Do you ever feel like you are not seeing progress with your numbers in the gym? Or you feel like you hit a wall, are in a mental rut, and are having trouble making it to the gym?
It might be time for a deload week.
Deload week was not a part of my programming until I started working with my coach. It wasn’t because I wasn’t putting in the work. But now I am lifting heavier and doing longer workouts. At this point my body is feeling fatigued, I am mentally getting frustrated in the gym, and I am failing out on reps that I should be getting.
During a deload week, coach schedules me from 5 to 3 days of training. We normally cut out the majority of my cardio. During this week workouts normally take 30-60 mins instead of almost 2 hours like normal. You can say after this week is over my body is feeling back to 100%, well refreshed, and at this point now craving my normal intense workouts.
According to Muscle For Life, the reasons one should take a deload week are to:
- “alleviate ‘accumulated’ central nervous system fatigue
- reducing joint and ligament strain
- reducing the risk of injury
- reducing psychological stress”
During this week you don’t want to just go through the motions but instead take this time to focus on your form and technique and slow down your reps. It is not a week to throw in the towel but use it to your advantage. While lighter weight is being used, use it to really focus on how you are moving.
One should always be stretching and foam rolling regularly. With shorter workouts you can then utilize that time that you would be lifting to get extra stretching/ foam rolling in. Maybe take an epsom salt bath, my favorite. Or schedule a massage with the extra time you now have. Use this week to reset both mentally and physically as well as use it as a maintenance week.
Are deload weeks part of your programming? Do you find the need to utilize one? Let me know in the comments.