‘Deload week’ explained

The perceived idea that you generally need to constantly lift heavier, has it’s advantages, but also does including a deload week into your regime.

Setting goals for your lifts is very motivating and once you hit those goals, you should set new ones. I’m a big fan of taking a step back though and reaffirming things like tempo and form by doing a lighter week – this is called a deload week.

During my deload week, I generally vary my eccentric, concentric, isometric tempos and the intensity I’m exerting myself to, by using a lighter weight of about 50% of my 1RM. I find this allows my ligaments and tendons to have a rest period from the heavy loading and also a greater chance to grow to accommodate the new muscle i’ve introduced to my joints, from my heavier weeks. With the growth of your muscles, means your ligaments and tendons need to grow too, but they don’t grow as fast, as they’re not as fibrous as muscle fibre.

Another thing I enjoy from my deload week is being able to test the performance of the new strength I’ve gained – this often leads me to the conceptual thoughts about what lifestyle activities I may now be capable of, outside of the gym – after all, we are all training for a greater quality of life right?

Support muscle growth with protein shakes

Why are protein shakes post-workout important?

Protein is the main nutrient which everybody needs to support their internal and external repair process and the immune system. My suggestion is that you consume a generous amount (30-40g) of protein within 30-60 minutes post-workout.

Other benefits of consuming protein shakes have been seen to be fat loss, hunger prevention, fighting off cancer from peptides and amino acids found in dietary proteins and reduced stress levels relating to brain health.

Currently I am using a protein called Prana which I have chosen because it’s organic and adds micronutrients to my health like complex carbohydrates, healthy fats from flaxseed oils, creatine monohydrate, digestive enzymes and complex amino acids.

Importance of unilateral training

Single-limb ‘Unilateral’ training is a big driver of a strong and balanced physique

What is unilateral training?

This term means to perform an exercise that works one limb independently or are more targeted towards one limb. Examples of unilateral exercises are; single cable lat pull, single stiff-leg deadlift, single arm bench rows etc. Being different from bilateral training, the exertion may not be as high on the body, but the benefits are worth it.

Benefits of unilateral training?

• Allowing the body to even out any strength or size imbalances
• Correcting postural differences, which can sometimes be made worse through bilateral training
• Strengthening stabilising muscles by forcing the joint to recruit more muscle fibre

I myself have some strength differences within my body and so I frequently ensure I encompass unilateral exercises into my routine.

Do you do unilateral exercises and what are your thoughts on the aid of progressing your exercises along?