All too often, people weight train, taking little or no breaks, but I'm a big believer that breaks or deloading are just as important as training itself.
Deloading means lightening up your workload for a specific amount of time so the body does not have to work as hard, allowing it to recover.
HOW LONG SHOULD DELOADING TAKE?
Some people prefer to take a break altogether, which can be done for one week in winter and maybe again coming into summer. Compare this to deloading, which can be done every three months, depending on how your recovery is after training and how much your physique has improved.
WHY SHOULD YOU DELOAD?
There are many reasons why you should deload: for recovery, to make sure you are not overtraining, and to allow your supportive connecting tissue around your ligaments and muscles to repair.
Typical signs that you may need to do this is if you are feeling particularly tired, if you consistently train a lot or if you notice you are more injury prone.
HOW TO DELOAD
There are two ways that I like to deload. Firstly, I would recommend taking one set off every exercise. The other option that I find can work well is cutting the weight by about 20-30pc but keeping the same amount of reps and sets. Both ways can work equally well.
BENEFITS OF DELOADING OVER REST WEEKS
Unlike taking a rest altogether, deloading allows you to train consistently while allowing the body to recover fully. Remember, the problem is not always overtraining but under-recovering.