Should I De-load?

Following on from an earlier blog on Overtraining Syndrome it was mentioned that load management is imperative, with a focus on de-loading.

De-loading is recommended every 6-8 weeks for any athlete to prevent burnout and overtraining syndrome.  A lot of athletes tend to implement de- loading when they already feel overtrained and their performance plateaus.  An easy way to negate this is to simply incorporate it into your program from the start. There is no hard and fast rule of when to implement a de-load week but if you’re having symptoms of overtraining syndrome bring the de-load week earlier. 

Does this mean I cannot train?

No, what we recommend is to lower the training intensity down to 50-60%. If you are someone who does resistance training and your 1 repetition max is 100kg during the de-load week do not lift greater than 50-60kg. The other ways to de-load include reducing workout volume (i.e. sets or repetitions). De-loading should last for a full week!! If you would like to take a week off that is also okay. Most people enjoy exercise as it has so many physiological and physical benefits. Thus, stopping exercises may be harder than reducing load. 

What are the benefits of de-loading?

During a workout, we create microtears in the muscles that eventually heal. This process allows the muscles to get bigger and stronger. De- loading allows both muscles and joints to recover as well as the central nervous system to rest.  Another significant benefit is the psychological effects. As mentioned in the overtraining syndrome post, psychological distress and changes is used as one of the main ways to diagnose overtraining. What the de-load will do is allow for the mental fatigue and stress to be reset, meaning when you return to activity you will feel refreshed and better equipped to handle the stresses. 

If de-loading is implemented effectively it can also be beneficial for your strength training performance. If implemented properly it can have potential benefits for strength training performance. Evidence has been mixed however if your de-loading effectively this will help you to achieve better performance.

Click here to book in now with one of our Brisbane based physios that are situated in Sinnamon Park. Our physios will be able to diagnose and provide advice on how to best manage your situation.

Read more….

To learn more about measuring exercise intensity, check out our blog HERE
To learn more about can you overtrain, check out our blog HERE
To learn more about muscle cramps, check out our blog HERE

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