T Nation

Is Deload to Be Avoided in a Fat-Loss Phase?


#1

Hi Christian,

I am 37 and started lifting weights at 34; I am completely natural. For the most part of the year I bulk up and train relatively heavy, so introducing 1 deload week per month has been useful to favour recovery and protect the joints. I usually deload by replacing the deadlift with the leg curl, the squat with the leg press, avoiding close-to-maximal lifts and reducing the overall volume of the workout.
I have now just entered a fat-loss phase. Question: is the employment of a similar deload scheme (1 dealod week every 3 intense weeks) when trying to lose fat conducive to excessive loss of muscle? Should I avoid deloading at all? I am in a moderate (10-15%) caloric deficit and lose 1-1.5 pounds of weight per week.

Thanks for your help!
Best,

Stefano


#2

No! Losing fat is not just about burning calories, its about having an optimal hormonal milieu to maximize positive body comp changes. A deload will prevent excessively high cortisol levels, which will help maintain a good rate of fat loss.


#3

Ok, thanks! I have taken the “do not stop going heavy while cutting” norm very seriously, so I feared that even a temporary suspension of heavy lifting while deloading may be detrimental. But I now feel reassured.

Thanks for the answer and for all the great work you do on T-Nation
Best,

Stefano


#4

Deloading doesn't necessarily mean not lifting heavy. Quite the contrary. I actually like to lift heavier when I deload but with a lot less volume (about hlf my normal training volume).