Deload weeks, what are they, and why do coaches program them

Ever wonder why your coach is programming deload weeks? Sometimes when you see a deload week in your program, you might feel scared that you are going to lose all your gains. This is not true. The reason a coach programs deload weeks, is to allow the central nervous system to recover. The 2 biggest systems coaches look at when training athletes to become better lifters are the musculature and the nervous systems. First let’s talk about the musculature system. Let’s say you had to do 4X10 squats at a very high intensity. For the next 2-3 days, you now struggle climbing steps and squatting to go to the bathroom. What do you do for those 3 days? Typically, you rest your legs, to allow them to recover, right? Well in a nutshell, your central nervous system needs to be broken down and given rest to rebuild itself. Unlike the muscular system that only needs 2-3 days to recover, your nervous system needs up to a week (henceforth deload weeks). On the other hand, the central nervous system can also handle 2-3 weeks of proper periodized programming before the necessary recovery week is needed. The art of coaching/ programming comes in on how do you train both of these systems in unison in order to produce the most out of your athlete. That topic would require more than a blog, and takes many years to master.