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View Full Version : How often do you have deload weeks and what do they consist of?



gazh1983
04-07-2011, 01:43 PM
Had a terrible session today, struggled with floorpressing weights I was smashing up last ME bench day. It got me thinking, as a drug free lifter doing a conjugate routine, how often would you "deload"? I've been doing this WS routine for 6 weeks now but this is the first time I've done any form of routine like this.

In these weeks do you just have it off completley or just lower the weights, up the reps and do catch up on other bodyparts?

mchicia1
04-07-2011, 02:01 PM
When doing a 4 day a week routine, I would deload by literally taking an entire week off. I would come back strong as ever. I just hate going into the gym and going through the motions by lifting sub-intense weights. I feel taking a week off from the gym freshens you both physically and mentally.

But now that I am on a 3 day/wk A-B-A, I rarely need a deload because I am already getting up to 4 days of rest between related body parts.

Maybe someone a little more familiar with westside can help you out. But if you have another bad workout I would just take some time off...5-7 days or so.

IronDiggy
04-07-2011, 02:29 PM
I generally deload every 4-6 weeks which just consists on cutting volume and intensity back to like 50% for a week.

gazh1983
04-07-2011, 02:36 PM
OK thanks guys!

SEOINAGE
04-07-2011, 02:47 PM
Hmm floor press is one where I was always way under weight of what i would be doing for other things. Might just need to establish new baseline numbers for that lift, and start it a bit lower and only compare it to itself the next time you get around to it. Deloading might be necessary but I wouldn't overlook what I mentioned.

mike95763
04-07-2011, 03:00 PM
I almost never deload. If you are really doing the conjugate method you shouldn't really need to deload much unless you are hitting very large weights. When I first started doing a powerlifting routine I was worried about overtraining and deloaded every 4 weeks or so, but all I ended up doing was getting weaker. So naturally I thought I was overtraining. It turns out I wasn't doing enough assistance stuff after my ME movement. I think my case is more the norm. People do to little and worry they are doing too much. Just keep changing up the lifts and hitting the weights hard.

gazh1983
04-07-2011, 03:02 PM
Hmm floor press is one where I was always way under weight of what i would be doing for other things. Might just need to establish new baseline numbers for that lift, and start it a bit lower and only compare it to itself the next time you get around to it. Deloading might be necessary but I wouldn't overlook what I mentioned.

That;s what I did man, compared it to last week. It was my 3rd week doing floor press though?

gazh1983
04-07-2011, 03:12 PM
I almost never deload. If you are really doing the conjugate method you shouldn't really need to deload much unless you are hitting very large weights. When I first started doing a powerlifting routine I was worried about overtraining and deloaded every 4 weeks or so, but all I ended up doing was getting weaker. So naturally I thought I was overtraining. It turns out I wasn't doing enough assistance stuff after my ME movement. I think my case is more the norm. People do to little and worry they are doing too much. Just keep changing up the lifts and hitting the weights hard.

Interesting point!

SEOINAGE
04-07-2011, 03:43 PM
That;s what I did man, compared it to last week. It was my 3rd week doing floor press though?

Hmmm, you should be changing up your ME movement a lot more often than that. If I repeat the same ME the next week it is always worse than the first week.

Tom Mutaffis
04-07-2011, 04:43 PM
Had a terrible session today, struggled with floorpressing weights I was smashing up last ME bench day. It got me thinking, as a drug free lifter doing a conjugate routine, how often would you "deload"? I've been doing this WS routine for 6 weeks now but this is the first time I've done any form of routine like this.

In these weeks do you just have it off completley or just lower the weights, up the reps and do catch up on other bodyparts?

Right now I typically just 'deload' or take it easy the week before and the week after a strongman contest, but that would not really apply to what you are doing.

What has worked for me in the past was just instinctively taking a 'week off' when I would stall or feel that I was over-training. On my 'recovery week' I would do nothing but a couple of cardio session or maybe play some sports (no lifting). This will usually allow your muscles/tendons/CNS enough time to be ready to start moving some big weight again when you resume training. The whole principal of light training weeks every couple of weeks can also work, but in my opinion those would have to be programmed. If you are at the point where you have already overtrained then a week off would be more beneficial than a week of lighter training (and you would not lose any progress by taking a week off).

mike95763
04-07-2011, 05:24 PM
SEOINAGE is right. Doing the same ME movement 3 times in a row isn't the best idea. Try rotating every week with 3-4 different lifts so you only do each ME movement once a month. That way every time you do a movement you are primed for a new PR.

NickAus
04-07-2011, 05:35 PM
I really think people are getting carried away with this "deload" thing.........way too many deloads IMO.

I see guys with 135 benches deloading all the time.........those people and myself need to train...eat...recover...train...eat...recover...train...eat...recover... not deload all the time.

Just because AJ and co take a deload week does not mean everyone needs them all the time.

If it is working for you then its working but I doubt deloading with a 800lb total is needed.

Tom Mutaffis
04-07-2011, 05:49 PM
I really think people are getting carried away with this "deload" thing.........way too many deloads IMO.

I see guys with 135 benches deloading all the time.........those people and myself need to train...eat...recover...train...eat...recover...train...eat...recover... not deload all the time.

Just because AJ and co take a deload week does not mean everyone needs them all the time.

If it is working for you then its working but I doubt deloading with a 800lb total is needed.

Agreed, I was kind of eluding to that in my post above but did not come out directly and say it. When I first started training I would take a week off every few months and that was training 4-5 days per week with each session consisting of about 20 sets spread over 60-90 minutes.

There is a quote from a top strongman that I think would fit well here:

"There is no such thing as over training, there is only under eating, under sleeping, and the failure of will" - Marshall White

gazh1983
04-07-2011, 06:02 PM
Agreed on the under sleeping bit lol.

SELK
04-07-2011, 06:21 PM
One thing to take into consideration is that the body cannot differentiate between stress. That means that the cns gets stressed with both a heavy deadlift session and a stressful day at work (the deadlift session is likely more taxing.. but you are also not deadlifting every day).

If you live a pretty easy life, sleep lots, and are generally not stressed out you will be able to go further without deloads. I think this is a huge reason that when we look at Bulgarian olympic lifters maxing out their lifts several times per week we think its crazy.. what we don't realize is that they do this for a living and have few extra stresses.

I generally deload when my joints start to get beat up, that has always been the limiting factor for me.

C...unit
04-07-2011, 07:28 PM
I do deloads every 8 wks or so. It usually consist\s of alot of stuff I would usually not due like belt squats, one leg squats, some flexability and agility stuff plus alot of gpp as well rehab is huge too. It is definatly OK to deload but its not an easy week its just a week to deload the CNS so I wont put a bar on my back and no deadlift variants and prolly no barbell benching. My deloads are alot of times more difficult than a regular workout, IMO ppl think deload and want tio get lazy but thats not the idea as far as I understand it. I get plenty of good solid work in on deloads and the only time I generaly take time off is around meets or if personal shit comes up. If my joints are beat up I will do the deloads more often but I find 6-8wks to be plenty for me. Just what works for me

jtteg_x
04-07-2011, 09:01 PM
Ever had one of those days where your workout was flat out half assed? Then it happens the following workout again? That's when I take a full week off from weights completely. I simply just listen to my body. Each individual is different. Lots of rest, proper nutrition, and smart training are few variables to consider.

joey54
04-07-2011, 09:15 PM
Don't believe Travis ever deloads, at least not by looking at his training log and what he has said in the past. Sure he will provide a better, more detailed answer.

vdizenzo
04-08-2011, 05:50 AM
For my next training cycle I am experimenting with a different type of deload. Throughout the cycle there are days where I will only deload the ME exercise. Then there are weeks where I will deload my supplemental exercise. A DE deload, an assistance deload. In other words I am not doing a complete deload on any given week. I find that if I call an entire session a deload I tend to mail it in. Now, if I am deloading supplemental or accessory work, I will be exicted to hammer my ME. Or if it's a ME deload I will focus on my supplemental and accessory work.

This is part of the new program I wrote for myself going into my next meet. Check out my log where I will be chronicling the journey. My Training Log (http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=91951)

gazh1983
04-08-2011, 10:00 AM
Cool interesting, will definaltey check the log out.

ScottYard
04-08-2011, 12:12 PM
I deload every 4th week regardless of how im feeling.

blong
04-08-2011, 12:46 PM
I firmly believe deloads should be handled differently per the lifter. Frequency for me is based on body feeI but usually comes calling around week 5 or 6. I have had success with what I refer to as an active deload, which means scaling back on volume and weight and focusing more on blood flow to promote recovery. If I take a week off my logs have shown I come back flat and weak. Best thing to do is experiment and record it, find what works for you.

Ruff Riff
04-08-2011, 02:28 PM
I don't train for three lifts, but I am a bench only kind of guy (siatic nerve problem has also dictated such a model for now) BUT I have had good results from deload weeks? But I really don' t know if it is a cookie cutter tool to add to any workout plan. Travis has told me to listen to my body and from what I can gather it is about my CNS being fried more than my muscles themselves?

If I am un racking 405 and it feels crazy heavy and I have been going at it hard for a 4 or 6 weeks it is time for a diconnect, at least that has seemed to work for me? I am 35 (going on 36) and I feel that taking an entire week OFF PERIOD, from everything suits me best personally. I have a hard time going into the gym and NOT lifting the way I have come to love so it just seems to work best for me to take the time off? Also being a type 1 diabetic may play a role in my recovery and need for a time umplugged but I am not sure. I didn't read every post so if I repeated something sorry!

Mark!
04-08-2011, 03:59 PM
I deload on squats and deadlifts every 5-6 weeks or so now. Bench and upper body, I'm switching up movements usually and don't deload as I'm not pushing up big weights there. Mostly I just listen to my body, if I'm feeling tight and everything feels heavy on my back and off the floor, I'll do a deload.

NickAus
04-11-2011, 02:08 AM
For my next training cycle I am experimenting with a different type of deload. Throughout the cycle there are days where I will only deload the ME exercise. Then there are weeks where I will deload my supplemental exercise. A DE deload, an assistance deload. In other words I am not doing a complete deload on any given week. I find that if I call an entire session a deload I tend to mail it in. Now, if I am deloading supplemental or accessory work, I will be exicted to hammer my ME. Or if it's a ME deload I will focus on my supplemental and accessory work.

This is part of the new program I wrote for myself going into my next meet. Check out my log where I will be chronicling the journey. My Training Log (http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=91951)

I like that!

barryisawinnah
04-11-2011, 10:33 AM
Now that I'm on 5/3/1 plus doing strongman events on Saturdays, I will be deloading every 4th week. When I was doing WS4SB3 I deloaded maybe twice a year, mainly vacations, etc. If one is on a linear program then I believe deloads are essential.

Invain
04-11-2011, 02:54 PM
I definitely agree. Most of the guys on my PL team seem to be deloading every other fricken week. I probably take a whole week off a couple times a year. I judge everything by how I'm feeling, if a certain muslce group doesn't seem to be recovering then I'll take it easy or skip that particular day, but that doesn't mean I need to take a whole week off. Your CNS is built to adapt.


I really think people are getting carried away with this "deload" thing.........way too many deloads IMO.

I see guys with 135 benches deloading all the time.........those people and myself need to train...eat...recover...train...eat...recover...train...eat...recover... not deload all the time.

Just because AJ and co take a deload week does not mean everyone needs them all the time.

If it is working for you then its working but I doubt deloading with a 800lb total is needed.

Niko_El_Piko
04-11-2011, 03:34 PM
It really depends on how advanced you are as a lifter and consider how you recover. If you are in the novice/intermediate I wouldn´t get too worried.
If you are advanced, active or wanna be competitor then you should plan things up.
In my case, I work my bench press ME every week over 90% 1RM for 3 weeks (keeping a total of 15 presses over 90%/month) , try to hit a max, and deload with a different press excercise (Dumbell incline press) or floor press in the 80% range.
As for DL/SQ, y try a max out every alternate week (1 for SQ, next one for DL) , deloading every 9/10 wks.
Hope it helps.

thecityalive
08-13-2011, 11:43 AM
Sorry to bump such an aged thread, but I've been considering when to deload and found some good reads here.

I just finished week 6 of a cycle, and have some options:

Either deload for week 7, or delay a deload a few more weeks. I personally think I've been stalling or just need a break to recover. I was amazed with how much stronger I became after being away for 5 months. Rest is important.

theBarzeen
08-13-2011, 08:23 PM
I program to alternate between light, medium, and heavy workouts for each lift so I rarely have to ever take a week completely off..... I guess that once a year I get on the motorcycle and ride for a month so during that time could be considered a deload. I usually end up looking for more than just commercial gyms after the second week on the road, so even then isn't time totally off of heavy work.....

So I guess that the only time I really back off is if I start getting more than the average tweaks and strains..... the body is pretty good at telling you that it's time to back off by hurting a lot....