You probably know what deloading is, it’s when you either take a break from weightlifting or you lower your weights and increase the reps. I haven’t lifted weights since Wednesday. Before that, I was in the gym every day for about 3 months. I know, I was long overdue. I’ve basically heard that you need to do this, or you can’t gain anymore weight. You reach a plateau.
I think that a deload should only be taken when you start feeling really beat up and your lifts start stalling out.
Reason being, deloads as a concept come from really high level lifters and bodybuilders. Those guys have to deload because they are moving major weight, day in day out and the joints take an absolute beating from that kind of weight. The average gym rat just doesn’t subject their body to that kind of abuse, so deloading is not an absolute essential. There are programs out there that advocate a week of deload every cycle, 5/3/1 comes to mind. But if you think about it, doing a deload week once a month costs you a full 3 months of actual training per year. Food for thought.
Personally, I deload specific lifts when they start stalling. If my squat is stalling it doesn’t make sense to back off on my bench press, does it? When I start feeling beat up, I usually do a variation of the exercises I am doing. Sumo deads instead of regular deads; front squats instead of back squats; floor press instead of bench press; etc.