Thursday, May 23, 2024

Taking a Deload Week (or Two)

This was my last day at the gym until next week Wednesday. After that, I'll take another week off when I travel to Hawaii. 

These are called "deload weeks." I've been weight training for about two and a half years and deload weeks work wonders. This is such a sustainable way of training. After a while I end up on a plateau, with nervous system fatigue seeping through, so I deload, refocus on the mind-muscle connection and proper technique, and then usually hit another PR. I've also noticed better muscle definition since training this way and that I'm less likely to get injured. "Work smarter, not harder" is so true, as I think many of us focus almost entirely on the latter. I've found that an active deload week can be extremely helpful to include periodically as needed. It helps you to come back stronger and to break through any sticking points you might have. Many people, myself included, "accidentally" deload when they go on vacation. After all, deloading is not just for the body but for the mind too. Mental health is an underrated component of the lifting journey. Heavy sets require immense mental strength. There are times when my head just isn't there due to mental stress from life, and that's when I also need deload days. Oddly enough, whenever I take a week off because I'm traveling, I expect the first workout to be terrible but it's almost always been better than the workouts I get after going months without any longer rest periods. I feel restored and motivated again, and the difference is massive for me. Also, because you stop going to the gym, you actually realize how much you miss and appreciate it and you find new motivation to get back on a structured plan and progression. 

Just a brief update. Have a wonderful day!