Deloading – an age-old phenomenon in cycling training

Performance stagnation is rooted in several factors. These include repetition of the same training regimen, the overall level achieved, the physical and mental state, and most importantly, the lack of recovery. The latter involves the risk of overtraining. Humanly speaking, muscles work so intensely that depleted energy stores are not replenished. Thus, muscles cannot work as intensely as one would expect.

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For many athletes, training is a kind of drug. They cannot imagine skipping a scheduled day at the gym. This is aided by the slogans and myths that pain is just a psychological symptom, that it can be overcome, and that one must push the limits and limitations of the body at all costs in order to improve performance. Some even argue that the time needed for recovery is wasted and that those who rest are wasting their training and just looking for excuses to be lazy. These myths run deep.

Fortunately, an army of modern personal trainers is now forming who not only come from experienced athletic backgrounds, but who have studied, learned their trade, and know that to have a good physical foundation, one must understand how the body works in the first place. Sports is becoming a science in which anatomy and physiology play an important role.
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This is where the rest period comes into light again. A rest period is simply doing nothing. A single mesocycle, usually lasting 4-6 weeks, is followed by a short period of microcycles without training. Research confirms that unloading has a very positive effect. Improvements in performance and even muscle mass can be seen even without training. Of course, this increase cannot last forever, but the disruption of stereotypes leads to recovery of the tendons and joints that suffer most during exercise. Equally important is the effect on mentality and motivation. When exercise is prolonged, the appetite is lost and what was previously done as an addiction is now done out of obsession or routine. After a period of rest, they look forward to their first workout as much as they did at the beginning.

The principle of deloading allows for steady, gradual performance improvement. For example, for squats with a large barbell, start with 100 kg, gradually increase the weight by 5 kg per week, unload after 4 weeks (20 kg increase), and start the next mesocycle with 105 kg.