T Nation

Weaker After Deload (PL Meet Question)


#1

I'm currently following the 4 days per wk, 6 wk cycles outlined in beyond, and the deload percentages outlined in the original book. I've noticed that on my deload wk and on wk 1 of a new cycle I typically feel weaker than before deloading. As an example, I hit 355 x 5 on deads on my last 5/3/1 week (wk6), then deloaded (wk 7), and then yesterday hit a harder-feeling 330 x 5 during my 5+ week (wk 1). This is the case with all lifts.

This is a minor problem because I am seeing great results overall, and I'm happy to simply hit the prescribed reps in week 1 and then push things more as I pick up steam throughout the cycle. However, I'm curious how this will effect my performance at an upcoming powerlifting meet, and if I can/ should make any changes to accommodate this.

As of now I'm planning on following the pre-contest cycle as outlined in the Powerlifting Book, which culminates in a deload prior to the contest. However, my performance in the gym seems to indicate that I'd be better off going into the contest where I'd typically have my 5/3/1 week, as thats when I seem to be the strongest. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


#2

Nothing is more valuable than your training log, so first and foremost rely on that.

In terms of feeling weaker the first week after a deload, I don’t think that’s too uncommon. Play with the deload protocol, there are a bunch listed in the Beyond book. I like keeping intensity high but cutting volume back to about half, so working to TMx1 is a good protocol for me, but that is totally individual and something you have to figure out.

In terms of meet prep, if your training log is pointing you in a certain direction, you need to go with that.


#3

Heres my two cents on why you might have felt weaker after your deload.

  1. Its mental… your not going to suddenly detrain and grow weaker after a week long deload.

  2. You just had a bad day on your first week back or had a damn good day when you hit the 355 x 5. Pretty much how it goes , a person is not going to be 100% all the time. Besides it was one session you take the good with the bad .


#4

I had the same experience after my first deload. Next week I will be deloading for the second time. Maybe I’ll see different results this time. This time I’m using a different deload template to see if that works better. Prior to starting 5/3/1 I trained for many years without deloading and training 7 days a week. Now that I’m running 5/3/1 for 4 days a week I wonder if I’m better off not deloading. I’d like to hear what more people have to say including Jim.


#5

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:
I had the same experience after my first deload. Next week I will be deloading for the second time. Maybe I’ll see different results this time. This time I’m using a different deload template to see if that works better. Prior to starting 5/3/1 I trained for many years without deloading and training 7 days a week. Now that I’m running 5/3/1 for 4 days a week I wonder if I’m better off not deloading. I’d like to hear what more people have to say including Jim.[/quote]

Are you close to an elite total?


#6

Thanks for the replies. I want to clarify that this is not my first time deloading, and I have noticed that I’m always weaker the week after, then pick up steam as the cycle moves on. It’s not a bad day or bad week or anything, it’s how the past 5 or 6 cycles have gone. And again, it doesn’t bother me because I’m still stronger overall.

I don’t care about having one subpar week every two months so long as I’m getting stronger, which I am. The only reason it matters at all is because I’m wondering if I should deload into this meet or do a 5s or 3s week before it. In the grand scheme of things its a minor concern and I’m not on track to break any world records, but like everyone I’d like to perform at my best on the platform.


#7

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:
I had the same experience after my first deload. Next week I will be deloading for the second time. Maybe I’ll see different results this time. This time I’m using a different deload template to see if that works better. Prior to starting 5/3/1 I trained for many years without deloading and training 7 days a week. Now that I’m running 5/3/1 for 4 days a week I wonder if I’m better off not deloading. I’d like to hear what more people have to say including Jim.[/quote]

Are you close to an elite total? [/quote]
I don’t think so. My total is 1140 raw. 300 bench, 405 squat, and 435 deadlift.


#8

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:
I had the same experience after my first deload. Next week I will be deloading for the second time. Maybe I’ll see different results this time. This time I’m using a different deload template to see if that works better. Prior to starting 5/3/1 I trained for many years without deloading and training 7 days a week. Now that I’m running 5/3/1 for 4 days a week I wonder if I’m better off not deloading. I’d like to hear what more people have to say including Jim.[/quote]

Are you close to an elite total? [/quote]
I don’t think so. My total is 1140 raw. 300 bench, 405 squat, and 435 deadlift.[/quote]

You are better off deloading and following the program as written.


#9

Follow the 6 week training plans (as its been written) with a one week deload. That’s what I recommend.
If you think that you should train another way, I think you should do what you believe.


#10

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:
I had the same experience after my first deload. Next week I will be deloading for the second time. Maybe I’ll see different results this time. This time I’m using a different deload template to see if that works better. Prior to starting 5/3/1 I trained for many years without deloading and training 7 days a week. Now that I’m running 5/3/1 for 4 days a week I wonder if I’m better off not deloading. I’d like to hear what more people have to say including Jim.[/quote]

Are you close to an elite total? [/quote]
I don’t think so. My total is 1140 raw. 300 bench, 405 squat, and 435 deadlift.[/quote]

If I didn’t believe in the deload, it wouldn’t have been written in the program. If you believe you don’t need to do it, then don’t do it. I can’t convince anyone to do anything, only give the advice I believe is best. Good luck!


#11

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]Randy Tongue wrote:
I had the same experience after my first deload. Next week I will be deloading for the second time. Maybe I’ll see different results this time. This time I’m using a different deload template to see if that works better. Prior to starting 5/3/1 I trained for many years without deloading and training 7 days a week. Now that I’m running 5/3/1 for 4 days a week I wonder if I’m better off not deloading. I’d like to hear what more people have to say including Jim.[/quote]
Are you close to an elite total? [/quote]
I don’t think so. My total is 1140 raw. 300 bench, 405 squat, and 435 deadlift.[/quote]

If I didn’t believe in the deload, it wouldn’t have been written in the program. If you believe you don’t need to do it, then don’t do it. I can’t convince anyone to do anything, only give the advice I believe is best. Good luck! [/quote]
For now I’m going to trust you and keep deloading. After I run the program for a while I’ll evaluate it, and see if I need to make any adjustments.


#12

What I did for my meets was followed the plan except I timed the deload the week of the meet with two days of rest , meets are on Saturdays. My deloads were the 40,50,60%. You need to remember it is a long day with rest between lifts, and trust me when you step on the platform that switch will get flipped. Its only you and the iron at that point.