So many of us are concerned with how much weight we are lifting, but how many of us really think about our rest periods?
If you’ve ever looked at a graph showing strength progressions and progressive overload you will notice that you actually grow stronger during periods of rest.
In other words, the work you put in during your time at the gym is not the time where strength shows. In actuality - your time off from the gym, resting and mobilizing the joints is when you actually see true strength gains.
Here, take a look at the classic progressive overload graph:
In this graph, you can see that after the periods of stress (training) your strength actually decreases.
If you don't give your body enough time to rest you only see major down curves in your strength. Notice how this graph shows the same amount of rest over time. Imagine if you didn't give enough rest to your body - you would see that training occurs before the major high-point on the up curve.
Understanding that rest will be your best friend in growing stronger should provide you with the basis for making deloading a priority.
Here are three reasons why you should emphasize deloading in your training:
If you’re the average joe training 2-3x a week with a mix of bodybuilding or cardio exercises deloading might not be very important to your programming.
With that said, if you are involved in strength training and you are focussed on overloading the muscles each week you can use deloading to place stress on the muscle with much less volume and resistance.
How many people can seriously say that they train for mobility every day? This is one of the biggest aspects of physical training that far too many of us are missing.
TOP TIP: the research will show that when you train through a complete range of motion you will stimulate more hypertrophy. In other words, the deeper the range of motion (within reason) the greater the strength returns.
It is important to use deloading for strength and mobility because it will help to prevent injury and help you to train through a deeper range of motion.
This is by far the biggest reason why you should take on deloading. Pushing aside the importance of training with better standards of volume and mobility - ensuring that you can stay in shape while not becoming injured is so important to your overall strength and growth.
I mean, if you are injured you cannot train. Without training you are not growing stronger - this is basic stuff, guys.
Understanding all of these concepts, you can start to see why using deloading weeks is ever more important for your strength in the long run.
If you are looking to grow stronger you must consider that not all of your strength will be completed in the gym.
Rest, recovery, deloading - all of this is the important parts of training that the average person misses in their program.