T Nation

Weak & Tired After Deload Week


#1

I’m new to 5/3/1. I’m just starting my 5th cycle. I took a deload week on week 4 initially but have pushed it back to week 7 for the last two cycles.

After moving it to week 7 I’ve noticed that I feel like garbage during week one of my next cycle. This has happened two cycles in a row.

The first round I did the suggested 3x5 @40, 50, 60%. This last round I did 3x5 @ 60%.

I play basketball Mon-Wed every week and even reduced that to Monday only last week.

Back at it this week and my legs feel heavy when running and the weights feel heavier than usual.

What am I doing wrong? Could it be that it takes two weeks for me to feel fresh again? Is it time to switch to the original program and deload on week four?

I’ve just been doing the regular 5/3/1 with PR sets. My assistance work follows CT’s Best Damn Workout For Naturals plan.

Has anyone else experienced this? It’s a nice kick in the nuts getting to the gym expecting to feel fresh and strong only to feel weak and frail instead.


#2

Are you eating during your deload? There are many deload options and you may just need to work up to a heavier set. After you’ve trained for a really long time this doesn’t seem to be the case, but there have been times when I went “too light” during a deload, only to come out of it not feeling good my first week back.

To be honest, you should be able to take the whole week off from lifting and come back fresh, that is, if you continue to eat right. The biggest problem I see is when people deload or take time off, they don’t eat as if they are lifting.

Keep the same amount of food intake on off days and deloads as you do on your training days.

Also try a different deload strategy, like the 7th week protocol.

You could do a volume deload too… 50/60/70% for 10/8/6 reps respectively. You don’t have to stick to the 40/50/60% scheme. Just do the warm up sets and the 3 “deload” sets and get out.


#3

I’ve done the 40/50/60% deload and tried 60% for 3x5 last week. My eating doesn’t change from day to day. I’m pretty locked in to what I eat. The only changes are overall calories depending on my training.

I didn’t feel bad during week 6 of training but I took the deload to try to stay ahead of over training as suggested.

The only thing I can think ofis that PR sets on 5 lifts per week is more draining than I realize or I don’t need that much rest and I’m doing too little.

I was just curious if anyone else has dealt with this. Up to this point I’ve never had a problem like this. But I don’t really deload much. I kind of just start over after I build up to a peak or max effort week.


#4

If you suspect the deload and if you have the Beyond book, check out the section titled ‘More on the Deload’ page 51. Jim provides 5 different deload options.


#5

and which options may work for certian scenarios.


#6

I’ll check that out when I get home. Thanks for the reminder.


#7

The Full Body Deload has my name written all over it. I’ll be trying that next time around.


#8

After the deload week you you feel like your weak because you haven’t lifted anything heavy in a week or need more than a week to recover? If its the former you can try taking a shorter deload, like 2 days no lifting 1 day squat/dl light 1 day bench/ohp light. If its the latter you can do slightly less on the normal weeks so when its time for deload you aren’t as beat up as before. Some combination of that can work too, regulate your training so you don’t “need” a deload even after 6 weeks, but do a short one anyway.

Essentially the way you train there is probably some optimal number of weeks you need before a short break, with 5/3/1 your stuck with 3, 6, 9 etc. If your optimal deload time is every 5 weeks you can modify your training intensity/volume slightly so it becomes every 6 weeks by doing just a little bit less.


#9

Are you using the 90% TM from the basic book? That could be too heavy for the 7th week deload


#10

@sufiandy I’m using the 7th week deload now. I’m not sure if I’m doing too little on the deload or need more time to recover. I’m guessing it’s the former because I never really deload. I have lighter weeks in my training but it’s not a planned deload.

@atlashrugged yes I’ve been using the 90% TM. I’ve dropped it to 85% this time around because I haven’t been getting 5+ reps on the 5/3/1 week.


#11

I am the same way. I’d regularly hit 6-8 on my 1s week, and then 5-7 on my 3s week with much heavier weights. It bothered me a lot, until I realized that I was still making great progress overall.

Youre going to be stronger some weeks than others. Stop sweating it and focus on the big picture.


#12

For me personally dropping all weights for a week and doing 2-4 hard conditioning/HIIT/ sprints etc sessions and loads of mobility work is really beneficial, especially as you get older.

Another thing, that CT program is not really compatible with 5/3/1 especially doing beyond failure techniques most workouts, I would consider changing up your accesories and def dont do stuff like drop sets


#13

I’ve been doing the double rest/pause for my selected assistance work. I enjoy it. It’s less volume than BBB. But I’ve switched it up this time around. I’m trying BBB but doing bench on OHP day and vice versa. I felt better yesterday. No lifting but my legs felt decent after two days of basketball and the OHP and power clean/squat days.

I’m still not certain why I felt sluggish again. I’ve had bad weeks where I had to do the bare minimum and don’t recall feeling like this when I returned for a normal week.


#14

Most people who think they are overtraining are simply undereating, dehydrated, not sleeping enough or a combination of any of the above. I would guess that the additional activity ( basketball) is causing an increased demand for carbs which need to be supplied before the activity, not after. Eat for what you are about to do, not for what you have already done.


#15

How long have you been using rest pause? That is VERY intense. It neccesitates low volume, but it might not be enough for your recocery.


#16

Yep its less volume but its a much bigger hit and irritant on the nervous system. It can have a delayed effect and then catch up with you without you feeling a direct correlation…

Anyway you seem to know your way around the gym -dont want to lecture just something to bear in mind


#17

I should have specified. I’ve been testing CT’s muscle migration Theory and doing more work with my upper body. I’ve been doing rest pause for about 10 to 12 weeks minus the deload weeks. On my first upper body day I have been doing dumbbell incline and J Rope pulls. On my second upper body day of the week I have been doing seated cable rows and standing dumbbell military. I also have been using it on arms.

My leg days consist of only doing 5/3/1 on power cleans, squats, and deadlifts. I do some lighter squatting on the deadlift day similar to the work done in the full body template. On the day that I do power cleans and squats I add Romanian deadlift for 3 sets of 10.

I haven’t been doing any intensity techniques on legs so I haven’t really thought of them being the culprit for my lethargic feeling after my deload.


#18

What exactly are you doing? After reading this, I’m not even sure you are doing 5/3/1?!?!

Oh, stop mixing shit.

Follow one or the other, but stick to one 100%.


#19

Gee, thanks for that insightful advice. As someone who trains other people I’d think you know that each person is different and customization is necessary for optimal training (whether it’s for physical or psychological benefit).

Several 5/3/1 templates say 50-100 reps of assistance. I was unaware that it was specific and my way is somehow wrong. Jim doesn’t specify the extra work because everyone’s needs and goals are different.

If you follow CT and his offerings on this forum then you’d see that he was starting his training with a 5/3/1 type lift and then doing the type of training laid out in The Best Damn Workout For Naturals.

I’m not Jim Wendler and never will be half as strong as him. I’m not built for power lifting or moving big weights. I wasn’t squatting 4 plates in high school like some of the more fortunate lifters. I train for aesthetics and to be strong in the real world. My training is just that–my training.

Most of the time I’m not doing 5/3/1. I change it so it’s not Jim’s program. I follow some of the principles and the weekly format. Did you ever see me say I’m doing 5/3/1 and it’s not working?

I posted this to see if anyone had experienced feeling lethargic after the deload week. I didn’t ask for anyone to critique my program. Aside from the first half of week 1 after the deload week I feel fine. I can deal with a few days of less than stellar training. But again, thanks for your very black and white advice.


#20

This is 5/3/1 forum.

You asked about deload and tiredness.

Deload is part of 5/3/1.

I asked to get clarification and instead you get pissy and defend god knows what.

To know why you are tired, the exact program you are doing is vital.

You can get help or continue being pissy. Your choice.