It's absolutely CRITICAL to know when to deload if you want to maximize your strength and muscle mass and avoid plateaus.
There's a trick to it, though...
If you deload (i.e. reduce workload and/or intensity) too soon, you cheat yourself of muscle and strength gains that you SHOULD be making.
If you wait too long to deload, you could be grinding yourself down and acutally LOSING strength and muscle mass.
So how do you know when to do it?
I've got a guest article here from my friend and colleague Dr. Carl Juneau that tells you exactly when to deload for maximum recovery and muscle growth.
1 Little-Known Trick To Continue Building Muscle And Strength When You Get Stuck (Elite Lifters Use It)
If you’re new to building muscle, I hope you’re enjoying the ride.
You see, building muscle is easy. At first. You make great gains, even when your program sucks.
But as you build more and more muscle, your body will start to fight back. “Why should I build any more muscle mass?”, it’s asking. “I already have enough!”
When you get there, your gains will slow down, and you’ll need better programs to keep making gains. Programs that applies the tricks and techniques used by the elite. Like the one I’m telling you about now, for managing your fatigue. This trick lets you continue building muscle and strength, even if you’re very advanced.
When it comes to building strength, it doesn't happen in a linear fashion. There are peaks and valleys. The valleys are deloads. Each deload leads to a bigger peak, and a bigger 1RM (1RM is the max weight you can lift once for an exercise).
That’s exactly why you should deload when you stop making progress. Deloads wipe away fatigue and let you progress again. This is crucial as you get very advanced, because you’re handling heavy weights. At that point, your body needs to deload once in a while, to recover from all the heavy lifting you’re doing. After each deload, you’ll gain more muscle and more strength.
The big problem with deloads is knowing when to do them. Some people recommend every 3 weeks. Others, every 4-6 weeks. And yet others, only when you feel burned out.
I’ve found a better way: deload when your 1RM goes down, on an exercise per exercise basis. That way, you’ll only deload when your body needs a break from heavy lifting on that specific exercise.
It’s easy enough to track by yourself: just make sure you’re making gains every workout. If your 1RM has gone down, deload.
But if you’re really lazy (like me), our new workout app can take care of that for you. Our app tracks your 1RM for every lift, on every workout. When it sees your 1RM has gone down, it makes you deload automatically, so you can break your plateau, get stronger, and build more muscle.
On a personal note, before using that app, I was always afraid I was deloading at the wrong time. Now I know I’m not wasting any time, and I’m deloading right on point. I know my deload will lead to a bigger 1RM, and more muscle down the line.
Your brother in science-based natural bodybuilding,
Carl Juneau, PhD
Nick here again...
There is truly an art and science to good program design...
The "art" is something you have to learn through experience. This can take YEARS of trial and error and testing.
The science, however, can be DONE FOR YOU pretty much instantly.
Imagine workouts being built for you and CUSTOMIZED to your exact strength levels...sets, weights, reps, the works.
Imagine taking ALL the guesswork out of program design so you know exactly what to do to build muscle and strength like clockwork.
That science is here...
And it's done using the "Dr. Muscle" app that Carl mentioned above.
I've known Carl for more than 11 years now (all the way back before he got his PhD, in fact). He knows his stuff.
He's put a tremendous amount of work and effort into this software and it's really good...like REALLY good.
The Bottom Line...
If you've hit a plateau, are confused about how to program your training for strength or muscle mass, or would just like a simple, "done for you" solution for your workouts...
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