I've been running an intermediate program based on weekly progression (specifically Madcow 5x5) for about 20 weeks, and I recently ran into a big wall. I've deloaded on the program in the past after failing, but it seems to always set me back at least a month when I deload. This time, my own stupidity caused me to get set back even further. I'm not sure what exactly causes one to regress so much over the course of two weeks, but I seem to be set back >6 weeks in terms of progress, and I feel like this shouldn't happen. This leads me to believe that my deloading protocol is very wrong. Here's a synopsis of what happened to me recently: Tried to do a top set of 5 of 320 lbs on the squat last Monday, which is a triple plate squat for me because my plates are over. I failed on the 5th rep, and I failed pretty badly. I've always wanted a triple plate squat (though I realize this isn't impressive by most peoples' standards), so I decided I would try again to get 3 reps of it on Friday (which is when Madcow calls for a top set triple that is 5lbs heavier than the 5 rep top set earlier that week). This time, I got only one rep. I tried attempting 320 again as my top set on Monday, and got steamrolled. I couldn't even get one rep. On Friday, I attempted to deload all the way down to 295 for my "heavy" triple, and I failed on the third rep. I don't think that it could possibly be necessary for me to back off from 7 hard weeks of progress just because I failed my squat three times straight over a span of a week and a half. Have any of you managed to successfully deload on programs like this in a way that doesn't destroy, literally, months of progress?