Posted: January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

“The Deload”

Recently, I have heard quite a few folks reporting minor injuries, tweaks, nags, or in some cases, just plain sickness. When I hear these things, I like to ask:

  • How is your sleep?
  • How is your diet?
  • When is the last time you took some time off?

Generally speaking, most individuals simply do not pay enough attention to the concept of “time off.” Most people think that the more they workout, the more they will progress, which is only partially true.

When you workout, you are actually breaking down the body. Working out is a stress that serves as an interruption to homeostasis. This works in the right dosage, as long as we provide the right environment to gain some type of favorable adaptation to it.

We deal with plenty of stressors on a regular basis; work, family, relationships, money, and exercise. They can wreak havoc on our immune system, which, when compromised, opens the door for injuries and illnesses. Combine those stressors with things like poor diet and lack of sleep and you have a pretty good recipe for disaster.

But there is a bright side…you can avoid all of this can by incorporating a deload period into your schedule.

A deload is a planned reduction in workout volume, intensity, frequency or any combination of the above. Deloading gives the body time to heal tissues and lets the central nervous system relax for a bit. Generally speaking, people that deload continue to make progress and people that do not….well….they just don’t.

Most people don’t put together a plan, overtrain themselves and get injured. Do you have a plan? The following template will work for most, but individuals vary ,as does their capacity to recover:

4 Week Cycle

Week 1 “Normal Intensity”
Week 2 “Normal Intensity”
Week 3 “Normal Intensity”
Week 4 “Light Intensity”

I personally use this template and it has kept me injury and illness free for quite some time. In addition, I am able to continually see fitness gains and have some renewed vigor for training in general.

Some may need less frequent deload weeks and some may need more, but everyone needs at least one. Don’t go more than 8 weeks without at least one deload week and make it a point to talk to your coach to figure out a plan that works for you.


Overhead 3 rep max



3 rounds

20 swings (53/35)
20 Abmat Sit-ups
20 Squat Jumps


Side planks 3×30 seconds per side, rest as needed between sets


  1. Lou Groves says:

    Koch, You already have!!!

  2. Koch says:

    Whatever! First you tell us to do what our individual bodies need, then you ridicule me for deloading for the last 2 1/2 to 3 years.

    You gave me a put down, now you owe me a put up.

  3. Admin says:

    @Koch, please note that the template is written in terms of weeks, not years.

  4. Koch says:

    I completely agree with the concept of deloading. In fact, I might adapt that to be my exclusive training model.

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