You’ve been training hard day in and day out…
Breaking down muscle tissue and building it back up again…
Progressively challenging your muscles to lift more weight, do one more rep, or generally produce more volume in your workouts…
But now you’re starting to see your progress slow down a bit…
You may have even feel like you’ve run into a wall over the last month or so in your training.
But today I’m going to tell you how you can get over the wall.
And I want to warn you, the route may feel counterintuitive, but it’s just what you need to make breakthrough progress in the gym.
It’s called deloading.
And when you’re finished with this short article, you’ll have all the tools you need to deload for muscle gains.
So enough with the introduction…
Let’s get you over this wall.
What Is a Deload?
Deloading is exactly what it sounds like…
It’s a planned reduction in volume and/or intensity of your workouts…
But the purpose of taking a load off isn’t to take it easy… It’s to prepare and propel you to progress in the gym.
Like I mention in my free book, Bulk Up Fast (Grab your copy here), the key to building muscle and making strength gains over a long period of time is by regularly pushing your body to a point of overreaching and then, pulling back.
To deload for muscle gains, you should implement a deload program when you hit a wall in your training numbers for at least 2 workouts (that is, 2 workouts without progress). Also keep in mind that you don’t want to wait until you’ve over-trained and are basically sickly when you head into the gym to implement a deload… Otherwise your deload will take a much longer time than it should.
Remember, deloading is a decision that you make which is meant to slingshot you forward in your strength and size gains…
It’s not a backup plan for that moment you realize you haven’t been responsibly recovering from your workouts.
When Should I Deload?
When should you plan a deload so that you’ll see slingshot success from it?
I cover these in my free book, Bulk Up Fast, which you can pickup here.
- You hit a strength plateau despite proper recovery day to day
- You notice a loss in strength
- Fatigue and lack of motivation for your workout
- Aches in joints/tendons
- You’ve been working out at high volume and intensity for an extended period of time without any deload
If you ignore these indicators of potential overtraining, it’ll be hard to deload for muscle gains, because your deload will be about recovering from a lack of rest and catching up on recovery, rather than choosing to rest in order to build more muscle in the near future.
How Should I Deload?
Deloading is simple…
In the workout programs I provide for you in my free book, Bulk Up Fast, deloading consists of a single week…
In this week, you’ll deload for muscle gains by performing the same number of sets and reps per exercise, but with 50% of the load you have been using up until this week.
You’ll spend this week really focusing on your technique, and your muscle contractions throughout the movements.
So for example, let’s say you are currently squatting 200 lbs. for 5 sets of 5 reps…
On your deload week, you’ll drop down your squat to 100 lbs. for 5 sets of 5 reps, focusing on your form, breathing, and explosion through the movement.
I’ve often referred to this week as an “active rest” week.
You’re performing the movements while being physically and mentally focused, without exerting so much physical and mental energy as to become exhausted.
A deload is just as much a psychological break as it is a physical one…
It’s a change of pace from the mental preparation needed to push yourself every gym session during weeks and months of progressive overload.
When Should I Get Back to Big Weights?
After your week of deload for muscle gains, you’ll be set to get back to where you left off.
Make sure to eat just as much during your deload week as you would on any other week of progressive overload…
Also, get just as much, if not more rest than you normally would during your deload week.
This will ensure your recovery is a success and you’re fueled up for the slingshot effect of your deload week.
For all of the foods you need to eat, and the best schedule to see the most muscle gains in the least amount of time, check this out.
If you’ve gone months without a deload week, you should plan to implement one within the next couple of weeks…
If you’re new to the gym, you won’t need one for a few months.
But the point is, a deload for muscle gains won’t plan itself.
Plan. Implement. Progress.