Deload

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by PlumPunch, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. PlumPunch

    PlumPunch Orange Belt

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    Drawing on the expertise of the more seasoned lifters here, I'm curious to know what the consensus on deloads is. Are they essential for everybody, or only more advanced lifters? Schedule them fast a la 5/3/1 or only when a deload feels necessary? Total rest or active recovery? How does LISS, HIIT, sports, etc. effect the need for a deload?

    I've been doing 5/3/1 since the beginning of the year, but have skipped the deloads. But I'm a novice. I did take a week off recenty to recoup from an injury. Only benefit seemed to be fresher legs, which makes sense considering I squat two to three times a week and deadlift once.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. spin

    spin Gold Belt

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    how are you doing 5/3/1 and squatting 2 to 3 times a week?
     
  3. PlumPunch

    PlumPunch Orange Belt

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    Usually adding squats to my deadlift day. And if I'm feeling extra ambitious, I'll throw in an extra day. Breaks down to Wednesdat squat, Friday deadlift and squat and Monday squat if I'm up to it. Not orthodox 5/3/1 obviously, more Mormon 5/3/1.
     
  4. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Take one if you feel you really need one, or life forces you to take one. Otherwise, don't. I'd do all the same activity and training I usually do, although with lower volume, and backing off intensity for any especially heavy work. Or I'll just wait until starting a new training cycle, and start light (generally a good idea, anyway) and the first week will be like a deload.

    I think that most people don't really train hard enough to need regular deloads. Rather than deloading, they need to think about recovery, programming, and prehab.
     
  5. fbmmofo

    fbmmofo Blue Belt

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    I can normally feel when I need one but have been training for a number of years. If your a novice it might be worth scheduling one every two cycles on 531. Just until you can learn to listen to your body a bit better.
     
  6. ssdd

    ssdd Purple Belt

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    I've seen some programming where the intensity increases and the volume decreases each week for 3 weeks, then it repeats starting at a higher intensity.

    Whereas with 531 the intensity increases and the volume drops on week 2, but then the intensity and volume both increase on week 3.

    Would a deload be less necessary with the first type of programming since the volume is always decreasing?
     
  7. jrams

    jrams Black Belt

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    I've stopped programming them. I've found that when I do I take them too frequently and don't get much out of them. I also get light weeks just from life preventing me from sticking to my schedule 100%.
     
  8. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Volume with 5/3/1 is a little ambiguous, because so much of it depends on how many reps you actually achieve for the AMRAP sets, if you actually do the AMRAP sets, and which variation out of the billions that exist, you're following.

    Generally, you'd follow a week where both volume and intensity have been increased with a week with reduced volume and/or intensity, although it wouldn't usually be a deload. Just week to week variation - it's normal for a program to have days and weeks that are less demanding and more demanding. It's not deloading, it's periodization.

    With regards to whether a certain type of programming makes deloading more necessary, the bigger factors are going to be how demanding the program is relative to the individuals preparedness for it, and how much volume and/or intensity increase or decrease. Vanilla 5/3/1 isn't a very demanding program, so even if volume and intensity are increased at the same time, a deload usually shouldn't be necessary. Whereas, after three weeks of smolov, you want a deload, even though total reps have stayed the same each week, and only intensity has increased.
     
  9. MilkManUK

    MilkManUK Brown Belt

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    This. I do 5/3/1 and have stopped scheduling deloads into my training. I was ill last month so kind of used that as a forced deload, otherwise I tend to just try and keep the momentum going.
     
  10. Flash_Monsta

    Flash_Monsta Black Belt

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    Samsies. I use the Deload week to get in more volume and dat dere Hypertrophy gainz.
     
  11. spin

    spin Gold Belt

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    Just don't make your bodies old before their time.


    Is all fun and games till something goes snap crackle or pop.
     
  12. ChiliDavis65

    ChiliDavis65 Blue Belt

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    I've been using 5/3/1 for almost 2 years now and have stopped programming in deload weeks. As stated previously, I deload when life forces me to.
     
  13. SexyMahnaz

    SexyMahnaz Green Belt

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    I'm not experienced. But if I was you, I'd just try one and see. Go light for 5 days to a week, then come back - if you're not feeling stronger and or fresher, you probably didn't need one. If it works, make a mental note & repeat when you're body feels worn out to a similar level.

    FWIW I did just this & came back with PB's.
     
  14. Rexdale

    Rexdale Yellow Belt

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    I find that life forces me to deload often enough that I don't need to schedule them in. IF you don't feel like you need a deload then don't. If you get to a point where you actually need to schedule in a deload you probably won't be asking for advice here anymore.
     
  15. UltraMaggot

    UltraMaggot White Belt

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    As a novice/intermediate 370 squat, i wouldnt programme deloads.

    Id deload if i feel tired or over trained OR failing to get desired reps 3 workuts in a row (as advised in SL 5x5).
     
  16. obroin

    obroin Orange Belt

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    I'm gonna go against the grain here. I'm actually a big fan of regular, scheduled deloads.

    Aside from the forced recovery, there are three huge advantages to these deloads to me.

    1. For one week, I don't have to be super strict with my training. I condense 4 lifting sessions into 2, meaning if I want to go out of town for a few days, I won't miss a session. The sessions are also shorter, so if I want to sleep in more before work or whatever, it's not an issue.

    2. I also use it as a bit of a "contrast" week, in that I use it to train some other areas of my training that I neglect during my usual cycle. Outside of the deload week, I focus almost exclusively on low rep strength training at high intensities coupled with HIIT conditioning. When the deload comes around, I switch to high rep bodyweight assistance and LISS cardio. Other times, I'll take the whole week off and go on a hiking or camping trip, or focus on something else entirely. This is a huge mental break, which leads into my third point.

    3. Come the end of the deload week, I'm chomping at the bit to get back in the gym. Sunday afternoon, I'm fidgeting on the coach, looking through my planned training logs, imagining the workout to come. It helps prevent burnout and makes me eager to train. Not willing. Desperate. I'm so excited to get back in there and work hard.

    In fact, point 3 is part of the reason I switched to 3/5/1 instead of 5/3/1. On the 3 and 1 week, I hit some heavy singles and really try to drive up heavy weight. The 5 week I use as almost a mini deload, focusing on more down sets and accumulating more volume as opposed to intensity. The 5 week acts as a mental and physical refresher, so I'm excited to push some heavier weight come 1's week. Then I deload, up the TM, and do it all over again.

    The thought of deloading 25% of the year definitely turns some people off, and others can do just fine avoiding the deload. I'd much rather deload too much, and avoid burnout and injury, than deload too little and be forced to take a lot of time off.
     
  17. Phlog

    Phlog Dad Belt

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    Bump.

    I've always just trained 100%, but after this last football season I took a month off just training sporadically. Now after a week back at it I've hit PRs in my squat and press.

    I was listening to Bill Kazmire say how he only left 2 days between heavy deadlifts and heavy squats, that he thought it held him back and if he trained like some of the modern guys who leave as long as 11 days between such sessions, he'd have been much stronger.

    Obviously I ain't in that camp but I only leave a day or two between heavy deadlifts and squats. Makes me wonder if I'm leaving strength on the table in the quest to feel like I'm working hard?
     
  18. dannysmith

    dannysmith Blue Belt

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    531 isnt a program that requires the frequent deloads unless youre an old fart or your lifestyle sucks. Id still do one every 8 or 12 weeks for sanity's sake. There is merit to giving yourself a mental break.
     
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  19. Kevin Mai

    Kevin Mai White Belt

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    Why bump a 4 year old post lol.

    But nevertheless, squatting + deadlifting heavy is taxing on the nervous system and it can take up to a week to fully recover. This compounded with the effect of postural imbalances, poor lifestyle choices, other factors of stress = even longer. So yes I think you are leaving a lot of "strength" or gainz to be made. I've started to implement an additional rest day and it's allowed me to go harder when I'm back. It works.
     
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  20. Phlog

    Phlog Dad Belt

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    I've been searching the database for info when I have questions, when there's a topic but I feel there's more to add I figured it would be worth a bump. This subforum is almost dead otherwise so

    <Gordonhat>
     
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