De-loading: The Best Week of your Life

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).

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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.

And finally:

  • 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.

Photo Credit:
http://tonygentilcore.com/2012/01/the-deload-week-and-why-you-should-use-it/

http://www.crossfitready.com/2014/06/wendler-deload-week/

How big can you get naturally?

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about how big someone can get naturally: that is, without taking steroids or performance enhancing drugs. So we at EHF thought that we might as well go ahead and answer this question for you.

Fat Free Mass Index

First thing’s first, we need to let you know about the Fat Free Mass Index, or FFMI for short. This is the maximum amount of muscle that youhave on your body. It ignores any fat that might be on your body, which is one of the reasons it makes for a much more accurate “measurement” than other muscular calculators. This calculation is almost entirely down to genetics, and is something that you can’t change, even if you want to. What you also have to bear in mind, is that very few people actually ever achieve their genetic, muscular potential.

Calculate it here: http://www.strengthandbody.com/fat-free-mass-index-calculator.html

So what’s the average?

So if you’ve just calculated your FFMI and you’ve got a score of around 19, then don’t worry: that’s the average for a male. From studying the upper limit of [FFMI for] Mr America winners from before the steroid era, it was found that the maximum attainable score is 25. There were one or two exceptions, but the chance of you being one of them isn’t much lower than the chance of you winning the lottery tomorrow, sorry.

There has also been some evidence that the fat free mass index does decrease after a male has hit his mid twenties. But luckily for you females out there, it doesn’t really decrease too much so that’s an advantage you’ve got over the guys.

Today’s bodybuilders aren’t role models

Lots of you will be looking up to top bodybuilders of today and idolising them. Maybe you’re one of the 99% of men that looked up the great Arnie when you were younger and decided that you wanted to look just like him. Well sadly, what he had you can’t attain naturally. Now this doesn’t mean that you should start injecting some toxic compounds into your body, it just means that you should start being more realistic with your goals and bring yourself back to reality. Just to help you out, we’re going to show you a couple of pre-steroid bodybuilders who we think still looked pretty damn aesthetic!

Eugen Sandow

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Steve Reeves (Mr America 1947)

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Bert Goodrich  (Mr America 1938)

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Summary

First off, these physiques were attainted without all of the science that now surrounds the fitness industry, but that they also resemble nothing of todays current generation of bodybuilders. They are pumped full of steroid and we hate seeing clear steroid abusers claiming that they are natural. We believe it’s bad for you guys to be misled, and leads to people feeling insecure about their size. So if you think someone is natural, just input their stats into the FFMI calculator and see where they come. If they’re above 25, they’re probably not natural: they can’t lie with the numbers.

Remember to follow our blog and if you’re interested in how out of hand todays bodybuilders are, check this article out! And let us know what your FFMI score is in the comments below: the author of this article is currently 22.6.