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October 15, 2020 2 min read

In the world of weightlifting and bodybuilding, you often hear that rest is as essential to your progress as the workouts themselves. This statement is a fact, and if you’re a die-hard weightlifting addict, it might be your biggest challenge.

However challenging it is to force yourself to rest, resting may mean the difference between reaching your goals and ending up on your butt long term thanks to injury. Not allowing your body to recover fully is a grave mistake in the bodybuilding world. You might think you’ll reach your goals faster if you skip the rest days, but more than likely, you’re going to slow down your progress.

Rest days are a great way to start. Scheduled days in your weightlifting program where you do not exercise are essential. Most bodybuilding athletes take anywhere from one to three rest days a week.

Another lesser-known but excellent way to allow your body to rest is incorporating a deload week. 

What is a Deload Week?

A deload week is a period where you work out with significantly less weight or volume to encourage muscle recovery and growth. There are several ways to incorporate a deload week into your weightlifting routine; you can try them all and decide which best suits you.

  1. Stick to your typical routine and exercises at the same reps and sets but use approximately 40-60% of the weight. Meaning if you typically squat 114 kilograms, during your deload week, you will squat between 45 and 68 kilograms.
  2. Keep your weight the same but reduce the volume to 50%. So if you typically do four sets of eight, drop down to two sets and keep your number of reps the same.
  3. Use a much lighter weight and focus on refining your form.

What are the Benefits of a Deload Week?

A deload week can prepare the body for your next phase of heavy bodybuilding and reduce your risk of injury from overtraining, but there’s more.

A deload week can: 

  • Allow essential connective tissue to heal
  • Reduce stress hormones to normal levels
  • Provide a mental break, which prevents burnout
  • Increase strength
  • Encourage lean muscle growth

How Often Should I Incorporate a Deload Week?

Depending on your typical workout plans, you could incorporate a deload week as often as every four weeks or at the end of your workout cycle. You should be switching up your workout program every six to eight weeks to encourage muscle confusion, and a deload week is a perfect marker for the end of a program.

Deloading is an excellent way to allow your body the rest and recovery it needs and help accelerate weightlifting progress, whatever your fitness goals may be.

At Supplement Superstore, we’re passionate about fitness and overall well-being. That includes being passionate about resting. We take our rest days seriously around here, and we want to encourage you to do the same. We have but one body. Treat it right! If you have any questions about bodybuilding, deloading, or workout plans, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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