Deload – All You Need To Know

In this post, we’ll unpack all you need to know about deloads, defining exactly what they are, whether they are effective, when, how often and how you should utilise them and more.

What Is A Deload?

A deload is a deliberate and temporary reduction in training intensity in order to counteract the potential negative effects of training and enhance recovery, prevent injury and improve performance.

Are Deloads Effective?

While they may sound counterproductive, when carried out successfully, deloads can can indeed help propel you towards your ultimate bodybuilding fitness goals.

It is important to understand that deloading doesn’t necessarily lead to decreased gains, instead, it creates the foundations necessary for continued increased gains.

Ensuring that your muscles have enough time to fully recover is essential to optimising muscle development. Failure to do so can in fact inhibit muscle development.

However, while deloads are for anyone, they are not for everyone. Ultimately it is down to each unique individual to decide whether they want to integrate a deload into their training program.

When Should You Deload?

A deload is typically scheduled at the end of a training cycle when you have completed a block and are preparing for the next phase of your program. However, it can be integrated into your training regimen as and when necessary depending on the circumstances.

Factors that indicate that a deload may be appropriate include a plateau in fat loss, decreases energy levels, decreased motivation, fatigue and impaired sleep.

How Often Should You Deload?

The more often you train and the more intense your training, the more often you will need to incorporate a deload into your program.

While there is no one-size-fits-all, as a general rule of thumb, you should integrate a deload into your training program every 6-10 weeks.

Ultimately, the key is to be in tune with your mind and body so you can identify signs that indicate a reduction in training intensity is necessary.

How To Deload

There are 4 primary factors you can manipulate during a reload in order to reduce the intensity of training. They are:

  • Decreasing Load ― This refers to the amount of weight.
  • Decreasing Volume ― This refers to the amount of reps and sets.
  • Decreasing Frequency ― This refers to the amount of workout sessions.
  • Increasing Rest Periods ― This refers to the amount of recovery time between sets.


A deload is a purposeful reduction in training intensity in order to counteract the potential negative effects of training and optimise the achievement of one’s goals.

The 4 primary factors that we can manipulate during a deload are decreasing load, decreasing volume, decreasing frequency and increasing rest periods.