Stress + REST = Progress - DELOAD WEEK
Updated: Aug 18
A deload week is placed in strength programming BY DESIGN to allow the body to rebuild and recover. STRESS is good. It tells your body that it is time to adapt. Training = Stress.
HOWEVER, the magic equation is Stress + Rest = Progress
We are halfway through our COMPLETE Strength block of programming and it's time to back off on the volume and intensity before we dig into the second half and eventually benchmark week!
Deloads are 100% necessary for both short term and long term progress as well as overall health and longevity. It is important you come and train/move (motion is lotion remember), but let's take more relaxed approach with lighter loads and less intensity.
Here is how to approach the gym this week. Break a sweat. Focus on good movement. Smile and enjoy good company. Set your intentions on walking out of the gym feeling REFRESHED, NOT ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED THIS WEEK.
Let's build our bodies up to DOMINATE the second half of our STRENGTH cycle and have some fun at the gym this week :)
WHAT IS A DELOAD? WHY DELOAD?
What is a deload week?
A deload week is simply a week spent recovering from training. It is not just an excuse to wimp out. It’s an absolutely essential part of training! We are all familiar with rest days. Why not extend the concept further to a rest week? After all, your body has no respect for how long you think it should take to recover.
Only reality matters: how long does your body actually need for recovery? Consistent training eventually builds a deficit that cannot be repaid in a single rest day. A deload week is a chance for your body to recover from that deficit. The deload week allows your body to catch up. Muscle can recover more quickly than connective tissue. A deload week keeps tendons and ligaments healthy. If you chronically develop tendonitis, then scheduled deload weeks are definitely part of the solution.
No pain, no gain is not a viable solution to progress
We do this in an active way. We still show up to train (motion is lotion remember), but the volume/load/intensity are all reduced to allow our body to recover!
You don’t get stronger by exercising! You get stronger by recovering from exercise.This simple concept forms the basis of exercise physiology. The basic theory goes like this:
1. Provide stimulus and stress(training)
2. Remove the stress/stimulus (rest)
3. We adapt! We can now better handle the stimulus (Next time you can Bench Press 300 lbs instead of 275 lbs). This is called supercompensation. (it only happens when you REST!)
We all recognize the importance of Step #1.
We all recognize the fun of Step #3.
But Step #2 often goes neglected, even though it’s equally critical.
What happens when you neglect Step #2 (REST) and you never remove the stimulus (you continue to grind yourself into the dirt day after day with volume and intensity)?
YOU MAKE NO PROGRESS. A never-ending stimulus (unceasing training with heavy loads and high intensity) doesn’t make you better. It makes you worse. It digs your body into a hole that keeps getting deeper.
Remember sleep and nutrition are the BIGGEST factor in how fast you recover. It is vital to nail these down during deload week to ensure you feel your strongest going into the second half of our cycle.
Stress + Rest = PROGRESS
Happy Training (and deloading!)