Why is that? Mehdi gave two reasons for doing a deload after three failed attempts in a row, neither of which seemed particularly great.
- To avoid becoming demotivated. Well, this can go either way. Some people would be more demotivated to go back to lighter weights.
- To get more recovery time. But taking a week off and then continuing at the same weights would give you better recovery in less time.
I don't see any major advantage in deloading vs. just pressing on. Neither one broke me through my current plateau. Deloading is nice for a change of pace, but it also makes you waste time with weights that you already know you can lift.[/QUOTE]
No offense, but forget Mehdi.
The reason it's a good idea to deload when you're stuck is that increasing the weight and hitting your reps drives the adaptation you're trying to achieve.
This article doesn't directly go into it, but I think it will give you the idea:
[url=http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_biggest_training_fallacy_of_all]T NATION | The Biggest Training Fallacy of All[/url]
[QUOTE=PrimalHunter;1172557]I just have one more workout left on my 8-week cycle, and then I'm going to take some time off and deload. I looked into 5/3/1 once, and didn't like the looks of it. Pyramids instead of reverse pyramids, less than great exercises like hanging leg raises and leg curls, and he specifies both the weights and the reps (in reality, you can pick one but not necessarily both). But I didn't read the official PDF, so I can look into it again.[/QUOTE]
The 5/3/1 program is basically programming for the main lifts, press, bench press, squats and deadlifts. Wendler lists many options and templatesfor accesory exercises, but they are really up to your own discerning. I have never done a leg curl in my life. I do however do the hanging leg raises as they seem to be working for me. I haven't done reverse pyramids, but have also heard good of that. I've even heard folks doing 5/3/1 but doing the sets in opposite order.
One of the main things it has going is that you're using submaximal weights, which means you're not close to failing it every other weak, once you can't recover out of linear progression.
I guess the important thing is to decide when your program stops working for you and then find one that can keep you going.
I finished up the StrongLifts cycle I was on, but didn't break through any plateaus.
Took a week off and did another StrongLifts cycle after a deload, but this time going for fat loss (eating about 1000 calories a day less than before). Lost a whopping 3 pounds in 7 weeks. Squats down 20 lbs and deadlifts down 10 lbs, which is pretty normal in my experience when cutting calories. Weights remained the same for rows and overhead press, though I did add a couple reps. Surprisingly, I managed to add weight to my bench press, which I thought would be the last lift to go up.
I'm taking a week off and then doing 5/3/1 on a caloric surplus. The "big but boring" plan, with a couple of assistance exercise changes.
Overhead press 5/3/1
Overhead press 5x10
Bench press 5/3/1
Bench press 5x10
Dumbbell rows 5x10
Power cleans 5x5
It seems pretty weird to me, only doing one main lift per day, doing so many sets for that one lift, with very light weights most of the time, and not doing curls. Oh well, everyone recommends it, and I guess everything seems strange at first.
New advice on BBB is to swap the presses and lower body work.
[QUOTE=CE402;1226665]New advice on BBB is to swap the presses and lower body work.[/QUOTE]
Sounds like a good idea; I'll probably do that.
[QUOTE=PrimalHunter;1227501]Sounds like a good idea; I'll probably do that.[/QUOTE]
I like it, keeps thing from getting too boring. Also look at the simplest strength assistance, I've seen good gains on that one recently.