Going beast mode, going HAM, and whatever other stupid sayings people are using in case if you didn’t know means to train really hard.
Giving it your all in the gym is important so you don’t look like an asshole in the gym barely lifting any weight and texting on your phone the whole time but at what point should you stop going beast mode?
In order to really make long-term progress in the gym you need to have a strategy to your training and know when to back off and deload.
What Is A Deload?
A deload can mean a few different things from completely taking off a week in the gym to doing light form work.
When I deload I do work in the 60%-65% range of our working weight and really hone in on perfect form.
When strength training your nervous system and body will eventually begin to get beat up and this is when injuries start to occur.
A deload lets your body actively recover and helps keep you healthy for the long run.
How Often Should I Deload?
If you are a beginner or early intermediate lifter, deloads can be few and far between. Generally I would recommend a beginner or early intermediate to take a deload after their 8 or 12 week workout cycle.
If you are an intermediate lifter then I would recommend every 3 to 4 weeks have a deload week. Use this week to dial in form, let your body heal all its minor aches and pains, and get plenty of sleep and food this week.
Protip: If you feel beat up, sore, or sluggish, you’ve waited too long to deload.
Programming Your Training
I would recommend finding a solid training routine and stick with it. I do not recommend beginners or early intermediates to program their own routines. Whether or not your routine says to give a deload week, you should plan the deload and start again where you left off.
If you read through the comments on my routines many people who hit sticking points or plateaus I tell to deload or completely take a week off.
Take it from me, I have personally learned from this mistake of training hard in the gym and burning out. Learn to listen to your body, take your scheduled deloads and make a priority to get plenty of sleep and healthy foods in your body.
If you build a race car and put shitty fuel in it, you are going to drive shitty. Work on improving your diet and you will see how well your body responds.
Take a deload every 3 to 4 weeks and use it to dial in your form and give your body a break.
If you want to be like the big names in the game like Brian Carroll or Jonathan Byrd, you have to train smart.