Simply put: a deload is a period of recovery planned into your training schedule. You may workout a little less, lift slightly lighter and generally ease things back a bit for about a week. I like to focus on mobility even more throughout the week and maybe even attend a yoga (!!!) class.
At first, I thought of the deload week as a complete and utter waste of time. Why would I want to go lighter? Workout less? Perform half the volume? This is the antithesis of who I am and what I stand for! I was stumped and my initial reaction looked a little something like the glorious photo above ... super attractive, I know.
There are several methods for the deload:
- reduce the weight you are lifting
- reduce the total volume
- vary the exercise selection
- deload an individual lift
Since we are using TJM, we are also following the specifications for the deload week. The focus here is on recovery not on work. We are working with even lighter loads and performing lower reps on the main lifts 40% | 50% | 60% x 5. On the assistance work, we are keeping the weight and number of repetitions the same, but cutting the volume by 50%.
The deload has a definite purpose; it will help my body recover from intense and heavy training sessions. In order for our muscles to get stronger, not only do we need to lift weights but we need to recover from lifting weights.
Incorporating this lower volume week into my training routine will be beneficial. Honestly, I was a slightly perplexed when I completed this first workout. I wasn't lying on the floor in a puddle of my own blood, sweat, tears, etc. Lovely, I know. It will definitely be a test to work through this week at a less intense pace will focus on recovery.