Over the past week, apart from being extremely busy, I performed my first ever de-load week. For those of you that are unaware of what a de-load week is, our friends at bodybuilding.com have a perfectly reasonable definition at hand:
“A de-load is a planned reduction in volume or intensity, whose purpose is to allow the body to dissipate accumulated fatigue, allow you to fully recover and prepare you for further gains.”
The goal of de-loading is to allow you to become stronger, faster and bigger by putting in a week of active recovery in your workout plan. A de-load week is better than taking whole rest week because de-loading allows you to keep making progress as a lifter without abandoning training altogether for a week. Besides from this, it is recommended that you do some physical activity regularly throughout the week. Were you really going to do nothing all week?! (I’m shocked if you said yes).
Some of the biggest benefits of de-loading
- Allowing your central nervous system to recover from fatigue.
- Reduce the risk of overtraining.
- Allow you to take your mind off lifting heavy for a short period of time
And most of all:
- Prepare you for more gains!
How to de-load properly
- Do your normal routine workout with half the weight you currently work at.
- Or: Use the same weight but DRASTICALLY decrease the volume i.e. the number of reps you perform the exercise at.
- Focus on refining the form of your major lifts and isolating exercises.
- Enjoy the week! Do something you may not regularly do in the gym. I myself have rarely used a medicine ball to train, but last week I did a couple of balance exercises using it.