When should you schedule a deload week?

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I answer your questions in under 5 minutes!

Today’s Question is: When should I deload from training? How often do you take off training?

If you have a question you want answered, leave it in the comments below!

++++++_ ANSWER ++++++_

I think it’s a great idea to map out your training at the start of every year. This way you’ll have a structured approach to your development as a lifter. Allowing for different areas of focus during the course of a year, just like seasons.

Not only should you be looking at training blocks themselves, but also your down time and deload weeks. Deload weeks become more and more important as you become more advanced in your training career.

Deloads are important to most lifters, because it gives the body some time to refresh and rejuvenate. Stress and fatigue will accumulate, both physically and mentally as the weeks of hard training go on. From a long term perspective taking breaks at regular intervals over the year will help you to keep advancing.

Having scheduled deloads also allow you to schedule in functional overreaching, where you intentionally train as hard as you can, even up to failure the week before a deload, because you have an entire week of light activity to allow the body to recover.

If you’re new to lifting, you probably don’t need worry too much about scheduled deloads, as life finds a way to prevent you from training time to time and when those pop up, they’ll be enough to help reset the body.

Absolute and relative loads become an important distinguishing factor. E.g., A beginner’s squat max may be 135lbs, an advanced lifters max may be 600lbs. Both lifters experience the same relative stress and exertion, but the advanced lifters body experiences more absolute stress from the sheer loads being lifted.

I like to deload every 5-8 weeks, depending on the program. I also take a week off in between each training block/phase and program change. Which equates to anywhere from 6-10 weeks off over a year.

One final thing to consider with your deload and yearly training scheduling, is to consider life events and plan around them. One of the reasons I rarely train on vacation or trips, is that I plan my training around big events, that way I never have to worry about fitting in training during travels or family events.

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