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All about Deload

Exercise Science
Deload by Praveen Budhrani

Over weeks of continuous training, along with getting fitter and stronger, we also accumulate lots of fatigue. That is where Deload comes into the picture. Deloads are nothing but a purposeful reduction in training volume by 50-70 percent. The volume is reduced by reducing any training variable, which could be Sets, Reps, Load, or even Training days. Deload not only helps us with the recovery but also helps in injury prevention and translates into improved performance [1] [2]. A Deload can be a week or two longer depending on your training experience. More advanced trainees may require more frequent and higher days in Deloads, and someone who is a beginner may not require it at all. Signs of training plateaus, lack of motivation, reduction in performance/strength, etc, are reasons to consider deload. Some advanced athletes who periodize their workout generally take Deload weeks at the end of a Mesocycle, which could vary anywhere from 4 weeks to 24 weeks. Some of the common notions that one should avoid during Deloads are as follows: Cutting down calories Taking the period off entirely Consider it as a waste of time or thinking you will lose all the gains [3] Further a bonus tip, we know that strength is specific to its adaptations. So, it would make more sense to keep the load the same and rather go for reducing sets per session or number of sessions. This will not only help you to carry over your strength adaptation but will also help you enjoy time outside the gym. Reference [1] Le Meur, Y., Hausswirth, C., & Mujika, I. (2012). Tapering for competition: A review. Science & Sports, 27(2), 77-87.

Vatsal Singh

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