Are you feeling tired frequently? Do you feel pain in your joints when you lift weights or after your workouts? Then maybe it’s time you need a deload week.
I’ve faced this problem several times as a beginner and did not know that I actually needed a deload week.
I was enjoying my routine of working out every day without a break.
It felt good to hit the gym every day, watching the progress with the weights, and the pump after the workout.
But then I started getting the symptoms of what I later realized is caused due to overtraining. I started feeling pain in my joints, was tired a lot of the time and was losing my motivation to workout.
If you are feeling the same, then it is time to consider making use of a deload week.
If you are not, even then you should know what a deload week is and make use of it often so that you don’t suffer the problem of overtraining.
A deload week is a period of time where you take it easy and workout with lighter weights or reduce the number of sets.
The idea is to encourage recovery for your body before you start training harder again with heavier weights.
There are several benefits of a deload week as we see below:
You may find it surprising that a lot of top level athletes use a deload every 3-4 weeks.
For us beginners, a deload can be done every 6-8 weeks depending on how young or old we are.
If you are young, then a deload every 8 weeks would be fine. For people above 40, a deload every 6 weeks or maybe even earlier is fine.
It is always good to plan the deload week in your training schedule weeks ahead so that you stick to it.
Otherwise, the chances are that you might forget about it especially if you are feeling good about your workouts and do not want to stop.
In other cases, you may be feeling fatigue, pain in your joints, and other such symptoms of overtraining even before the 6-8 weeks.
If that is the case then you can immediately schedule the deload week into your training to rest and recover.
There are several ways in which you can use a deload. The main idea is to reduce the workload so as to allow your body to rest and recover fully.
You can choose any one that you prefer and it will work fine to give you a good deload.
Also if you are working out with a lower rep range like 4-6 reps then you might want to increase the rep range to 8-10 reps during the deload week if you are using lighter weights.
It is your personal choice whether you want to take a week off or use the deload week.
The benefit of using a deload is that it will help you recover a bit faster as you are still pumping blood in your muscles helping provide it nutrients.
Also, a deload will help you psychologically because you are still hitting the gym though with lower intensity. It will help you keep your rhythm of going to the gym.
Also, because you are hitting the gym, you will not get the feeling of laziness or missing out.
The benefit of taking a complete week off is that you can make use of it to get a vacation and consider it as a treat for the hard work that you have been putting in the gym.
A lot of people worry whether they should lower their calories during the deload week because they have reduced the intensity of their workouts.
My opinion is to keep the calories and macronutrient intake the same during the deload week. It does not make any difference for the week.
Some people also want to increase the amount of cardio they perform but you should not. The entire purpose of the deload is to give your body some rest to recover. So don’t go about performing high-intensity interval training sessions for that week. You can perform some light cardio 2-3 times for the week if you wish.
You can even take a break from your diet during the deload week and enjoy some food. A week will not make much difference in your overall plans even if you go overboard a little.
I hope you now know what is a deload and why it is important for a beginner who works out at the gym to take a deload week.
To summarize, the idea of using a deload week is to allow your body to rest and recover so that you can get back to lifting heavy weights with intensity and progress faster.you should always use a deload week after 6-8 weeks of intense workouts. The
You should always use a deload week after 6-8 weeks of intense workouts to avoid risking overtraining and injury.
The deload can simply be lowering the weight by 50% and reducing the number of sets by 50%.
If you have any questions about deload, please feel free to comment below.
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