Weak & Tired After Deload Week

I’ve explained what I’ve been doing above. I’ll list my deload week. I’ve been lifting 4 days per week but had a sick kid at home so only lifted twice during the deload.

Front Squat 3x5 @ 50-60%
Hang Clean 3x5 @ 65-70%
Romanian Deadlift 3x5 with same weight I’ve been doing 3x10 during regular weeks
OHP 3x5 @ 60%
Pull ups 3x7 (been doing 2x10 + one double rest/pause set)
Front/lateral/rear DB raise 2x8 ea light

Bench 3x5 @ 60%
Deadlift 3x5 @ 60%
Pull ups 2x7
Rev Grip B. O. Row 3x8 light

My normal workouts were:

Day 1
OHP 5/3/1 with PR set
Pull ups 2x10, 1 double rest/pause
DB Incline 2x10, 1 double rest/pause
J Rope Pull 2x10, 1 double rest/pause
Bis/Tris 2x10, 1 double rest/pause

Day 2
Power Clean 5/3/1 with PR set
Squat 5/3/1 with PR set
RDLs 3x10

Day 3
Bench 5/3/1 with PR set
Pull ups 2x10, 1 double rest/pause
Standing DB Military 2x10, 1 double rest/pause
Cable Row 2x10, 1 double rest/pause
Bis/Tris 2x10, 1 double rest/pause

Day 4
Deadlift 5/3/1 with PR set
Squat 3x5 @ 65/75/85%

Never felt drained after any of these workouts. The 2x10 before double rest/pause was done at a 6-7 RPE. The only hard set was the final set. I ran this for 6 weeks and did the deload on week 7.

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Every time I did the original deload (40/50/60) my first week back was terrible. I felt refreshed and ready to go, but for some reason the weights felt heavy. Not “lethargy” just a basic lack of strength: weights I should be able to lift for 5 easily were done with marked difficulty. I still got the reps, but not as easily as I should have.
I switched to the heavy deload from Beyond (65/75/85) and that pretty much fixed it. Why this should be I don’t know. I assume Jim noted something similar with his charges and training partners and added a few deload variations to accommodate different circumstances. Perhaps you, like me, are just one of those people who need regular training to ‘oil the wheel’, so to speak, constant practice. Additionally, I can recall deadliftiing every three-four weeks and getting nowhere. Poundages were stagnating. But increasing the frequency to every week has worked wonders. Now hitting 605lbs for 4 reps.
I would do the heavy deload and see how you get on. If, however, you feel sluggish in general, even outwith the weights room, then there’s another issue at play.

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You are not doing 5/3/1, so I can’t comment on that. The above is a good answer though.

You kid was sick. I know that it affected me also. Maybe you got affected. Just the stress is enough.

Your diet might not have been on par. A lot of people eat less since it’s a deload. Maybe you did that?

You had an overall bad week!?

Shit happens. Pay attention next time. Might me a one off.

This is something at least Jim is addressing over and over again. Of course people are different - but only to a certain degree. The same shit usually works to 99% of the population.

I’m not an expert, but trust me. I have done “customised” programs, but also done them to the letter. Latter has always worked better so far.

Majority of successful lifters around here and there always seem to say the same things… wonder why?

To the thread question: this has happened just once? Or after every deload? If this has happened only now you should not worry about it. These things happen at times, you can’t always be 100%

It’s happened the last two times. Once is a fluke but it was the exact same feeling twice in a row. These are the two cycles following my switch to the 7th week deload. I’ve felt pretty good during all weeks of the program with the exception of the first half of week 1 after the deload. This week I felt terrible for power cleans and squats on Tuesday but felt good for deadlifts on Friday. It’s like the first half of the week sucked but woke my body up for the second half. I’ll try a slightly higher intensity deload next time with the hopes of preventing the slow start.

As far as following the program, I’m following the main lifts and I’ve chosen a bodybuilding approach for my assistance work. I don’t see how that conflicts with the program. Jim has offered many templates but he’s also said pick your assistance based on your needs. Train like a bodybuilder for balance and symmetry.

I’m also still enjoying the program and moving in the right direction. The bad week 1 is an annoyance but I bounce back. I know one week here and there doesn’t matter but I’m always looking to improve my training so I thought I’d see what others have experienced and done to address it.

I’m thankful to all for the responses—even you, @JFG! Sorry for the pissy response. I thought you were just being a dick and not really attempting to offer constructive feedback. Again, sorry.

Actually looked more closer your routine and it is not so far from 5/3/1 og. It is not exactly something I would do, but I am not you. So my criticism was aimed more towards the statement than to the template.

About the deload - deloading between every cycle could be an option.

In my first deload and I definitely feel more beat up during this (using 40/50/60 and just hitting prescribed reps) than after my typical heavy stuff, I myself may do a “heavy” deload with 65/75/85 or something of the sort for just prescribed reps, no PR sets. I’m in the second half of my deload weak and just flat out feel weak, it may be a mental thing…“I’m not really lifting, and it’s supposed to be easy.” therefore the mind isn’t in the right place? That’s my thinking anyway, I’m going to be playing with numbers. I’m following along to see if you can find a sweet spot.

Yo man ! Same issue ! Now I’m on my 9th day of Deload. Usually I do only for 5-7 days but cos I skipped Deload on the 4th week and pushed it to 7th I think I fucked up my recovery. I’m going to give it a couple more days and see how it feels. Also I’m eating at maintainence or in a slight surplus during the Deload considering I’m on a cut. Next time I’m just going to Deload on the 4th week or maybe do one volume week and then Deload on the 5th.

Hi there

You could try the 7th week deload.
Hit the TM for 1 rep.
Maybe 3x5 FSL at 65% (or none at all)
Minimum to assistance just some pulling.

That has worked for me. Had the same issue as you.

Same boat. If I’m not smart about deload, or even take a few days off, the first couple days back are brutal. Almost like lifting with a hangover.

Not doing 5/3/1, but what seems to work for me is to keep intensity the same and cut volume. I still do the same warm-up, jumps and throws and same number of sets. I do the same conditioning, but that’s almost always by feel anyway.

Probably pretty close to working up to TM for 1 then FSL or SSL for 5 sets of a few reps (half of what I would normally do). My assistance is Krypteia…ish, just do sets of 5 with the same weight I would normally do 10.

If I was feeling really fatigued and run down before deload, I’d prob cut intensity.

I was listening to a podcast, and the guest was talking about just this. The reason given (that people often feel more tired after taking a few days off) is that your body really needed this rest and wants more. The podcast was Jason Ferruggia, and the guest was Jason Phillips, who I hadn’t heard of. Their discussion was that many of us that train hard and have done so over a long period are really overdue for some time off, and that we usually feel more tired initially before eventually having a big increase in energy and motivation after recharging from the down time.

I’ve found this to be true by gauging my competitiveness in sports and boxing. When I am training hard and haven’t taken enough breaks, I start to lose a spark and interest in sports. After taking an easy couple of weeks, I come back with a vengeance.

I would suggest riding out the wave of the “hangover” feeling, and use this as a sign to take a few more easy days before easing back into it. Keep the big picture in mind, and over the years you’ll benefit more from this approach.

I started this thread awhile back and I’m currently in the middle of a forced break. Some chronic hip pain has forced me to shut down everything because modified training hasn’t helped.

I’ve done a few half assed body weight sessions during my two week break but that’s it. I feel lethargic and pathetic by not training. My back feels worse (old injuries and tight muscles) than when I was deadlifting regularly. I went back to the gym yesterday and did an upper body session using only machines to minimize any stress of my core muscles since they’re tight. It feels good to have some muscle soreness again. In ready to tear it up!

But… I’m still trying to figure out this hip problem.

After posting this thread I found the Training Maximally template and began to run that. I like the daily auto regulation. If I felt good then I’d do Jokers. Once the weight felt “heavy” I’d call it a day. Since days this was 15 lbs above my TM and other days I’d set a PR.

The deload sessions consisted of working up to my TM for a single. That setup worked way better for me than the regular 5/3/1 deloads. It will be my go-to program once I’m healthy. I use the template for any exercise that I was to improve—front squats, snatch grip deadlift, Incline bench, etc.

That’s really interesting. You don’t happen to know the name of the podcast, do you?

I always feel shitty after time off like most everyone else has said. CT has written about this before. IIRC he recommends not taking more than 2 days off in a row because of it. I don’t know if he recommends deloads or not.

I throw in some single leg work for assistance when my hips are bothering me. Always seems to work for me. I like the rear foot elevated split squat for sets of 10. When adding them in, I start light (BW) then each add a little weight via DBs if the previous weeks was easy. I do them barefoot on a thick mat, which makes it a little more challenging to stabilize and necessarily keeps the weight used reasonable. The mat is something a factory worker would use to reduce fatigue from standing all day.

I also use a sofa arm that’s just the right height for standing version of pigeon pose and a lot of quad stretching.

If I can link it, it’s here: SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds

I agree with this. If you want to be stronger throughout a given month, don’t take more than a couple days off in a row. But, over the long haul, I think it’s better to take some down time, knowing you’ll have some short term strength loss but overall improvements in health, strength, and well being. That said, I sure have a hard time doing this. I haven’t taken more than 4-5 days off consecutively in 10+ years, and even do training on vacations. I am doing a deload week now, and it’s hard to go easy.


I typically train one or two days while in on vacation or it’s an active vacation like snowboarding or wake boarding & skiing at the lake. I actually lose weight fob so the exercise when I snowboard.

I think I’m going to start training again regardless of the hip pain. I can deadlift pain free but that’ll be my only leg work. I’m just going to pick an exercise and do the Training Maximally rep scheme. It won’t be anything like my bodybuilding workouts but I’m tired of those long sessions anyway.

@dhickey I tried split squats but I still have pain in my hip so I quit. I have an MRI scheduled for next week and I have an appt with a specialist on 9/15.

I’m on your log too.
DL is good I think. I had problems with my Psoas mucsles and DL was ok.
I could front Squat ligth. Pressing was ok.
But DO NOT do anything that put strain on your deep abdominals, no crunches, no planches, no ab wheel, I did pull ups, but I could feel them deep in the damn muscles. NO hard running. Short jogs maybe.
And for some odd reason when I was feeling better, of all things rope skipping was actually helping the first couple of times there where a little sting a start but it went away. I dit nothing extreme just about 30 seconds - 1 minute in the warm up.
Good luck Mr. Maier Still hate you for those 400 m’s Did them yesterday today i’m paying the price :slight_smile: But they are good did 5 KM in just under 24 minutes the other day .

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