What is deload week?
A week of reduced load and volume from the normal workout program.
This week is necessary for optimal performance, continued progress, & injury reduction. We have 4 strength phases at Foundation Fitness. Our deload week occurs at the end of each 12 week phase. During this week you can expect minimal weights on the floor & reduced overall volume. Each day during deload week we follow our GRIND day format. 16 minutes of strength and 20 minutes of conditioning. Most of the movements done during deload week will be bodyweight.
Ok. Ok. I gotcha but why?
You don’t just get stronger by doing strength movements. You get stronger by recovering from strength movements. Rest & proper nutrition are your best friend.
This concept has been the one to form the basis of exercise physiology and program development for years. To simplify - the basic theory of supercompensation - in which an athlete is stronger after resting works like this:
Provide load to the body (STRENGTH WORK)
Remove stimulus (REST)
The body adapts to better handle the stimulus (GAINZZZZ!)
It is far too common in fitness to see people spending all of their focus on step 1, skipping step 2 and wonder why they aren’t getting to step 3. Some people take that as a sign of doing more of step 1, YIKES. If you never remove the stimulus - you never give your body a chance to recover and adapt. Then at a certain point your body will start to shut down. This is when overtraining occurs. Overtraining is one of the most common ways people get hurt. Your body and muscle need time to recover.
If you train with us at Foundation Fitness, then consider de-load week a chance to prepare yourself for the next 12 week strength phase. If you train at another gym or at home, make sure you build in your own deload week. We recommend doing one every 12 weeks - that will give you 4 de-load weeks per year, but this can vary depending on your training regimen. Feel free to reach out and ask us for help on deciding what's best for you!
Some benefits of deload week:
Allows your central nervous system to recover & reset
Allows you to maximize long term strength progress
Allows muscles, joints, & tendons to fully recover (GAINZZZ!)
Restores hormonal balance
Mental reset & prepare for next 12 week phase
A deload week is essential to a structured workout program & continued long term progress. Deload is not harder or easier than our standard programming, it just has a different focus.
Take this week. Recover well & prepare for next week!