T Nation

Thoughts on Deloading

First I should explain where I am at training-wise.

What I have been doing is an antagonistic paring split.
Day 1 - push/pull horizontal w/ Deadlifts
Day 2 - push/pull vertical w/squats
Day 3 - push/pull horizontal w/ various leg work mixed in.
Day 4 - push/pull vertical w/ optional leg work.

Everything heavy using 10 x 3, 5 x 5 in general.

My improvements on major lifts are as follows:

  • Chest support T-bar row 10 x 3’s (narrow and wide grip). Starting weight 160 lbs. Current weight 195 lbs.

  • Bench Press ,10 x 3’s (narrow and wide grip). Starting weight 225 lbs. Current weight 250 lbs.

  • Military press 10 x 3’s (behind neck). Starting weight 105 lbs. Current weight 125 lbs.

  • Frog stance back-squats 1 x 20 and 1 x 10 (elevated heals). Starting weight 135 lbs. and 185 lbs, respectively. Current weight 155 lbs and 205 lbs.

  • Plain squat 3-4 x 3-4 (done after “frogs”). Starting weight 245 lbs. Current weight 265 lbs.

  • Deadlifts staying at around 225 lbs, that is about what my lower back can comfortably take. Getting old sucks.

Anyhow, I made progress and I am fixin’ to go into a deloading week, before I change to an upper/lower split. I am going to hold the same training motif, but with less weight and different set/rep ranges.
My thoughts on deloading is this, it is not a week off, it is less weight and more volume. The performance of which is full tilt, no holding back. It seems some people treat it like active rest or a week off. In the midst of my routine above, I got sick three different times forcing me to rest so I don’t need rest. I had to fight tooth and nail to make my improvements.

So what are your thoughts on deloading is it rest or is it balls-to-the-wall with less weight? How would you aproach deloading given the information above? i.e. would it change depending on what you were doing or do you always approach it the same way?

It is rest.

Active rest or rest rest… some play Basketball, some reduce volume and intensity, some do f.all…

but usually it is rest.

I usually do low volume, low intensity, not to failure, 15-20 reps, get a pump, get a sweat, full body 3xp/p/w

Whatever suits you, if you dont need a rest per-se, then reduce your volume and intensity, go close to failure, use a high rep range, just for a week then you can go to your changed routine and go baws to the waw with that one, you should be nicely primed for it.
Full glycogen, healthy nervous system - what else ya need?!

Delaoding is a reduction in volume. Many times, you will delaod while intensity INCREASES.

For example; 5x5 down to 3x3 but with heavier weights (higher intensity).

I would then take a complete week off from weight training.

I thought it was volume and intensity?

Bompa.

Joe

Reduced volume for sure. Up to 50% decrease in volume. As for intensity, you can keep it the same, increase or decrease. Make sure your eating enough, and resting enough.

I prefer to do 3 weeks of hard training, followed by 1 week of deloading. Also, theres no reason why you cant make strength gains during your deloading week. Just make sure to lower the volume enough, and dont push yourself too hard.

Bompa’s theories have no place in bodybuilding. Bodybuilders deload by just not going as hard, probably stopping 1 or 2 reps short of failure, the way Dorian deloaded for 2 weeks after 5 to 6 weeks of going nuts.

What a ridiculous comment, you rubbish western periodisation as a whole as it pertains to bodybuilding?

Many use a slightly edited version of bompas periodisation naturally.

You are right in the de-oad thing though, for me it is simply because i cannot stand going to the gym and doing less volume AND intensity, so i end up with just dropping the last couple of reps!

Joe

[quote]Joe Brook wrote:
What a ridiculous comment, you rubbish western periodisation as a whole as it pertains to bodybuilding?

Many use a slightly edited version of bompas periodisation naturally.

You are right in the de-oad thing though, for me it is simply because i cannot stand going to the gym and doing less volume AND intensity, so i end up with just dropping the last couple of reps!

Joe[/quote]

I see it more as dropping the intensity and keeping or even increasing the volume. The purpose of which is to give connective tissue and supporting factors of sustaining heavy weights vs. just giving your muscles a break. It is my belief that the muscles are the least in need of a break in this situation.

So far it seems that the definition of “Deloading” is as varied as the number of people who have an opinion on the matter.

[quote]derek wrote:
Delaoding is a reduction in volume. Many times, you will delaod while intensity INCREASES.

For example; 5x5 down to 3x3 but with heavier weights (higher intensity).

I would then take a complete week off from weight training.[/quote]

This is one way to do it. An alternative (frequently used in strength sports) is a 40 percent reduction in total volume and a 10 percent reduction in average intensity. You’d do this for a week every 3-6 weeks as needed.

[quote]pat wrote:
Joe Brook wrote:
What a ridiculous comment, you rubbish western periodisation as a whole as it pertains to bodybuilding?

Many use a slightly edited version of bompas periodisation naturally.

You are right in the de-oad thing though, for me it is simply because i cannot stand going to the gym and doing less volume AND intensity, so i end up with just dropping the last couple of reps!

Joe

I see it more as dropping the intensity and keeping or even increasing the volume. The purpose of which is to give connective tissue and supporting factors of sustaining heavy weights vs. just giving your muscles a break. It is my belief that the muscles are the least in need of a break in this situation.

So far it seems that the definition of “Deloading” is as varied as the number of people who have an opinion on the matter. [/quote]

you are right, it does seem that way! We all do it effectively…

Joe

[quote]Ramo wrote:
derek wrote:
Delaoding is a reduction in volume. Many times, you will delaod while intensity INCREASES.

For example; 5x5 down to 3x3 but with heavier weights (higher intensity).

I would then take a complete week off from weight training.

This is one way to do it. An alternative (frequently used in strength sports) is a 40 percent reduction in total volume and a 10 percent reduction in average intensity. You’d do this for a week every 3-6 weeks as needed. [/quote]

Yes. I was just giving one method. I believe even the 5x5 routine oft quoted on T-Nation has a 3x3 with your previous 5rm so in this instance, intensity is static (in the you use the same load) while volume is decreased makedly (25 total reps as opposed to 9 total reps with the same load).

Thereafter one increases the intensity while maintaining the rep total (9)

Maybe i misunderstood, but did you write from a 5x5 then you would use a 3x3 with a 5RM load…

So isnt that a decrease in volume AND intensity, as the load is not taken to failure anymore (Although it is the same load… it is less intense)

Or is intensity JUST a pure, static measure of Load (I have seen it is-in Bompas books) - in which case i do not understand its use particularly.

If the intensity = Load, what equals the kind of intensity that is more along the lines of going to failure or not… how would one measure the intensity of a 4x6 with a 6RM and a 6x4 with a 6RM? They both equal the same when calculating volume but one is more intense than the other.

That is something i never quite liked about loading parameters, step loading etc… it works in my program, with adjustments, but not too great on the paper…

Y’know what i mean? It is difficult to grasp and write i must admit.

Joe

[quote]Joe Brook wrote:
Maybe i misunderstood, but did you write from a 5x5 then you would use a 3x3 with a 5RM load…

So isnt that a decrease in volume AND intensity, as the load is not taken to failure anymore (Although it is the same load… it is less intense)

Or is intensity JUST a pure, static measure of Load (I have seen it is-in Bompas books) - in which case i do not understand its use particularly.

If the intensity = Load, what equals the kind of intensity that is more along the lines of going to failure or not… how would one measure the intensity of a 4x6 with a 6RM and a 6x4 with a 6RM? They both equal the same when calculating volume but one is more intense than the other.

That is something i never quite liked about loading parameters, step loading etc… it works in my program, with adjustments, but not too great on the paper…

Y’know what i mean? It is difficult to grasp and write i must admit.

Joe[/quote]

I understand intensity to equal the static load. Perhaps, we should just use simple words to avoid confusion.

  1. Deloading= less weight, less reps, less sets?
  2. Deloading= less weight, more reps, same sets?
  3. Deloading= less weight, same reps, same sets?
  4. Delaoding= same weight, less reps, less sets?
  5. Deloading= less weight, more reps, more sets?
  6. Deloading= etc, etc, etc.

I think of it personally as options 2 or 5.

If you have a load that is an actual 5RM then perform only 3 reps with it, the load stays at the same and is still 100% of your 5RM. Therefore relative to your 5RM, the intensity stays the same.

It is NOT 100% of your 3RM. So relative to the reps the intensity looks like it drops but not if you look at it in the context of your 5RM.

I see why it seems so confusing.

Just imagine stopping 2 reps short of failure and you’ll see why it’s a deload.

How should one deload while dieting? Should calories be increased while deloading to prevent muscle loss?

[quote]ESASE wrote:
How should one deload while dieting? Should calories be increased while deloading to prevent muscle loss?[/quote]

No, keep them the same. Since your not training (or have cut ur training down) your not burning the calories you otherwise would, thus theres no reason to up your cals