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Take it easy, get stronger!

March 15, 2013

Sometimes you have that whole gym and training thing going like there was no stopping, the weights are increasing every single workout, you feel like superman, but better and bigger.

All of us have these periods where everything just clicks and it feels like we are in some sort of hyper drive that is never-ending, this is actually when you have to start thinking about it though.

For me anyway, after a few weeks in this gear I usually find myself starting a workout and just after a couple of exercises there is a big lack of motivation, energy and a feeling like “Why am I here?”.

No matter what type of exercise you are doing, this is when you should be smart and actually decrease the volume of training for one or two weeks – one is usually fine for me. Many people usually think this is the time to push on even harder, maybe adding another something to your programme, somehow smashing through this plateau, bad move Superman…

What happens is that your -Central Nervous System- is overworked, when exercising and using your muscles, basically our brains tells the muscles what to do, and the Central Nervous system is  the system shooting the signals to the muscles and back up to the brain again.

Let’s take strength training as the example;

You push yourself through a few amazing weeks of training, your muscles gains strength and some volume, but to dive a bit deeper into this whole thing is that your Nervous system is working very hard to make the muscle contractions as efficient as possible to recruit as many muscle fibres as possible.

This will in the long-term drain and fatigue the Nervous system, for long periods it will cope and recover until your next workout, but when the above happens, it just get a bit too drained and fatigued – exhausted

Instead of keep on pushing during your sessions, but take that 1 week of what we call -Deloading-, you decrease the weights to about 40-60% of what you usually would lift and keeping the reps fairly similar as normal.

This will allow your Nervous system to recover but you can still stimulate your muscles to maintain the strength you have worked up to this point, and if you have been on a diet which fatigues the Central Nervous System on its own, it is a smart move to up your calories to maintenance calories to speed up the recovery even more.

This is why someone usually can keep going in the gym for much longer periods of time whilst on a calorie surplus which allows the body to recover much faster.

If you feel like what I have described in the beginning of this post and try this de-load almost everyone comes back stronger than before this period of rest as your body will adapt to the stresses and have to become stronger!

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