WHAT EX­ACTLY IS A “DELOAD WEEK”, AND SHOULD I BE TRY­ING TO FAC­TOR ONE IN?

Men's Health (UK) - - Ask Mh - OL­LIE, MANCH­ESTER

A bit tired, are we? We don’t blame you. All that ef­fort to main­tain a sum­mer body can take it out of a man. And, as the days grow darker and the nights grow longer, this might be the right time to ease your foot off the pedal.

“Deload­ing” in­volves re­duc­ing the vol­ume and in­ten­sity of your train­ing to sup­port re­pair and re­cov­ery. “With­out proper rest, your body’s abil­ity to pro­duce force be­comes in­hib­ited and you’ll stop see­ing re­sults,” says strength and con­di­tion­ing coach Sam Pepys. Even if your mus­cles feel fine, heavy lift­ing takes its toll on your cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem (CNS), re­spon­si­ble for mul­ti­ple func­tions within your body. If your CNS is fried, you’ll strug­gle to muster en­ergy and fo­cus in your day-to-day life.

Sched­ule a deload ev­ery fifth week. You may want to time yours with of­fice party sea­son: “Com­bin­ing boozy late nights with stren­u­ous train­ing is a sure path to burnout,” says Pepys. Un­sure how to lighten up with­out grind­ing to a halt? Our tips ( right) will take the strain.

DOES IT WORK?

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