T Nation

Taking Extra Days Off


#1

I don't do deload weeks usually across my lifts, I just go full pelt every session with full effort. I have been making a lot of progress on my lifts on Bill Starr's 5x5 intermediate programme with my coaches bodybuilding accessory exercises thrown in.

Problem is, I have been feeling fatigued a lot more since I started hitting PR's. For example the other day I broke my PR for dumbbell OHP, I managed to get to 32.5kg dbs for 8 reps beating my previous rep total.

I have to admit, I have been finding it hard to recover, and for some reason my appetite has been hit (I have found it hard to eat more food). I did not anticipate this to happen and it is quite new to me, this feeling.

In your experience have you benefited much from a few extra days off or deload weeks? Which one is better?


#2

I take a deload week every 8 weeks, and will also take the week of a contest pretty light. Additionally, if I am having a bad training day, I’m not afraid to shut it down early. There are some days where you push, and some days where you don’t.


#3

Deload FTW…


#4

I differ a bit in that I believe in just training through it. The only true deload I really ever take is when I go on vacation somewhere, I just completely do not lift. I have experimented with scheduled deloads, and for me, I feel they are pointless. Rather, I just adjust my training on the fly depending on how I am performing.

However, like Punisher mentioned, there are days when you should certainly listen to your body. Being that the body is super dynamic and complex, you cannot go “full on” every day you are training. I think this is more gathered through experience and learning your body, so for a beginner without a coach-- deloads could certainly be useful I guess in the early stages of training.

I find this part of training very interesting in that your brain goes through some pretty remarkable changes when it is adapting to stress-- which can lead to some of these symptoms you may have.


#5

Either or. I think often a couple of extra days off can fix a nascent problem which could otherwise force a week’s deload. I generally don’t deload but take pre-comp week easy (one training session only to test my openers two or three days out, bear in mind I’m new to powerlifting) and take a week off post comp with maybe one light session towards the end.

I’ve found that training in blocks of two days with breaks of two days is a great medium for me - I get ample recovery, so deloads and extra days off rarely are needed unless I’m sick. The trade-off is I spend 2.5 to 3.5 hours training per session, but my inter-set breaks are often kind of long.


#6

Deload now before its too late. One week/couple days off is nothing in years of progress.

I deload after 3-6 weeks of training, usually because of forced break by work etc. But I often start to feel quite beaten after 4-5 weeks of training if I haven’t deloaded, and I usually hit PR’s week after deload.

PS. and if a ready program has written deload in it - DO IT. It is planned to make you stronger/bigger like anything else in the program.


#7

[quote]renatus wrote:
I don’t do deload weeks usually across my lifts, I just go full pelt every session with full effort. I have been making a lot of progress on my lifts on Bill Starr’s 5x5 intermediate programme with my coaches bodybuilding accessory exercises thrown in.

Problem is, I have been feeling fatigued a lot more since I started hitting PR’s. For example the other day I broke my PR for dumbbell OHP, I managed to get to 32.5kg dbs for 8 reps beating my previous rep total.
[/quote]

In the past, I was like you where I would keep going even though I felt fatigued. My motivation would go down and down… getting even more tired… and still I wouldn’t deload. Just take a couple days off cause my motivation would hit zero.

Nowadays I listen to my body. I used to train 3 on 1 off, now I do 1 on 1 off. The difference? On the days I train, I have a lot more energy and a lot more motivation allowing me to have amazing sessions almost all the time.

Now when I get in the gym and I feel unusually tired, I tone it down and not push myself so hard. Doesn’t mean I don’t still get a good workout. But I stop myself before I exceed my recovery capacities and guess what? I’ve consistently been making progress for weeks. Months even. It’s a lot more worthwhile to let your body recover well rather than having an extra day or two working out. You will stop growing eventually if you go balls to the wall all the time.

Just listen to your body and actually trust it. It’s not just you when your motivation goes down - it’s your body telling you something.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got is this: when you train, a third of the time you will have normal workouts, a third of the time it will be not-so-great, and a third will be very good! It’s those very good ones that will give you the most growth.


#8

[quote]Aopocetx wrote:
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got is this: when you train, a third of the time you will have normal workouts, a third of the time it will be not-so-great, and a third will be very good! It’s those very good ones that will give you the most growth. [/quote]

Dan John uses different numbers but the idea is the same. I’ve lately spent more time talking to weightlifters and they train a LOT! However, they never accept bad form, they take plenty of rest between sets and are very methodical. You can’t wipe the floor with your sweat and blood thirty days in a row and expect progress.


#9

Every good program has a reload already programmed. Just follow it.

You added some volume to a already taxing program. One will suffer.

You need to start figuring out what is most important to you. Maybe a different program for your goals would be better.

Also, going full out every work out is not following the program. Wednesday is what again???


#10

As you get stronger you eventually reach a point where your ability to cause damage by lifting exceeds your ability to recover so each week you get a little farther behind. At that point you either have to reduce your training frequency/volume or plan regular deloads to let your system catch up. This is actually a good thing, it means you’re creating lots of training stimulus so when you back off you’ll grow more. The official word you’re looking for is dual factor theory.


#11

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