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  • Writer's pictureKatie Gavin

The Importance of a Deload

A deload is a designated period in your training program where you intentionally reduce the

intensity and volume of your workouts. It acts as a temporary break from the demands of your

heavy training to give your body and mind the rest it deserves.

Sometimes, too much training isn’t too great on our body. If we are continuously asking for full

effort from our body each time we workout, week after week, month after month, we may start to see plateaus in strength and/or a decrease in performance. Taking a deload can maximize your muscle building and fitness potential by giving your body some rest so it can get back to performing at its highest level.

Some signs that you may need a deload:

-Performance is stagnant/dropped

-Sleep is more disturbed (not being able to sleep through the night, can’t fall asleep, groggy in

morning, etc)

-Energy levels are lower (Restless but exhausted)

-Irritable/Moody/Hard to focus

-Frequent injuries/Nagging aches

-Motivation to train has dropped

-Takes longer to recover from workouts

-Low Appetite

How often should I deload?

Generally, the more advanced you are in your fitness, the more important it becomes to deload. Beginners and on and off gym goers generally do not need to worry as much because their systems are less taxed then someone who trains hard consistently. A deload could be as often as every 4 weeks up to every 12 weeks. Everyone will respond differently to a training program so its important to pay attention how you are feeling at each stage in your program.

What does a deload look like?

You do not have to completely rest If you don’t want to. However, the training intensity and

volume must be reduced enough to not tax your central nervous system. This could be done by decreasing the number of sets, reps, and or number of training days in the week. You can use lighter weights for exercises, focusing more on form, decreasing the time under tension, and increasing the rest periods between sets.

You can also explore other exercise outside the gym like biking, swimming, hiking, yoga, pilates. These are all very low intensity things that can be substituted for training during your deload week. (Our Thursday morning yoga classes are not only great during a deload but as an additional way to work on mobility. Click here to view the schedule.)

You can also completely rest. Get some stuff done that you normally cannot do during a busy

week. Eat, sleep, and recover. The point is to let your body relax. Because if its not getting the

recovery it needs, it can and will come back at you full force!


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