My schedule has been super hectic for the past several months… Training people, coaching and mentoring, writing, and not to mention dealing with a 6-yr-old, which can be exhausting. And this past week, I felt compelled to take some time off resistance training. You may not think anything of it but when you are used to training 6-7 days a week at high intensity, it is a big deal.
As a matter of fact, in the athletic world, there is a term for it. It’s called Deloading. It is basically backing off or decreasing the training for a week or so.
Deloading is scheduled into your routine – It can be done after 3 weeks of training or after 10 weeks, depending of your level of training. The more intense the training or level of experience, the more often the deloading is recommended. It is not to be used when you only train 3-4 times per week at low intensity.
There are different ways of doing this:
- You can reduce the weight you lift
- You can decrease the number of sets and reps you perform and/or length of time
- You can change the type of training
- You can concentrate on stretching your muscles
- Or take time off from a particular exercise you continuously repeat
When can you Deload?
Deloading is supposed to be scheduled into your routine. The goal is to allow your body to recover fully and to avoid plateaus. At the same time, deloading aims to maximize upcoming training, increasing energy, strength and power, as well as to achieve better fat loss results.
Honestly, I did not used to schedule my deloading (except after competition). However, I now know how useful and necessary it is. Ideally, you should listen to your body. Are you having too many injuries or feeling regularly sore
Deloading should also be implemented when you are feeling weaker or when you hit a plateau. Or when you are not feeling energized and/or motivated to train.
If you are experiencing those “symptoms” of over-doing it or burning out, it may be a good time to deload!
In addition to the training arena, the concept of deloading can be applied to life in general. I run into one of Tim Ferriss posts, New York Times best-selling author and blogger, and he was talking about deloading. He mentioned how it helps him to decrease his anxiety, to refine his thinking and goals, and even to recharge his business.
Reflect on this, are you feeling burned out with a certain area of your life? Are you over-reacting? Maybe lashing out to others? Are you often feeling lethargic and drained? Are you feeling low in motivation?
Well, it may be time to stop for a minute and take a look at your life… Think about deloading. Just like the name says it -take a load off! Obviously, you may not be able to take a week off certain activities or areas in your life, but maybe you can take a day off, a few hours, or even a few minutes….Consider backing off and resetting in order to come back stronger.
As you can see, it is extremely helpful to have recovery periods – not only in regards to physical training but in life in general. Deloading can re-energize you, allowing you to feel and perform better!
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor