De-loading is a term that I’ve read a lot about in various bodybuilding and fitness magazines. De-loading is a planned reduction in volume or intensity of your workouts, usually for one week. The purpose is to allow the body to dissipate fatigue and allow you to recover. I’ve learned that de-loading is valuable tool to have in my routine because weight training also puts stress on the joints, ligaments, connective tissues, and the central nervous system (aka where my MS lives).
Incorporating this into your schedule can be done in different ways.
- Continue with your normal routine and normal volume (sets & reps) but reduce the weight you use by about half of what you normally use.
- Use the same weight as you normally would, but drop your total volume (less sets & reps).
- Decrease your lifting and increase your cardio
- Take a week off completely
Normally I just take a week off, usually planned around vacations. This week I am on an unplanned de-load. I had every intention of continuing with my training this week; however, I have a new schedule with my children and I haven’t yet figured out how to incorporate my training days into this schedule. I also haven’t actually taken a week off since maybe Christmas, or it could have been my vacation in September, I don’t remember.
I feel so much guilt for taking the week off. I feel like my muscles are slowly deteriorating, an exaggeration, yes.
I know that I need to take time and listen to my body and enjoy some rest and healing, from the physical stress I put my body through and the emotional and mental stresses of life.