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  1. #1
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    Time for a deload? Or continue progression?

    Apologies for the wall of text. I hope this is one piece of the puzzle that makes it come together for me. Bear with me - thanks.

    Ok, I’m debating what to do next. I’ve been working out for a couple years and after making mistakes and other setbacks I’ve kind of figured out what work and what don’t. I’m still lifting newbie weights but getting stronger and have gained some muscle but not 1.5yrs worth

    In a nutshell - my recovery fuken sucks and so does my form and I’m improving that as I go.

    So over the last year and half or so, let’s say I come after a break and I start at a certain weight. For two to three weeks everything goes just fine. My progression comes along ok and my lifts keep going up. Third or fourth week my bicep exercises stall out or start regressing while other lifts would continue progressing or barely start to stall. In the past I would just keep continuing my progression on other lifts and would hit RPE 10 at same weights as last week for same reps so barely get my target reps with progression.

    Regression would continue and I would get sick or reset weights or something but wouldn’t take a proper deload week - cuz I didn’t know any better.

    Well last month I did a proper deload week and came back stronger and all my lifts continue to improve week over week.

    Today is end of my week 3 since my Delos week and last workout of the week.

    Today’s workout My main lifts hit RPE 10 almost on my target reps and I lost two reps on my last set of bicep exercises.

    Question is looking at my past history, do I take a Deload week next week or continue my weight progression and risk regressing? Looking at my logs it felt as if all my lifts continue progressing for 5 weeks and 6th week I start loosing strength of get injured. Bicep exercises would start stalling / regressing 4th or 5th week. Planned Deload was week of feb 3rd but now I dunno what to do? I’m very early 40s.

    Is it normal for some people to need a deload every 4th week?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    What are you doing for biceps?
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Deload when/how you need to, esp when recurring injuries are involved (although that may also be a matter of inappropriate programming or poor form). How exactly do you deload?

    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Today’s workout My main lifts hit RPE 10 almost on my target reps and I lost two reps on my last set of bicep exercises.
    Again, not sure what your program is - but let's say you're doing a Pull day and you progress on all your lifts like DLs, rows, pulldowns, etc. then stall on a set of
    curls. I don't think that's a big deal.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Please don't tell us you're considering deloading because of an isolation exercise.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    What are you doing for biceps?
    My bicep exercises have always been the first ones to regress. It progresses for one or two weeks then regresses. It’s wierd af

    Wednesday:
    chin-ups 3x5 (I know it hits biceps so including in here)
    curls on a pulley (2 x 8-12) don’t have dumbbells
    Barbell curls 1x8-12

    Sunday

    chin-ups 3x5,
    Drag curls 2x8-12
    curls on a pulley (1 x 8-12) don’t have dumbbells. I want to hammer curls but don’t have dumbbells

    As an example on drag curls, I got
    1/3/21 - 55x10 , 55x10
    1/10/21 - 55x10, 55x9
    1/17/21 - 55x10, 55x8
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  6. #6
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Deload when/how you need to, esp when recurring injuries are involved (although that may also be a matter of inappropriate programming or poor form). How exactly do you deload?



    Again, not sure what your program is - but let's say you're doing a Pull day and you progress on all your lifts like DLs, rows, pulldowns, etc. then stall on a set of
    curls. I don't think that's a big deal.
    I’ve tried deloading several ways and the way that’s worked for me finally is up my weight to 90% 1RM and do 2x2-3

    - Taking full week off don’t work for me. I loose a lot of strength
    - Reducing weight and do same sets and reps don’t work for me. I loose a lot of strength
    - same weight and reduce 1 set was all right. Increasing weight works best for me
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  7. #7
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    To be honest I never really worry about overload on isolations. I just pick a challenging weight I can get a solid 8 reps with for a few sets.
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  8. #8
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Biceps should be the last of your concerns, and definitely should not be a benchmark for your overall progress.

    What's your complete program? Exercises, sets, reps, intensities, etc.
    What's your caloric intake and sleep?
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    bw 88.5 age 43

    Workout Journal: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1630928323&viewfull=1#post1630928323
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  9. #9
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Please don't tell us you're considering deloading because of an isolation exercise.
    Well I’m pretty frustrated with my slow progression and last Deload I felt like it was the holy grail I had been needing. It felt really good.

    Looking at my past history I’ve recently figured out it that my biceps start stalling / regress next couple workouts, I start feeling beat up after every workout.

    Sleep starts getting iffy. Wake up several times at night.

    Next couple workouts my quads and hamstrings start feeling like they’ve not recovered atall workout to workout.

    Once that happens next workout I feel like chit like about to catch a cold and loose 2 to 3 reps on my major lifts and have many times injured myself trying to get 5 reps I got last week lol

    So here’s my story. I sound like a sissy to myself but I do push as hard as I can.

    Doing greyskull LP. Week 1 after deload RPE 8, week 2 is RPE 9 and week 3 and week 4 are close to RPE 9.5/10. This is what I’ve recently figured out and last cycle it worked out good but I was pretty fatigued at the end.
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  10. #10
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Biceps should be the last of your concerns, and definitely should not be a benchmark for your overall progress.

    What's your complete program? Exercises, sets, reps, intensities, etc.
    What's your caloric intake and sleep?
    I know.

    But but but when I start loosing reps on biceps, after a couple weeks hell starts breaking loose for me recovery wise.

    Today was end of week 3 and I hit close to RPE 9.5/10 and I feel fine just now. But I know next week I’ll take a beating hitting RPE 10 or missing reps (I’ve been doing sloppy last reps in the past and hence those injuries - trying to be ahead of my regression and injury this time around and in the future)
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  11. #11
    6'0" 190lbs BulkingIsHard's Avatar
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    Have you been tracking your main compound lifts and bodyweight? If so then what are they? If not, how do you know you are progressing slowly?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_decline
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_collapse#By_absorption
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  12. #12
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BulkingIsHard View Post
    Have you been tracking your main compound lifts and bodyweight? If so then what are they? If not, how do you know you are progressing slowly?
    I’m on greyskull LP /fit verison

    I am gaining 0.5lbs per week. Eating 2600 calories per day. 5ft 8inches and about 170lbs. I’m high bodyfat (used to be 200lbs and got down to 158lbs and still high bodyfat so reversed for a bit) and I should be cutting - that’ll be in march when it’s warmer. Hate being cold all the time when cutting

    I do log all my workouts and making progress workout to workout
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    6'0" 190lbs BulkingIsHard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    I’m on greyskull LP /fit verison

    I am gaining 0.5lbs per week. Eating 2600 calories per day. 5ft 8inches and about 170lbs. I’m high bodyfat (used to be 200lbs and got down to 158lbs and still high bodyfat so reversed for a bit) and I should be cutting - that’ll be in march when it’s warmer. Hate being cold all the time when cutting

    I do log all my workouts and making progress workout to workout
    0.5 lbs a week might be too much fat unless you're a beginner. In my experience 4 lbs a month is really fat, 2 lbs a month is a little fat, 1 lbs is minimum, and I'm 6'0". Which goes back to my original reply, post your main lift PRs and progression summary, it's an easy way to gauge your progression and "skill" level.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_decline
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_collapse#By_absorption
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  14. #14
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BulkingIsHard View Post
    0.5 lbs a week might be too much fat unless you're a beginner. In my experience 4 lbs a month is really fat, 2 lbs a month is kinda fat, 1 lbs is solid. Which goes back to my original reply, post your main lift PRs and progression summary, it's an easy way to gauge your progression and "skill" level.
    Didn’t really want to cuz they are chit tier but here you go...

    Bench: 135x5 (shoulder /bicep tendinitis kept coming back)
    Squat: 130x5 (recently fixed my form)
    Deadlift: 205 x5
    OHP: 95x5
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Didn’t really want to cuz they are chit tier but here you go...

    Bench: 135x5 (shoulder /bicep tendinitis kept coming back)
    Squat: 130x5 (recently fixed my form)
    Deadlift: 205 x5
    OHP: 95x5
    No such thing as chit tier, you’re putting in work and that is to be commended.
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    6'0" 190lbs BulkingIsHard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Didn’t really want to cuz they are chit tier but here you go...

    Bench: 135x5 (shoulder /bicep tendinitis kept coming back)
    Squat: 130x5 (recently fixed my form)
    Deadlift: 205 x5
    OHP: 95x5
    Ok, but what's your progression look like? You say you start to stall after 5 weeks, so what do your lifts look like over those 5 weeks? What did your lifts look like 6 months ago? 1 year ago? Etc.. You might be progressing just fine. You might be overtraining or undertraining. You might just have terrible sleep/protein intake.

    You are still at the stage where progressive overload is enough to make progress. No need for deloads, periodization, and other complexities, so there is likely something else wrong in the equation, or nothing wrong and you're just overthinking it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_decline
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_collapse#By_absorption
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    Originally Posted by BulkingIsHard View Post
    Ok, but what's your progression look like? You say you start to stall after 5 weeks, so what do your lifts look like over those 5 weeks? What did your lifts look like 6 months ago? 1 year ago? Etc.. You might be progressing just fine. You might be overtraining or undertraining. You might just have terrible sleep/protein intake.

    You are still at the stage where progressive overload is enough to make progress. No need for deloads, periodization, and other complexities, so there is likely something else wrong in the equation, or nothing wrong and you're just overthinking it.
    The weights I’ve posted above are weights I’m at right now.

    I was at the same weight last year. Then got injured. Reset. And built back up. And repeated that for a while. Pretty darn stupid I know but that’s what’s been up. I would keep pushing and trying to get that sloppy 5th rep.

    Following greyskull LP and I add 5lbs to deads and squats every workout and 2.5lbs to OHP and bench. Compared to last month I’m up on all my exercises.

    When I add weights the lifts do become harder - it’s not like I feel like I’ve added muscle and lifts are as magically light as last workout. It’s always harder on most lifts but I do get those reps in.

    I do get 5 to 8 hrs of sleep a night. Average probably right under 7 hours.

    Nutrition is dialed down - 1g protien per lb of bodyweight, 300 carbs and rest in fat. Gaining 0.5lb a week.
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    6'0" 190lbs BulkingIsHard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Following greyskull LP and I add 5lbs to deads and squats every workout and 2.5lbs to OHP and bench. Compared to last month I’m up on all my exercises.
    So what's the problem? This is good consistency
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_decline
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societal_collapse#By_absorption
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by BulkingIsHard View Post
    So what's the problem? This is good consistency
    The problem is in the OP.

    I continue progression and my lifts start regressing and I have kept going till I get injured. And I’m still lifting the weight I was able to lift a year ago. Pretty irritated. One good thing is back then it was with meh form and now it’s better form probably.

    Regression starts with bicep exercises and over the next week or two starts showing up in my main lifts.

    So trying to get ahead of the regression this time around. So trying to ask y’all who are more experienced.

    Basically regression has shown up in my biceps and it’s only end of week 3. Next week I will be able to add weight to my compounds but will more than likely be at RPE 10. Week after that I will miss reps.

    So do I get to the week where I miss reps (even greyskull calls for resets when rep is missed) and then Deload or do I fatigue fully over next two weeks and then Deload?
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    Bump. I posted responses to questions
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    I have kept going till I get injured.
    Don't get injured then. Know your limits and when your form is about to break so you can stop a rep sooner. High intensity that is super close to failure is not necessary to make gains.

    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Regression starts with bicep exercises and over the next week or two starts showing up in my main lifts.
    Biceps are meh, a small muscle is going to grow slowly anyways, you aren't going to jump from 30 lb dumbbells to 35 lb in one workout. It's better to track a larger exercise like rows or pull ups which correlate better to overall progress.

    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    So trying to get ahead of the regression this time around. So trying to ask y’all who are more experienced.

    Basically regression has shown up in my biceps and it’s only end of week 3. Next week I will be able to add weight to my compounds but will more than likely be at RPE 10. Week after that I will miss reps.

    So do I get to the week where I miss reps (even greyskull calls for resets when rep is missed) and then Deload or do I fatigue fully over next two weeks and then Deload?
    I am not sure, in for answers also. Are you sure you're gaining 0.5 lbs/week and have plenty of protein? If you're putting on mass the strength gains should be inevitable. When I was a noob, my first plateau after beginner gains was because I wasn't eating as much protein as I thought I was. Protein shake supplements fixed that.

    I have the same problem where I start to slow down after a month or two so I'll switch programs or lift heavier than usual/increase the volume. For example if I can't increase my bench by 5 lbs and get 5 reps next week I'll increase by like 10 or 15 lbs and do triples instead. Next week I try for 5 with the increase. Or instead I might attempt an extra set or two of my usual working set.

    The issue is that your strength is still emerging in the beginner/novice area, so I don't know if this would actually help, and I'm not exactly at the expert level either so I don't know if it's just bro science or actually good advice.
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    Deloading is entirely independent.

    Me for example, normally I would try to schedule a deload every 8-12 weeks whether I feel I need or not, or take a couple days off, but since COVID I haven’t mainly due to the fact that working out it basically the one thing that helps me stay somewhat positive during all this. I don’t feel like backing off my workouts right now.

    With that being said, the best indicator of whether you need a deload / break is how your body feels and how your progress is. A couple days of feeling tired / sore isn’t necessarily a good indicator. If, over a period of time you notice your workout performance dropping regardless of what you do to try and correct it, maybe you feel more tired etc. then that could be an indicator you need a deload.

    Again, this is entirely an individual thing. Some people pre-plan deloads / breaks from training and others go based off when they feel they need one.

    Listen to your body. Don’t make a decision based off just 1-2 days, evaluate how you feel and your training over say 1-2 weeks and see what’s what, and if you really feel you’re are not recovering then take the appropriate measures.
    - Your mindset influences your outcome. It's time to take out phrases like "I can't" or "I don't have time" and replace them with phrases like "I will make the time" and "I will keep working at it until I find a way that works." Success starts with the right mindset and believing in yourself and your dreams.
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    K. I’ll then stop being a sissy and go through my next 2 weeks as planned and take a planned deload week if feb 3rd (my 6th week since last deload).

    Looking at my logs on major lifts my 6th and 7th week after vacation or resets my performance goes down. So I’m gonna stick with it this time. Last 3 weeks I feel more muscle gains than in the last 6months total so I’m planning on scheduled Deload for the next few months and see how it goes. Thanks guys. FYI - my Deload looks very similar to yours - I up my weight and drop one set and two reps from each set. Worked wonders last time around.

    About the weight gain, as my progression continues my weight gain slows down/halts. I’m wondering why that happens - just intensity shouldn’t be burning so many more calories? I do think I may be loosing muscle during workouts? Dunno.

    This time around, I’m actually upping my calories by 50 every week till my deload week.

    So Deload week - calories 2450
    Week 1 - 2500
    Week 2 - 2550
    Week 3 - 2600
    Week 4 - 2650
    Week 5 - 2700
    Repeat

    Will see how it goes. Feeling best I have in a very long time...
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Didn’t really want to cuz they are chit tier but here you go...

    Bench: 135x5 (shoulder /bicep tendinitis kept coming back)
    Squat: 130x5 (recently fixed my form)
    Deadlift: 205 x5
    OHP: 95x5
    the low-ish numbers in relation to the time spent lifting, at least compared to serious lifters, are very relatable. there's one thing i have to ask though: have you been squatting regularly? not saying it "should" be 300 lbs or anything, but was your form that bad all this time? either way, if you fixed your form, your squat should skyrocket now

    have your lifts been higher at some point? asking because it gives a bit more context whether you've "been there" or not. my lifts went down quite a bit over a 9 month cut --> current lifts could be considered chit tier without context, but they are still acceptable (for me at least) considering the context
    Last edited by faithbrah; 01-18-2021 at 03:37 PM.
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    Listen to your body bro
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    the low-ish numbers in relation to the time spent lifting, at least compared to serious lifters, are very relatable. there's one thing i have to ask though: have you been squatting regularly? not saying it "should" be 300 lbs or anything, but was your form that bad all this time? either way, if you fixed your form, your squat should skyrocket now

    have your lifts been higher at some point? asking because it gives a bit more context whether you've "been there" or not. my lifts went down quite a bit over a 9 month cut --> current lifts could be considered chit tier without context, but they are still acceptable (for me at least) considering the context
    Really? I read people starting lifting and adding 5lbs per week for months and months lol and here I am still benching 135lbs 1.5 yrs later.

    I’ve reached this weight lifted two to three times during bulking and cutting also. I wouldn’t listen to recovery cues of my body and get sick. This time hopefully it’ll be different.

    Currently I’m on a bulk (I should be cutting but I don’t like being cold all the time. So will wait till it warms up. Another 3 to 4 weeks and then a 5 to 8 week cut is in order). After my last deload I started with my 8 to 10 RM and Builduing back up...

    Squat feels very unnatural and uncomfortable for me. I could not squeeze my glutes atall when I started - flat butt. Lol pants falling down all the tim no matter how tight the belt was.

    I was also trying to stay upright trying to keep my chest up lol but I found this great video from Rippetor and also squat university guy. I now know upto a 45 degree torso angle on top is all right even to get the bar path up and down and keep balance over the mid foot.

    I Now know what stance I felt as natural for me (toes out about 15 or so degrees and medium stance) Work better for my anatomy and are actually ideal for my anatomy..

    Everyone kept giving me different cues and I kept changing form - then I learnt it’s individual and what works for me may be horrible for someone else and vice versa.

    Still have work to do on the squats but I do have weakness and MMC issues in smaller muscles due to sitting a lot / driving 60k miles a year and sitting in a chair all day long in front of computer. But it’s all improving. My loose pants stay up even without a belt - so hell yes it’s working already. Hahah

    Next two months will tell me what I’ve figured out so far is gonna do for me. I actually am looking forward to lifting next two weeks and then deloding and coming back after the Deload and Builduing back up past my predeload weights. If I’m able to add just 5lbs every cycle to all my lifts, that’s 6 weeks a cycle and equals 45lbs increase in lifted weight on each lift per year. 1.5yrs ago I would cringe at just 45lbs but looking at my past performance lol I’ll take that anyway.
    Last edited by TryingBB; 01-18-2021 at 04:46 PM.
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    My bicep exercises have always been the first ones to regress. It progresses for one or two weeks then regresses. It’s wierd af

    Wednesday:
    chin-ups 3x5 (I know it hits biceps so including in here)
    curls on a pulley (2 x 8-12) don’t have dumbbells
    Barbell curls 1x8-12

    Sunday

    chin-ups 3x5,
    Drag curls 2x8-12
    curls on a pulley (1 x 8-12) don’t have dumbbells. I want to hammer curls but don’t have dumbbells

    As an example on drag curls, I got
    1/3/21 - 55x10 , 55x10
    1/10/21 - 55x10, 55x9
    1/17/21 - 55x10, 55x8
    Def invest in some Dumbells bro, adds a world of exercises
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  28. #28
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    A week has gone by and I’ve had 3 workout sessions since then. I added 2.5lbs to all my upper body lifts and 5lbs to my lower body lifts.

    Tricep pulldown I added reps but fuken bicep exercises are receeded.

    For the last 5 weeks since Deload I got the following on my third set of bicep drag curls

    Week 1: 55x10
    Week 2: 55x9
    Week 3: 55x8
    Week 4: 55x5 (couldn’t lift the bar higher than half way in 6th rep - so I repped out just the bar for another 5 reps)

    I do 3 sets of biceps twice a week. Should I reduce volume? Or drop weight a tad bit?
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  29. #29
    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    there's no hard rules to when you should and shouldn't take a deload

    the answer is really when you want to, or feel like it. could be physically or mentally, or do to some real life situations.

    For me when I was in the gym I would take them every 5-6 weeks usually. If I felt good I would just keep going. If I felt like I was getting a little too beat up, some aches and pains were starting to creep up, or I was sort of hitting a wall on a few lifts, those times are when I would take a deload.

    bicep exercises are meant to stall quickly, you're training a relatively small muscle group, shouldn't really need a deload there as long as everything else is going up. deloads are usually to decrease overall bodily fatigue so that you can start the next phase of your training fresh and close to your full potential.
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by sooby View Post
    there's no hard rules to when you should and shouldn't take a deload

    the answer is really when you want to, or feel like it. could be physically or mentally, or do to some real life situations.

    For me when I was in the gym I would take them every 5-6 weeks usually. If I felt good I would just keep going. If I felt like I was getting a little too beat up, some aches and pains were starting to creep up, or I was sort of hitting a wall on a few lifts, those times are when I would take a deload.

    bicep exercises are meant to stall quickly, you're training a relatively small muscle group, shouldn't really need a deload there as long as everything else is going up. deloads are usually to decrease overall bodily fatigue so that you can start the next phase of your training fresh and close to your full potential.
    Gotcha. Thx

    What should be my plan of action with my bicep exercises? This has been a trend since I started working out. I mean, bicep exercises keep receding every week till after the Deload week it blows back up. And I up the weight. Get certain number of reps and there on it keeps creeping down till my next Deload.

    The reps I get with the same weight keep going down as weeks progress - but only on bicep exercises. Am I doing too much volume?

    I do 3x5 direct bicep exercises twice a week. I also do chin-ups 3x5 three times every two weeks and bent over rows 3x5 three times every two weeks.
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