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Deload weeks?

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ChargerWolf

ChargerWolf

Member
Jan 22, 2024
37
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Hey I was wondering if deload weeks actually work. I heard about em a while back but haven't read up on them until now. I figured I try it out but I feel like so far I'm just wasting time I could be going harder on training to get more gains. Should I continue?
 
DieYoungStrong

DieYoungStrong

VIP Member
May 27, 2013
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When I was powerlifting - they were worked into my programmming and very much needed.

Now - I just take as needed. Been doing this long enough to know when I need to back off for a week. And for me, backing off is just dropping the intensity for a week. I still get sets and reps volume, and blood flowing. I do a lot of machine work these weeks to give my joinsta a break. I usually do more cardio these weeks too. I feel like I do this once every couple of months...
 
ChargerWolf

ChargerWolf

Member
Jan 22, 2024
37
11
When I was powerlifting - they were worked into my programmming and very much needed.

Now - I just take as needed. Been doing this long enough to know when I need to back off for a week. And for me, backing off is just dropping the intensity for a week. I still get sets and reps volume, and blood flowing. I do a lot of machine work these weeks to give my joinsta a break. I usually do more cardio these weeks too. I feel like I do this once every couple of months...
Ye I know to only do em 1 week every 3 months or so.
Alr, thx for the advice!
 
Bigtex

Bigtex

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Aug 14, 2012
1,166
1,729
Hey I was wondering if deload weeks actually work. I heard about em a while back but haven't read up on them until now. I figured I try it out but I feel like so far I'm just wasting time I could be going harder on training to get more gains. Should I continue?
Here is what science has to say.


Conclusion
In conclusion, our findings suggest that a 1-week deload period at the midpoint of a 9-week RT program appears to negatively influence measures of lower body muscle strength but has no effect on lower body hypertrophy, power or local muscular endurance.

Just what I sincerely believe, taking those weeks off to "deload" is not going to help you at all. I spent years training using periodization, occasionally deloading. It was always 2 steps forward and twosteps backwards. My progress was very slow. Once I started training with Anthony Clark who used his own modified style of conjugate training, my totals started moving forward. Hitting maxes every week, doing lots of bodybuilding type work and never taking weeks off to deload. Just constantly moving forward with new maxes at different low rep ranges. While I quit powerlifting 14 years ago, I still don't deload and never even take a week off.

As long as you are eating enough calories, getting plenty of rest and got your drugs dialed in you just don't need time off to recover. Get what you can while you can.
 
ChargerWolf

ChargerWolf

Member
Jan 22, 2024
37
11
Here is what science has to say.


Conclusion
In conclusion, our findings suggest that a 1-week deload period at the midpoint of a 9-week RT program appears to negatively influence measures of lower body muscle strength but has no effect on lower body hypertrophy, power or local muscular endurance.

Just what I sincerely believe, taking those weeks off to "deload" is not going to help you at all. I spent years training using periodization, occasionally deloading. It was always 2 steps forward and twosteps backwards. My progress was very slow. Once I started training with Anthony Clark who used his own modified style of conjugate training, my totals started moving forward. Hitting maxes every week, doing lots of bodybuilding type work and never taking weeks off to deload. Just constantly moving forward with new maxes at different low rep ranges. While I quit powerlifting 14 years ago, I still don't deload and never even take a week off.

As long as you are eating enough calories, getting plenty of rest and got your drugs dialed in you just don't need time off to recover. Get what you can while you can.
Hmmm, ok got it. Thanks for the help
 
Rottenrogue

Rottenrogue

Strongwoman
Jan 26, 2011
6,625
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I take them when needed. I always come back stronger .
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

VIP Member
Dec 28, 2015
2,760
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I take a week when I have too many pains to work around. IMO it’s for the connective tissues to calm down.
This is my approach as well. The muscles should never need a deload if I am eating enough and getting enough rest. I always went by the thought, muscles cannot be overtrained, just underfed and not rested enough. However, connective tissue can definitely be overtrained.
 
myosin

myosin

VIP Member
May 27, 2011
1,207
1,487
This is my approach as well. The muscles should never need a deload if I am eating enough and getting enough rest. I always went by the thought, muscles cannot be overtrained, just underfed and not rested enough. However, connective tissue can definitely be overtrained.
muscles cannot be overtrained, just underfed and not rested enough.

Agree... I haven't really followed the thread or read the posted studies but I think if anything that might need "rest" on occasion is the CNS for strength athletes (maybe BB's too, but that might be for those who are maximally stimulating their CNS with stimulants), but that seems up for debate as well, it might be a benefit if one isn't recovering enough, ie, they might have adequate nutrition but not enough quality sleep... I also think "deload" can vary in one's definition too... one might do the same amount of sets but cut weight by 50%, others might cut the sets by half, but still do same intensity (I'd lean more towards the latter).

While he does have the occasional snafu, Huberman has at least one podcast on monitoring certain parameters to see how recovered an athelete is and if they should go balls out that day or not, I believe one big one was simply measuring hand strength upon awakening... I had thought about looking up the podcast again and getting a hand dynameter just to see and experiment....

 
Halo

Halo

VIP Member
Jul 5, 2011
3,832
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When I was competitive powerlifting and we were in, I think 11 week cycle leading into a meet. We would deload every fourth week so just roughly laying it out by weeks we would do 50% of the one rep max and then 60% and then 70% and then a deload week and then come back and do 60, 70 and 80 and deload then, 70, 80, 90/ set your openers for the meet and do very light movements week of the meet. Obviously higher sets and reps for the lower percentage weeks going lower to the high percentage weeks. Adjustments could be made to the numbers at any time during the program based on how strong a person was with given weights.
This process worked great for me. I was 45 at the time and squatting regularly in the 800 to 900 pound range and dead lifting anywhere from 675 to 800 pounds I didn’t have the biggest bench but I have a plate and 10 screws in my arm, I think when you’re putting that kind of load on your skeleton, tendons and ligaments if you don’t give them time to catch up, heal and grow it could be a problem, I’ve seen a lot of people get to meets and get injured. I never had that. I always felt very fresh at the meets that I was competing in the way we set openers. Was you had to do the weight easily three times in a row with a break between attempts.
 
Tuffoldman

Tuffoldman

VIP Member
May 23, 2011
1,559
1,370
If I'm not mistaken Jim Wendler program gives a deload week every fourth week. Listening to your body when it tells you not to lift heavy do yourself a favor and listen. But for me taking a d load week every 4 weeks can make the difference between seeing gains and causing injury. Everybody wants to lift heavier every single week on and on and on which is virtually impossible. Taking a deload week once a month in my opinion is very smart if you're lifting heavy. If you're just a casual lifter and probably don't need it other than some days that you're just feeling tired and you need a break.




The wendler program is pretty simple to follow if you're looking for just pure strength gains. Above link builds the workouts for you and it gives you weeks 1 2 3 and then the deload week.
 
ChargerWolf

ChargerWolf

Member
Jan 22, 2024
37
11
muscles cannot be overtrained, just underfed and not rested enough.

Agree... I haven't really followed the thread or read the posted studies but I think if anything that might need "rest" on occasion is the CNS for strength athletes (maybe BB's too, but that might be for those who are maximally stimulating their CNS with stimulants), but that seems up for debate as well, it might be a benefit if one isn't recovering enough, ie, they might have adequate nutrition but not enough quality sleep... I also think "deload" can vary in one's definition too... one might do the same amount of sets but cut weight by 50%, others might cut the sets by half, but still do same intensity (I'd lean more towards the latter).

While he does have the occasional snafu, Huberman has at least one podcast on monitoring certain parameters to see how recovered an athelete is and if they should go balls out that day or not, I believe one big one was simply measuring hand strength upon awakening... I had thought about looking up the podcast again and getting a hand dynameter just to see and experiment....

Alr, I’m check this out. Thx
 
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