T Nation

Time Off vs Deloading, Which Is Better?


i just finished my first squat workout since my last competition, decided to take a week off and came back. squat felt like shit. couldn't handle 70% for sets of 4 and my form was poor.
anyone else experince this? it happened before when i took time off but not to this degree.
thoughts as to whether this would happen with deload weeks? just not sure why this happens. or if its just me. bench is usually fine after the off week.


No need to take time off after a meet. You are young and compete raw (I think). You likely already deloaded prior to the meet, so take a day off then get back into the gym but go light for a week, then back onto whatever program you're doing.

the first week back will feel like shit though so don't worry about that.


yeah i do compete raw, and i like to consider myself young. it was likely almost as bad after using gear up to a meet in january, did the same thing and came back raw a week later. horrible. thanks for the reasurrance ruggerlife. here's hoping i squat better next week.(i'll bring a belt this time, wonder if it'll help?)


It should, even if your not feeling it, after a meet a your lower back should be toasted.


I took an entire week off after my last meet and it felt great! I don't see any point in getting in there and moving weight around if you are absolutely fried. Take a week off and enjoy other things

That is, unless you get the itch to go lift! If you can't stand not being in the weight room, then by all means have at it! I think you just need to listen to your body.


I've found the more missed lifts the worse I feel after a meet. I think taking a week off after is normal. Sometimes it'll take 3-4 weeks to hit a real PR. I'll usually just look for something I haven't done in a long time so making a PR won't be too bad.


After my last meet, I went in on tuesday for a ME day, ended up stopping well below a max, called it a day, took a week off, then was slow the first week getting back to it. Now I feel great. I think I'll be taking a week off from the gym after all meets from now on.

FWIW, I went 8/9 on that meet.


Deloading. Without a doubt. Some lifters can lose 10% of strength a week when not training. I dont know about you, but I would rather lift, feel like shit, and maintain than lose 10% on anything.


Deload-if done properly it should actually improve recovery and help ease the nervous system


meets take alot out of you. I like to do some light accessory work when I deload. If I'm out of the gym completely for a whole week, I feel like I'll lose my mind.


well taking that week off wasn't easy but it was a bad idea. did box squats today. op was monday. felt much better. and thanks everyone for the advice, final verdict, deloading is better hands down, though 2 days later i'm almost feeling 100%, though i'm too sore to know if my strength is there, the form is back and i feel strong again. can't wait for deads on friday.


I used to deload but after my last few meets, I've been taking a week off. My last meet was last Saturday and I felt like I'd been ridden hard and put away wet. My head hurt and my stomach was rough on Sunday. Age, it sucks.

Herc, were you at Belle River?


nah, it was too soon after the high school meet for me to get any geared work done. did you go?


Yeah, I did that one. I probably saw you lift at the high school one. I was there helping out with Westdale.


I for one cannot deload. If I set foot in the gym to train its either all or nothing so for me its easier/better to just take 3, 5, 7 days completely off


well squat yesterday went better. made my 4x4,despite the sunburn. though the last set was the best, imoved the bar back to the lower position and it was all better.


I'm the same way saps. I have to get out and stay out. Eat junk food and stay up late past my bedtime. I do that for about a week and come back strong without the joint pain. I feel like a new man.