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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Deload Week Is On The Horizon

I don't normally blog about my training because I want the focus of my posts to be something useful and helpful to YOU and I'm not so certain sharing that I deadlifted 275x4 Thursday and squatted 265x3 Saturday is valuable information to you.

However, I've been pushing my training pretty hard for over seven weeks now. I lift four times a week plus one or two sessions of HIIT and mobility work, I've missed only one workout (due to sickness) and never skipped a rep/set.  I give it my best every workout and after over seven weeks…I'm feeling it.

Just like a runner would take a week off after a race it's common for powerlifters to take a deload
week after cycling through a series of workouts or right before/after a meet to allow their mind and body to rest and recover.  I've got two more lifts and then will be taking an entire week to deload.

A few months ago I wrote a post about the down side of daily intense workouts and while I'm not hitting the gym with intense workouts on a daily basis I am starting to feel some effects of pushing my training.  I feel more fatigued than normal, my recovery seems to be slowing, weights that I normally perceive as "doable" feel heeeeaaavvvy, and I'm finding I have to pump myself up a little bit more to get to the gym.

I'm not sharing this to complain as it's just part of the training cycle.  The aches and pains are no different from any other powerlifter.  I am sharing this because I think important to know your own cues as to when you need to take time off. Hashtags like #nodaysoff sound pretty badass but is it the most productive approach to your training?  In my opinion, there is a difference between pushing through a workout when you're feeling less awesome and completely ignoring your body when it's waving a white flag.

Taking a day, a few days or even and entire week of rest isn't a sign of weakness.  The rest you take outside of the gym is just as important as the training you do inside the gym.

Your turn:  How do you know when you need to take time off vs. push through a workout?


  1. This is such an important topic. I see SO many people on social media who don't take any rest days and then wonder why they are tired and injured at some point. DUH!!!! I listen to my body and decide if I'm just tired or if my body NEEDS a rest. When I need a rest, I take it, no questions asked. I don't want to end up injured and I usually come back from my rest with a fresh body and mind and am ready to give it my all! I have gotten so much better at doing this as I get older, when I was younger I didn't think I needed as much rest, but now I know better and my training sees this difference too!

  2. So true.. learning to listen to your body is truly the key!

  3. I've learned the value of rest! Now I cherish the rest day and even the occasional rest week!

  4. Speaking from a runner's perspective, rest days are essential to a good training program. Plus this mama needs her beauty sleep! :)

  5. I definitely can tell when I've hit a wall in my running. I think I actually hit one in March when I got injured and I definitely welcomed my time off from running and trying out some new things! I cherish the break, it's usually just what I need to get the motivation back when It's time to start back up!