2 mindset shifts for your next deload week
written by Philip Stefanov | JULY 6, 2021
Let’s be honest for a moment:
Deload weeks are not fun. I remember taking deload weeks back in the day, feeling like I was wasting good time I could be doing actual work. But, we know that deloading is beneficial. Stress is cumulative, so we need regular breaks to dissipate it and remain fresh.
Over the years, I’ve found that shifting the way I look at deload weeks has helped me enjoy them more. It’s also helped me get more from them and not feel guilty for taking it easy for a while. Today, I’d like to share two mindset shifts for your next deload week:
1. Shift the Way You Look at Deload Weeks
Don’t think of a deload workout as useless because you’re lifting light weights. Instead, think of it as a reset point. A deload week represents the fact that you’ve spent several weeks on strenuous and productive training. Your body needs a break, and so does your nervous system.
Instead of feeling like you’re wasting your time, realize that each deload week means you’re one step closer to your goals. Also, recognize that, with each reset point, you’re better than you were before. If you’re in a fat loss phase, it means that you’re closer to your goal. If you’re trying to build muscle, it means that you’re stronger and more jacked.
So long as you internalize this, you can even feel satisfied while deloading. Instead of thinking, “I’m wasting my time.” think, “I’m giving my body time to recover, so I can push it again for several weeks and improve further.”
2. Take the Time to Improve Whatever You Can
Another mindset shift you should make - and one that took me a long time to realize - is that deload weeks are the perfect time for fine-tuning. Revisit your training form across the different exercises and see if you could improve it somehow. Maybe you’ve been cutting the range of motion short or using a bit too much momentum? Address it and practice good form across all movements. Focus on your breathing, make sure to activate the right muscles, and pay attention to your form.
Or maybe you’ve had some nagging aches recently? A deload week is the perfect time to address these and go into your next training cycle fresh and pain-free. Do more mobility work, warm up extra long before workouts, and give your body a break from heavy weights. Chances are, this could be precisely what you need to resolve the issue.
As far as accessory and isolation movements go, take the time to hone your form and improve in any way you can. Instead of yawning because you’re lifting light weights, focus on doing each repetition with great form. Be mindful of the muscles you’re activating and see if your technique needs any improvement.
Maybe your form is a bit off and you never noticed until now. It’s not the end of the world. But take this time to start fixing it.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Many people approach deload weeks negatively and feel miserable. I urge you to shift your mindset and focus on the benefits you can reap from a deload. Once you do that, you can gain a lot from light training and start your next cycle stronger, healthier, and more determined.
Every minor thing matters. Thank you for reading! Until next week,
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about deload weeks, click here.
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