Why You Should Incorporate A Deload Period Into Your Routine

 

If you’re serious about getting into bodybuilding or just increasing your strength, one of the most important things you have to accept right away is that you’re going to be working hard. It’s no walk in the park and you will be pushing your body to its limits to achieve your goals.

That being said, it’s also very important to know when it’s time to stop and cool down a bit. Years of experience in fitness have taught us that giving your body enough time to recover from a workout is just as important as the workout itself.

Introducing the Deload period. Put simply, the deload is a short, planned period of recovery. During this time, which can last anything from a week to a week and a half, you should be working out a little less and, generally speaking, just taking it easy.

To someone who knows nothing about fitness, a deload might just seem like an excuse to be lazy and sit on your butt instead of hitting the gym. But in truth, this period of recovery is a very efficient method to push your limits even further. Your body needs some time off every now and then just to catch up and adapt, and this is what you’re giving it when you deload. So how should you go on about this?

Well, there are several ways. One option might be to just reduce the weight. During your deload period, try lifting only 40-60% of your usual 1-RM. This doesn’t mean you should increase your reps, though. The point of the deload is to reduce the overall volume, so if you increase the reps and reduce the weight, you’re accomplishing nothing.

Or, you could keep the weight, but decrease the volume by reducing the number of sets and reps. For example, if you regularly do six sets of six squats with a certain weight, do some singles/doubles or just a single set of five to six reps. This way, you’ll let your body know not to relax too much as you’re still going to be pumping weight, but you’ll be giving it a breather from your regular intense training.

Now, there’s no exact rule that tells you when you should deload, so you’ll have to figure out that bit on your own. Your training program might already include a deload period, so if it does, problem solved! In any other case, you simply have to listen to your body. Are your joints sore, do you feel fatigued often? If so, maybe it’s time for a deload.

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