Girl lifting weights in grey workout clothes

Deloading explained

Blog | Justin Shaw, Sports Development Coordinator

The concept of “having a light week” has been around for quite some time, usually so athletes can rest and recover a little. However, it has recently become far more popular and rebranded itself as deloading after a study found similar gains across continuous training vs intermittent training. In this study, participants who trained for 6 weeks on and 3 weeks off for 24 weeks had similar hypertrophy gains to the group who trained continuously for 24 weeks.

Let’s go over Deloading as a concept

Deloading is essentially reducing the intensity of your training sessions for a set period of time. The idea is to try and reduce fatigue and risk of injury whilst increasing energy and avoiding overtraining. The point of deloading is to try and allow your muscles to recharge while staying active so you can attack your next big session with more gusto.

There are a few ways you can go about this

Reduce Weight

Reducing the weight of your lifts can help you focus more on your form, and give your muscles a break from the heavy sets. Reducing weight by around 50% is normally what is recommended for deload sessions. So if you are chest pressing 30ks, drop it to the 15ks and get some calm and comfortable reps out.

Reduce Volume

You could also look at reducing your volume. This means reducing reps and sets of each exercise. Instead of pumping out your 12 rep 5 sets. Look at 12 reps 3 sets, or 8 reps 5 sets.

Change workout type

This is where you shake it up completely, instead of your heavy legs session, go for a bike ride, or do a bodyweight session.

There are many reviews for and against deloading during training, but really it comes down to how you feel. If you feel like you benefit from some downtime to break up your training schedule, give it a rip! If you like the consistency approach, go for gold.

Have a crack at a light week and see how you go! You might find it helpful at recharging the batteries.

Looking for that extra bit of motivation?

We have a range of weekly group fitness classes on offer, check out our classes here. Or to learn more about fitness and wellbeing and connect with like-minded people, visit the Wellness Hub.