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.