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What Does Your Deload Look Like?

I am trying to plan my deload week following this cycle of Smolov Jr. for bench and squat. I would appreciate any recommendations on what a good deload week looks like (percentages, volume, frequency, etc.).

Didn’t smolov have a build in deload week where you do absolutely nothing for a week leading up to the max? I could be wrong…

[quote]Doh wrote:
Didn’t smolov have a build in deload week where you do absolutely nothing for a week leading up to the max? I could be wrong…[/quote]

Wasn’t aware of this, but considering how tired I’m feeling half way through the cycle that would make sense. So if I finish on Saturday, should I max out squat and bench the following Saturday?

My deloads look like this:

  1. i start to feel shitty
  2. lifts feel shitty and dont get better after a few sessions
  3. i take it easy until i feel better
  4. profit

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1254

Some really good ideas in that thread (due to the format change, you now have to scroll all the way to the bottom to get to the “article”)

I’m currently right in the middle of a deload - I knew it was time because my low back was getting increasingly more and more fatigued. So this deload is focused on recovering from that specifically, and secondarily on “general” recovery.

Here is how I handled it this week.

1 - Do the same exercises, but less work. Sets of 10 become sets of 5, work up to a 90% becomes work up to 80%, etc… This is basically an opportunity to work on technique and keep the muscles from getting sore to the point of debilitation the following week. I find that if I take a full week off it takes me 2-3 weeks to back to my working weights because of this issue, not acceptable.

2 - Drop the 3rd and 4th tier exercises (Calf raises, forearm curls, etc…)

3 - High reps on things like Biceps/Triceps/shoulders, NOWHERE near failure. Just to get blood flowing in the area and so I’m not deathly sore the next week when I go back for blood.

4 - Daily rep work for my lower back in the form of extensions. Again, this is the most nagging issue I have going on right now so I’m trying to force a lot of blood through the area on a daily basis.

5 - Walk. I know this seems simple and easy, but its restorative, burns calories, and gives you something to do instead of sit on the couch during a deload.

I take a week off, come back refreshed, motivated, no loss in strength and tend to make the best gains in the following weeks. Occasionally I’ll go very light for 2 weeks but have founds its not as effective as a week of doing nothing.

50% of the weight, 60% of the volume

I generally lower the volume alot and use the de-load week as speed work. I lower my assistance too, if I was doing 5x10, ill do something like 3x5.

If I am really beat up, I take a week off completely. I have always taken the week before a comp off.

Two days off over the weekend is enough “deload”.

Peaking is different thing. When I did Smolov back in the day, I took 5 days completely off before going for a max. Worked well.