exercise?

Also what do you think of this plan??


Bench press - 1 heavy rep at around 90% then drop down to max set of 6 reps (similar to 1/6 contrast loading or overwarm up method)
Incline - 1 all out set of 8 reps then rest 60 seconds and repeat…(50% method)
Dips - same as incline
Barbell curls - 1 all out set and rest pause method

Squat- Same as Bench
Front Squat- 50% method doing fist set around 8 reps
RDL - 50% method doing first set 8-10 rep max
ABS- AB wheel

Press- Same as Squat, Bench
Behind neck Press- 50% method
Lateral Raises- rest pause method
Tricep Extensions- rest pause method

Deadlift- Same as Bench, Squat, Press
Chin ups- 50% method
Pendlay or Head Supported Row- 50% method
Shrugs- rest pause method

I can’t say because I don’t know what your goals are.

Mainly size gains but want strength to go along with it. To Be as strong as I look

Again, something I am addressing in my deloading article. Focus on ONE or the other. Not both at the same time.

Ok. What do u think that set up favors. Mostly size? Because if I had to pick one goal that would be it

I would swap out the deadlifts for a rack/block pull variation or Dorian deadlifts personally. Otherwise, it looks solid.