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What is a deload and do you need one?

If you have trained for a period of time you may have heard the phrase 'deload' but what is it and do you actually need one?


In plain English a deload is a period where you deliberately lower the intensity of your training in order to recover and restore function.


They are usually a week long and are shown to help recovery and can help break through training plateaus.


Aswell as being a physical reset they also act as a psychological reset for people.


So, when do we use them?


Typically at the end of a training block after a period of maximal intensity. For you the everyday gym goer this could be after 8-12 weeks, after a fitness competition like Hyrox or for us at Elevate98 after testing week (a week to get some PBs every 12 weeks).


Okay, what does 'lower volume' mean.


Typically there are 3 ways to do a deload:


  1. The same exercises with similar weights but doing a lot less volume (less reps and sets).

  2. Similar exercises and volume but way lighter weights (intensity down).

  3. My favourite, changing up training and adding a few new elements like skill movements and stuff you enjoy (chest and arms for me).


Okay so I should use them?


Maybe...


In my humble opinion for the everday gym goer (like myself and 95% of members at Elevate98) while the science of them makes sense our life set up means we don't need them.


The reason for this is that life can quite often dictate when our deloads are as opposed to them being every 12 weeks in a regimented fashion.


Busy work weeks, holidays, childcare and many more realities of life means that training will have natural variance that maybe means we need deloads less than athletes following a strict training regime!

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