Deload to Explode: Maintaining intensity and continuing gains!

Posted: October 26, 2010 in Training
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve said it before: I LOVE to train!

When I miss a workout for whatever reason, I’m like a junkie going through withdrawal…it’s not a pretty sight.

With that being said however, there comes a time when you NEED to back off from your training. You need to do this in order to continue your gains and help maintain intensity for future sessions.

The term used for this back off period is “deloading” and it can take on many forms.

Depending on how intense your current training program is, I recommend deloading once every 4-8 weeks. The more intense your training (i.e strength/power training that taxes your CNS and joints) the more often you should deload.

If you are doing a lot of deadlifting, squatting, and big, heavy power moves your body needs, and will benefit from, a deload once every 4 weeks. Conversely, if you are doing more circuit type training or conditioning type work, then you can get away with deloading every 8 weeks (I would not go longer than this and even backing off at the 6 week point could prove to be more beneficial).

Generally, the deload period should be about 1 week in length. Too long and your body and your mind might start to lose focus and strength; too short and your body won’t have enough time to fully recover and rejuvenate.

There are a number of things you can do during your deload. Again, depending on the intensity of your previous traning you can simply take the full week off. This would be recommended for those that have been tearing up the weights with brute intensity, specifically on the big 4 movements (squat, deadlift, chins, military press) or any of the olympic lifts (cleans, snatches etc). As long as you are minimizing CNS and joint stress, and spinal loading you are on the right track to a successful deload.

Now, i’m not saying that you have to stop all forms of physical activity (don’t avoid the stairs just because there’s an escalator!). The key is to simply back off….back off from what you were doing, from the heavy loads, etc.

You can, and it’s not a bad idea, to still partake in some activity. Playing some sports, doing some lighter conditioning loads, or even hitting the gym for a ‘lighter’ workout is still OK.

If you just can’t stay away and you have to get in the gym for a workout…be sure and keep the sets down and the weights low. I typically recommend 40-70% of the weight you were using when going balls to the wall!

If you want to maintain intensity and continue the gains you are making in your workouts, you need to be sure you are cycling in deload periods.

You will be amazed at how hungry you will be to hit your next workout after a deload session. You will be chomping at the bit and have a new found sense of intensity and motivation to get back in and attack your workouts.

It will be time to unleash the BEAST within.

Hit it up and get ready…it’s time to deload to explode!!!

‘And then, On to the next one….

Straight up and restful,

Matt B

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Comments
  1. […] Deload to Explode: Maintaining intensity and continuing gains! […]

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