Strategic downphase in Training

  1. Strategic downphase in Training

    So I'm two weeks into a phase where I strategically lighten the weight, increase reps, utilize only machines, and increase cardio. Every 8-12 weeks I do this for about two-three weeks. I find that if I train balls to the wall day in day out, I plateau and gains stop. I'm curious if anybody has a template or suggestions on this approach. I get frustrated during this time as I cannot seem to find a program that I want to stick to, and I end up wandering the gym aimlessly for nearly a month. Also during this time I do not use any supplements, just vitamins and minerals.

  2. It looks like you found out the utility of employing deloads or at least periodizing your intensity. This is what you're essentially doing. It gives your whole body (neuromuscular system and soft tissues) a chance to recover from heavy training.

    Related articles you may find interesting: How Often Should You Deload?

    Deloads can last anywhere from 5 days to about 14. Any more than 2 weeks is not suggested as you probably start losing a good deal of conditioning at that point (not talking about gaining fat, I mean your strength and speed start to plummet).

    What you do during that week or two is up to you. You could do what you would normally do minus all heavy lifting. You could most of your normal, heavy lifts, but cut the reps back significantly (instead of a max of 3, do a max of 1 with that same weight), and cut down the volume of your accessory work. You can switch to doing high rep work with dumbbells, for instance, working up to sets of heavy 20s until you can't do more than 20 with upper body work, and do unilateral leg work for leg days also using dumbbells for higher reps (10-20). Don't use any accommodating resistance, though (like chains and bands), unless the bands are helping you lighten the load at some portion of the movement for things like pullups or glute ham raises.
    Check your form:

  3. Thanks man. This reinforces my approach. Maybe I will just keep the down phase to 2 weeks instead of 4

  4. I might rethink the machine only part. I'm a big proponent of using near exclusive unilateral work for restitution phases (extended low-loading like you are doing).


  5. Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED
    I might rethink the machine only part. I'm a big proponent of using near exclusive unilateral work for restitution phases (extended low-loading like you are doing).

    So one arm/leg at a time?

  6. Quote Originally Posted by rockme

    So one arm/leg at a time?
    He is saying yes to that. In this case in regards to a deload/restore type phase.
    Training Log
    "Jackie Treehorn treats objects like woman man."

  7. Quote Originally Posted by rockme View Post
    So one arm/leg at a time?
    Yes. Things like split squats, single leg RDL's, pitcher squats, single leg dead lifts, lunges, lateral lunges...etc etc.

    For upper body you having standing single arm press, half kneeling press, single arm db bench presses of all varieties on all surfaces, db rows, chinese rows, single arm pull downs, etc. etc.

    If nothing else, you will see your weights in these movements go up quite dramatically over the course of 3-4 weeks if you've never done them before as coordination and programing improves. You'll also get some great improvements in core strength.


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