You may have heard the term “Deloading” pop up from time to time and wondered what that means or if you should be doing it.
Have you ever stayed consistent in the gym week after week, month after month, and noticed some fatigue setting in or maybe some pain in your joints?
Maybe you hit a plateau or are just feeling a little beat up. This would be a great time for you to implement a deloading phase into your training plan.
What is deloading?
Deloading is a period of planned recovery after constantly performing intense workouts. Typically you would implement a deload for about a week where you lower the weights or volume in the gym and focus on form and recovery.
Don’t worry, a deload is not just a time to sit on the couch and watch Netflix as your gains disappear. A deload is a strategic way to improve your performance at the gym and give your body a chance to recover from all the stress you have been putting it through.
Not only is a deload week going to help prevent injuries by taking some of the load off your tendons, joints, and ligaments, but it will also give your mind a little reset and allow your central nervous system to recover.
How to deload
There are a few ways you can perform a deload and you should base the type of deload off of the training you are already doing.
1. Reduce load and intensity
You will want to lower the amount of weight to around 40-60% of your 1 rep max and lower the number of reps you are doing as well. This is great for someone who is really pushing in the gym for a higher level of performance.
2. Reduce overall volume
You can reduce the overall volume of your workouts but keep the weight relatively the same. For example, if you normally do 5 sets of squats, reduce the number of sets to 2 or 3 sets. This type of deloading is great for competitors in strength events like powerlifting.
3. Change up the type of exercise
If you normally lift weights, go for a lighter low-intensity type workout like bodyweight circuits, yoga, or some outdoor activities. Use this time to take some stress off your joints and focus on movement patterns and mobility.
– RELATED: How To Avoid Hitting A Fitness Wall –
Take some time to meditate, do some yoga, or simply take a walk in the park. Anything that reduces stress both physically and mentally will help improve your life, overall well-being, and help you push past that plateau.
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