Huge Strength Loss During Deloading?

Hey, all. I’m cutting, and went through a deload week. Today, I tried doing some one-hand dumbell presses, and couldn’t push more than a measly 35kg. My barbell press, before deload, was almost 80kg! So I lost 10kg in total, by this estimation. What the hell could’ve happened? Last time I did one-hand presses was 2 months ago, and I was doing 32kg.

So, let’s say I gained 6 kg on the one hand presses; however, I gained 10+ on my bench in the same period of time. I’ve come up with a few options; any input on which it’s most likely to be would be appreciated:

  1. I cut too much in the deload week and lost strength
  2. It’s just a natural part of deloading
  3. My stabiliser muscles are weak, so I can’t lift as much as my bench would suggest with just one arm
  4. There’s a limited amount of crossover between the 1 arm press and the bench press

Cheers in advance


Number 4 to an extent because look at the bright side, you went up 3 kilos on the lift in question without training it directly.

Carry on.

You’re comparing two incomparable exercises.

If you want to see if your bench is down, spend a couple of weeks benching.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
You’re comparing two incomparable exercises.

If you want to see if your bench is down, spend a couple of weeks benching.[/quote]

Agreed. Single-limb exercises are very difficult to compare to those that use both of your legs, arms etc.

It’s just strange, because the crossover was huge when I went from the one-arm press to the bench. Ugh… Guess it’s time to get myself that squat/bench station, because the same thing happened when I tried front squats after 8 weeks of back squats.

You say you’re “cutting” so there’s probably a good chance you’re undernourished.

What did your deload week consist of? Why did you even “deload” in the first place?

If you’re not in any way “challenging” your body it begins to shut things down, because it doesn’t think they’re needed. Particularly if you’re not eating enough your body won’t be maintaining strength bc it thinks it’s starving so it uses its resources for the most immediette challenges to its survival (i.e. not high level motor unit recruitment in non-survival related strength tasks). You’ve got to “remind” your body that it needs to be at high performance levels in strength/speed/endurance/whatever.

That’s a very rudimentary explanation but hey.

If you’re programming your training properly and eating/sleeping enough you won’t need to deload. That’s a big IF however.

I would say after 3-4 hard weeks of training, its not a big deal to drop off 10-15% in intensity or lower the volume in general.

Obviously novices won’t get to this point, but most intermediate to advanced lifters will need the extra recovery.

From an injury prevention standpoint from excessive loading, deload weeks have their place

My deload week consisted of two 3x3 workouts with my regular exercises. I did it because, well, that’s what Bill Starr/Madcow’s programme said I should do, plus I was starting to get burnt out :). I recognize what you’re saying, but I think deloading has a place in ANY programme. Either that, or switching programmes regularly; however, I like this one, so I took the deload route.

I do usually start with a slightly lower weight after deloading, but this drop off was far bigger than is usual. After reading the responses, I think it’s just the twin issues of limited exercise crossover and, perhaps, the stabiliser muscles required being too weak.

Let me just add… the week after I benched 100kg x13, 125kg x4, and 130kg x2, I only managed 50kg 'bells x6 on flat presses.

There’s quite some deficit there. But as my dumbbell presses got stronger, so did my flat bench.

Something to think about, figure out ways to assess how well your body is functioning every day before you train. Your different biological systems fluctuate depending on what all is going on in your life. If you can figure out the qualities you need to assess and good ways to asses those qualities, you can be doing the proper training every day. Doing this on a day to day and week to week basis will tell you alot about your body and how you adapt to different training.

also, you won’t need to “deload” for a week at a time bc you’ll never be “burnt out”. this is bc you’ve only been training the qualities that are ready to be trained on any given day.