T Nation

What Do Your Deload Weeks Look Like?

Just curious as to if there’s a consensus, or do people do a lot of different things for their deloads

I usually lower my weights, do more pumping work (higher reps, still no failure), little less volume. Really just insuring that I don’t backslide, but consciously not ‘pushing’ for the week.

S

Stu,

Do you deload during a cut, or only during the off season while calories are higher?

I have a hard time justifying either and will go long periods without a deload.

It is especially difficult to get mmyself to accept deloading while cutting, due to the fear of muscle and strength loss.

P

Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]
[/quote]

I have been training, Id say longer than anyone here. I know my stuff. I believe you have to take occasional days off and/or do less intensity, but to do whole weeks, to me, that’s pointless.

[quote]P-Ha wrote:
Stu,

Do you deload during a cut, or only during the off season while calories are higher?

I have a hard time justifying either and will go long periods without a deload.

It is especially difficult to get mmyself to accept deloading while cutting, due to the fear of muscle and strength loss.

P[/quote]

During a cut? Not intentionally -lol. When cutting, it’s very important to train as intensely as you can in an effort to not lose any muscle during a caloric deficit. Nutrients are sacred, and you must provide a rationale for your body to direct them to your muscles.

There will be days, usually further along, when you’re getting worn down, a little tired from day to day activities or even just under the weather, when you make judgement calls. Usually a reduction of training volume can solve the problems, as you still trigger the growth response, albeit taking advantage of the limited recovery abilities at the moment.

If the issue during a cut it more joint-pain or even injury related, then you can worry about actual weights used, and focus more on TUT to trigger the response.

During my off season, my joints are a better protected, and I can push my weights a bit more, not because I’m stronger, but because I’m less worried about stupid injuries occurring.

Deloads are a real individual thing. People who get more in touch with their own bodies can benefit greatly from them, even if just allowing them to avoid possible injuries from overuse. People who don’t fully understand them, and just think that years simply spent in the gym (building an actually impressive physique be damned -lol) gives them any authority, are missing the boat.

S

[quote]roguevampire wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]
[/quote]

I have been training, Id say longer than anyone here. I know my stuff. I believe you have to take occasional days off and/or do less intensity, but to do whole weeks, to me, that’s pointless.[/quote]

I agree… to a point. I myself FEAR taking time off, and (like now) end up with raging tendonitis.

That said, if most guys training rigorously for weeks on end would take a week AND DO LESS (not stop altogether), many of these nagging overuse injuries could be avoided if not lessened.

And RV, you REALLY need to put up some new pics if you want to be taken for your word. Yeah, it’s the internet and you owe nobody a thing, but when you come here spouting off like an expert, it’s time you back up your statements with pics.

EDIT: What Stu said! ^^

i use to take an entire week off. This really helped me out once, but since i’ve done it a couple more times and it just set me back.

I’ve been thinking recently since i’ve been struggling with dieting over the past 6 months training at full steam 6 days a week with tons of injuries and tendon pain i probably could use a deload very soon but I’d rather wait until i meet my goals.
only 9-10 more lbs to go til im at 225(no where near contest lean). when i get there though I’ll probably still hit the gym 6 days a week at the same intensity and just try to do everything at half volume and slowly build up over a couple weeks to my original volume.

This sounds very sensible to me anyone think opposite?

^It’s an individual thing. Depending not only on the person, but the current circumstances. I don’t pre-plan deloads, I just take stock of how my body is responding.

S

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]

How is it counterproductive considering we’re not machines, we accumulate fatigue, get emotionally and mentally burnt out, and past the newbie phase, gains are so painfully slow that even if you were to be a bit “lazy” (your definition of the word) the effects would be indiscernable?

Dude, do you really think Olympic and professional athletes and elite bodybuilders and powerlifters care to be “lazy”?

I don’t think Jay Cutler and Kai Greene are being lazy when they take a month per year to take it easy or just do some other physical activities or even NOTHING. They do it to be better in the long run, knowing they can’t go pedal to the metal all the time else their careers will end prematurely.

To put it simply I do about 80% of weight and reps for deload. So if you would normally use 100lb dumbells for 10 reps, do 80lbs for 8 reps.

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]

How is it counterproductive considering we’re not machines, we accumulate fatigue, get emotionally and mentally burnt out, and past the newbie phase, gains are so painfully slow that even if you were to be a bit “lazy” (your definition of the word) the effects would be indiscernable?

Dude, do you really think Olympic and professional athletes and elite bodybuilders and powerlifters care to be “lazy”?

I don’t think Jay Cutler and Kai Greene are being lazy when they take a month per year to take it easy or just do some other physical activities or even NOTHING. They do it to be better in the long run, knowing they can’t go pedal to the metal all the time else their careers will end prematurely. [/quote]

x2

Usually after about 8-10 weeks i deload for one week. lower the sets and weight but increase volume slightly. followed up by a deep tissue massage and i’m good to go. maybe if i did this when i was younger i would not have all the aches and pains that you typically have to put up with once you hit your 40’s.
FYI this is not exculsive to bodybuilding.

[quote]roguevampire wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]
[/quote]

I have been training, Id say longer than anyone here. I know my stuff. I believe you have to take occasional days off and/or do less intensity, but to do whole weeks, to me, that’s pointless.[/quote]

Jim Wendler has been training/coaching longer than you and has undoubtedly had more success. Are you saying that he’s wrong to include a 1 week deload in his 5/3/1 program?

Some good points here:

I think that after a while your body will force you to deload, whether you like it or not, through injury, so you’re better off just programming it in anyway

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
I believe you have to take occasional days off and/or do less intensity[/quote]

I wonder what they call that.

Thanks Stu,

That’s what I assumed.

I do seem to accumulate more injuries while cutting weight.

I attibute this to the lack of nutirients, but also the added volume of daily cardio.

I’ve followed the 5/3/1 template of deloads every 4 weeks while gaining, but found it to be too frequent.

I have now settled on taking a complete week off every 12 weeks or so from both scheduled eating and working out.

When doing this in the past, I tend to come back weaker initially, but then catch back up in a week or two.

I have had nagging injuries miraculously disapear after such a break, after sticking with me for weeks.

P

[quote]The Rattler wrote:

[quote]roguevampire wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]roguevampire wrote:
Aren’t deload weeks an excuse to be lazy? I can understand taking a workout or 2 and doing less intensity or with some lighter weight, but to do entire weeks of it is not necessary and counter productive.[/quote]
[/quote]

I have been training, Id say longer than anyone here. I know my stuff. I believe you have to take occasional days off and/or do less intensity, but to do whole weeks, to me, that’s pointless.[/quote]

Jim Wendler has been training/coaching longer than you and has undoubtedly had more success. Are you saying that he’s wrong to include a 1 week deload in his 5/3/1 program?[/quote]

25% of your time is spent in deload while on 5/3/1. But, then again it isnt really a bodybuilding program, so maybe it is different for hypertrophy training?

-Zep