Have you ever heard of a deload week? According to Mens Fitness…
A deload is a period of time in which you take things easier in the gym by lifting lighter weights or reducing your training volume. Deloads typically last a week and encourage recovery before another period of harder training with heavier loading. Even if your body doesn’t absolutely need to deload, it’s a good idea.
I should admit that right now I am focusing more on that last part of the last sentence, “it’s a good idea.” Yes, yes it is.
I’m sure it’s pretty clear that I love working out and staying active. Quite honestly, this is how I stay sane and centered, so at times, even taking a rest day doesn’t seem appealing, let alone talking about a deload week.
But I want to admit something to you…
Taking a deload week can help you come back stronger – mentally and physically.
A week or so ago, I had these high hopes of a pretty heavy training week. I wanted HIIT and strength workouts or a run in the morning, and yoga at night; not everyday but at least a few days out of the week.
What happened instead was that my body didn’t feel right, it felt tired, achy, and a bit out of sorts. I couldn’t get myself to workout harder or motivate myself to run, all I wanted to do was walk and throw in a little yoga. Knowing myself and the way my body talks to me, I knew I needed to listen; so I did.
I spent my mornings walking on the treadmill while reading a book and if I was up for it, I’d add in some light weights or core work after; if I was up for yoga after work, I went; if I wasn’t, I stayed home and relaxed next to the AC unit.
For me, it was this reminder that not only do I need rest days during my weekly fitness, but I also need to schedule deload weeks from time to time as they truly help my body and mind reset to come back a stronger and more powerful athlete. Sure, I’m no Simone Biles or Katie Ledecky, but I am my own Katie Arnold. 😉
“I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, I’m the first Simone Biles.”
(Please tell me you all have seen this? Who knew that I could look up to someone who is 6 inches shorter and 10 years younger than me!? But it’s possible.)
The point I’m making in all of this, is just to remember to take rest for your body and don’t be afraid to cut back your training a bit; listen to your body; and especially, as we watch the Olympics and find ourselves so amazingly inspired by these incredible athletes, remember that we are not them and rather than try to be, setting ourselves up for injury, we need to just be ourselves.
When was the last time you took a rest day or a deload week?
Favorite summer Olympics sport to watch?