I Was Wrong About Dealod Weeks
There are two ways you can plan deloads into your training: Proactively and reactively. Which one is better for hypertrophy?
In a fitness world where men scream and go crazy about creatine (your grandma knows it as a steroid because it’s powder and it’s white) and mammoth biceps, a deload refers to a week taken off training or a short period, usually a week, of reduced training volume, load and/or intensity to allow for mitigation of fatigue that added up over weeks of hard training.
Based on the fitness fatigue model, both fitness (muscle, strength, et-fugging-cetera) and fatigue (muscle damage, nervous system fatigue, etc.) go up with each workout:
And that’s where a deload week comes in. It allows your body to get rid of fatigue and its symptoms such as poor sleep and achy joints so you can keep pushing hard in the gym and make gains so that this girl (or boy) you like would finally go all well that’s a sexy sparkly bicep right there and ask you out on a date.
Now, there are two ways you can program deloads into your training (and that’s what I was wrong about in some of my previous articles):
The 1st way: Proactive deloads
You pre-plan a deload week in advance every 4 to 8 weeks:
The 2nd way: Reactive deloads
You wait for signs of fatigue to build up and have a deload when you feel that you actually need one (you’re no longer making progress and dread going to the gym, have poor sleep and/or achy joints, etc.):
The former — having deloads at fixed intervals — was something I used to recommend to my clients and implement into my own training. I switched to a more autoregulated/flexible…