Deload week for more results and growth

Nancy Heijnis
9 January 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes

Are you fanatical about fitness/bodybuilding? Then you have probably heard the fitness term ‘deload week’. Do you also know how to apply it correctly? Maybe you haven’t heard of it at all. In this blog we take a closer look at it. This way you can then apply it yourself in your training schedule and achieve maximum results in the gym!

What is a deload week?

A deload week means that you lower the intensity of your workouts for a week. This allows your body to rest so that it can recover. In this week you train at 40% to 60% of your 1RM (maximum strength). You can also choose to do fewer exercises, or to train less than usual.

When do you apply a deload week?

By giving your body rest, you can then become stronger again. During a period of strength training, there is a lot of stress on your muscles, tendons / attachments and central nervous system. You actually build up fatigue that you often don’t even feel. Moreover, a deload week helps prevent injuries. Besides being good for you physically, it also has many mental benefits. In the period of rest you can find your motivation again to pop again in the gym. But when do you apply such a deload week? Actually, this depends on a wide variety of factors. You could structurally schedule a deload week after every 6 to 12 weeks of intensive exercise, but this is very personal. Furthermore, the following factors are another indication that you need a deload week:

  1. You do not recover well from training: Do you notice that you have muscle pain for longer? Then it’s time for a deload week!
  2. You are constantly tired: Even if you are tired every day while you sleep well, a deload week can help you to move forward.
  3. You notice that you are getting weaker: Loss of strength while you are in the bulking phase (you eat more than you burn) means that you have to take a step back.
  4. You have minor aches and pains: Are you not recovering from minor aches and pains? Be careful not to get injured! A deload week can also come in handy in this case.

So, how exactly do you do it?

You can therefore apply a Deload week in various forms. We will therefore go into it in a little more detail. Imagine that you normally perform six sets of an exercise, you can choose to do only three sets now.

Or choose to reduce the intensity of your workout by using less weight than usual. Do you usually squat with 80 kg? Only pack 60 kg in your deload week. You can also choose to perform fewer sets.

Finally, you can reduce the frequency of your workouts. Instead of five times, go to the gym three times. Use your time for something else fun such as taking a nice walk or reading a book for example.

Do you lose muscle mass during the deload week?

Are you afraid that you will lose muscle mass during the deload week? We can tell you that you can train with confidence, because a deload week can actually ensure that you build up muscle mass in the long run. By giving the body a rest, you come back stronger. Moreover, taking a deload week can give your strength performance a big kick forward. When you constantly push yourself to the limit, you will eventually reach a plateau. In that case, you even have to be careful not to overtrain.

Now that you are well informed about the deload week, it is time to apply it in your training schedule! Give your body a rest and take big steps forward.

Performance Sports Nutrition - CAL/MAG
CAL/MAGPerformance Sports Nutrition

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