Training is hard. There’s no way around that. But it’s even harder when you are trying to train through a plateau, or are training with accumulated stress and small injuries. Your eagerness to get through your plateau may be resulting in over-training, and thus only making the plateau worse. How about that tightness and instability you develop in your hamstrings after weeks of doing heavy deadlifts and squats? Keep it up and you could get a ruptured hamstring. Or maybe you’re feeling other small aches and pains elsewhere in your body. Anyone who trains regularly is going to accumulate fatigue in their body – it’s just natural. You might think that if you’re not reaching your goals, you need to push yourself harder. The reality is that you need to learn how to listen to your body.
If you’re having trouble with a plateau or are suffering from accumulated stress injuries, it may be time to initiate a “de-load” or “back off” period. This simply means reducing your training volume or intensity for a specific amount of time, such as a week or for one cycle of your training split routine, however long that is.
What De-Loading Does
- Gives you a mental break from intense lifting and lets your central nervous system recover
- Allows your connective tissues – joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. – to recover
- Reduces the risk of or helps recover from over-training (also known as under-recovery)
- Helps you get over plateaus and prepares you for further gainsRead More