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Deloading...Is it necessary?

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  • Deloading...Is it necessary?

    It seems like a common theme that deloads are necessary periodically to dissipate fatigue. Is this always going to be the case for intermediate+ lifters? Is there such a thing as programming to continue making progress while not achieving a high enough level of fatigue to require a deload? If deloads are necessary, what is a reasonable amount of time to expect to train before a deload is necessary? Basically, if a deload is necessary too soon or too late, that would mean you are either programming too much volume/intensity or not enough volume/intensity, respecitvely. Is that right?

  • #2
    Lots of questions here that I think need to be couched a bit more carefully or thoroughly to be answerable, but I'll take a stab in it:

    1) I don't think deloads are "necessary" are just to dissipate fatigue, as they are also needed to allow subsequent adaptation to occur (that has ceased, apparently).
    2) This will always be the case always for everyone always- though this may not require a discretely programmed deload
    3) You cannot produce enough stress that drives adaptation without incurring enough stress that requires some amount of discrete recovery and adaptation period. During that period, something will be different to allow recovery and adaptation to occur (hopefully) without detraining.
    4) The time interval for "deloads" is wholly individual
    5) If it's too soon or too late it means the programming is not being altered based on response.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Thanks Jordan! That helps a lot. I kind of figured that some level of deload would be required when actually making progress.

      For the too soon or too late, what I meant was the number of weeks. For instance, if you required a deload after one week, meaning your fatigue levels were so high that you were either stalling or regressing. I would assume this means you programmed way too high of a volume/intensity combination for the week before. I know that this is something that probably wouldn’t happen. But I’m trying to illustrate what I meant by the final question.

      Let’s say this was the case after 3 weeks of training. Would that be considered within the range of normal. Or would this also mean that the programming was not applied properly for the lifter’s recovery capability? This is in terms of just general strength acquisition. I’m just trying to get a better understanding of what a realistic expectation of training would be prior to reaching that “plateau”, where a deload would be required to get progress moving again. I assume that this answer also plays into adjusting that volume/intensity combination such that you don’t hit this point too soon.

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      • #4
        I have never seen someone need a deload after one week nor do I think you can assess progress or lackthereof from one week's data.

        The amount of time it takes for someone to stop adapting to a stimulus can run the gamut from 3 weeks to 3 months. It's highly variable.
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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        • #5
          Thanks Jordan! I was just curious if 3 weeks prior to a deload was within the normal variation or if this suggested too aggressive programming given all other factors being equal.

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