How to Deload

I saw this question pop up in a Facebook group the other day. I don't know why I still search through them, as torturous as they can be. However, I thought this was a good question - maybe one that is pretty common sense for most, but totally foreign to others.

The Rules of a Deload:

Take the exact (or almost exact) training sessions from the previous week and...

  1. Reduce intensity by 60% (not 60% of your max but 60% of the previous week).
  2. Reduce volume by 60%
  3. Remove taxing* movements

*taxing will mean different things to different lifters

  • For me personally, deadlifts are taxing, so typically I cut out that movement all together
  • If you've been doing something like Anderson squats, pin presses, or rack pulls, remove those because they are inherently more taxing on your body
  • If you're nursing a shoulder injury for example, use an SSB for squats or dumbbell bench
  • And always use concentric only movements like sled pulls to aid recovery

 

Examples:

 

Week before a deload with the main movements coming in at an 8 or above RPE

DAY 1 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 SSB squat 275-315-335-345 4 1 120 sec
2 SSB pause squat 275 3 3 90 sec
3 Goblet squat 90 2 15 90 sec
4 DB reverse lunge 40s 2 12 each 90 sec
5 DB RDL - single leg - can use back leg as kickstand w/ little pressure 20s 2 12 each 60 sec
6 Plank - single leg, switch halfway through BW 3 40 sec 30 sec
7 Copenhagen Plank - short lever, at the knee BW 3 20 sec 30 sec
Day 2 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 DB bench- warm up 50x20,70x15 90 4 10 60 sec
2 DB row - knee supported 50-60-70-80-90 5 10 60 sec
3 Barbell row - underhand grip - 'cluster set' 205 3 6 20 sec
4 Incline cable Ext - 10lb jumps starting at 30 35-45-55-55 4 10 90 sec
5 DB incline - tempo 3:3:0 50 2 10 60 sec
6 Band pull aparts - single arm red mini 3 15 each 45 sec
Day 3 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 Deadlift - think about speed and technique 305 6 2 60 sec
2 BB RDL 225-245-185 3 6 90 sec
3 Stiff leg deficit DL (2-3" deficit) - consider this partly a stretch as well 135-185-185 3 10 90 sec
4 DB RDL - single leg 30s 3 12 each 60 sec
5 DB chest supported row 50s 3 12 60 sec
6 Seated band ham curl - single leg red mini 3 20 60 sec
DAY 4 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 BB OHP - we can move to a z press if that would be helpful, just have to adjust weight 135 5 1 120 sec
Drop set 105 3 8 120 sec
2a Push ups - tempo 3:3:0 BW 3 10 60 sec
2b Inverted rows - pull yourself up, 5 sec eccentric BW 3 5 60 sec
3 Lat pull downs - leave me a weight in the notes knucklehead same weight as last week 2 12 60 sec
4 DB front raise - DB lateral raise -DB bent over fly 10,20 2 8 each 60 sec

 

Deload week:

DAY 1 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 SSB squat 225 2 5 120 sec
2 - -
3 Goblet squat 50 2 10 90 sec
4 DB reverse lunge 20s 2 8 each 90 sec
5 - -
6 Plank - single leg, switch halfway through BW 2 30 sec 30 sec
7 Copenhagen Plank - short lever, at the knee BW 2 15 sec 30 sec
Day 2 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 DB bench- warm up 50x20,70x15 50 5 10 60 sec
2 DB row - knee supported 50 5 10 60 sec
3 - -
4 Incline cable Ext - 10lb jumps starting at 30 25 2 15 90 sec
5 DB incline - tempo 3:3:0 -
6 Band pull aparts - single arm red mini 3 10 each 45 sec
Day 3 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 - -
2 BB RDL 185 3 8 90 sec
3 Stiff leg deficit DL (2-3" deficit) - consider this partly a stretch as well 135 2 8 90 sec
4 - -
5 DB chest supported row 30s 3 10 60 sec
6 Seated band ham curl - single leg red mini 3 10 60 sec
DAY 4 WEIGHT SETS REPS Rest
1 BB OHP - we can move to a z press if that would be helpful, just have to adjust weight 95 3 5 120 sec
- -
2a Push ups -normal tempo BW 3 10 60 sec
2b Inverted rows - normal tempo BW 3 5 60 sec
3 Lat pull downs 100-120 3 8 60 sec
4 DB front raise - DB lateral raise -DB bent over fly 5 2 8 each 60 sec

 

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