Why deload? Isn’t more work better? You actually get stronger when you rest after exercise. Have you ever heard people say to a growing kid “you just shot up over night?” That saying is partially true. Our bodies are amazing, a lot of recovery and growth happens while we sleep which is why it is so important. If you’ve been working out consistently and have started to see a plateau, it’s probably time for you to do a deload week.
Who should deload?
Those that are working out 5+ times per week should absolutely deload. If you’re a newbie or tend to only workout 1-2 times per week, then you’re likely getting enough rest already and don’t require a deload week.
If you have an upcoming meet or event, you should deload prior to the event. This will give you the best opportunity to see what you have at the meet.
How do you deload?
Deloading doesn’t mean that you get to hang on the couch all week eating Reese (even though that’d be nice).
Deloading can be done a number of ways, a few have been noted below.
• You can lower your weight to 50% – 60% and keep the intensity at or below your normal.
• Skip a day and put your energy to good use doing something you’ve been putting off at home – organize your bills, play with your kids, declutter your closet or go visit an old friend.
• Focus on mobility. Get warm and stretch. Your body will thank you.
• If you feel you must keep your weight, lower your reps. Instead of doing 5 sets of 5, do 5 sets of 1 or 2.
In short, it’s imperative avid athletes deload to ensure their bodies have time to replenish. You can keep moving just reduce your intensity and/or quantity and increase your rest.