Deloading and strength gains

Deads 135 is my PR. I'm happy and proud!  This is almost my body weight.
Deads 135 is my PR. I’m happy and proud! This is almost my body weight.

My team at SleekBody began their Bikini Challenge 7 weeks ago. We have been tracking our personal records and seeing amazing strength gains.  We have lost over 219 pounds in our studio in that short amount of time.
Our bodies cannot continue the exponential strength gains at the rate at which we are seeing it in our first 7 weeks. Many of our clients are now squatting their body weight. Our program is very intense so we incorporated a studio wide deload week.

I needed a deload more than any of our clients!!

This is how I was feeling
Tired
Hungry
Bloated
Didn’t feel like lifting (what??)
A bit down in the dumps
cold!
Scale is stuck!

Those are symptoms of  over training. My natural inclination as Type A, driven, women is to take no prisoners and keep pushing past it. DO MORE!

When I feel like this, I have recognized that it is time for a deload or recovery week.

My deload week consisted of no cardio.  A few days of no training and some light workouts to keep active.  I slept as much as I could and added more food to my plan.
I also increased my vitamin C. All this at the advice of my mentor.
I was pushing too much and I felt terrible.
This week, if you would have handed me a heavy weight I think I might have dropped it on your toe. I felt incredibly weak.

On Friday, I did pilates springs and some box thrusts.

On Saturday, we headed to the gym to get my leg workout in.
I  had incredible gains. I felt amazing. I want to stress to you, that I am not a naturally strong strong girl.  These numbers are milestones for me. I am ecstatic at my lift for Saturday. My last PR for Squats was 115# and 95# for deads. That was a few weeks ago. Last week, I dropped my back squat weight to 65 pounds and did A2G (@ss to grass) squats with a quicker pace.

March 1, 2014
Barbell Bench Thursts:
135  3×8
Back Squats
95 1×10
105 1×10
115 1×10
135 2×10
135 1×5

My last PR was 115. I did 135 2x12.
My last PR was 115. I did 135 2×12.

Sumo Deads
115 3×12
RDL
135 3×12

Leg press
470  3×12

How to deload:

Cutting your weight back:
A good practice is to work at about 50-60 percent of your max weight you are used to using.  I hope you are writing down your gains each day.  This is really important so you’ll know if you aren’t seeing personal records. Our clients still lifted 3 sets of 8-10 reps but at 50-60 percent of their max.

Same weight, less reps
You can still train heavy and do less reps. This doesn’t work for me, because I am usually just too worn out to lift my heaviest weight.  I have to drop back the intensity.
This is hard but necessary for me mentally.  See Type A.

Stretch/recovery
You can simply do yoga, Pilates or stretching as well as a simple deload.

Diet :
You can leave your diet the same during your deload. I added more food at the advice of my mentor. I feel better having switched it up. Remember, I was in my prep and now I’m not. So this was a good week for fresh starts.

I do a deload every 6 -7 weeks. I did not practice this in my last prep. I wish I had. I will see how much better my recovery is this time around.  I’m 17 weeks out.

Do you practice  deloading??