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Planned deload/cruise vs. going by feel

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  • Planned deload/cruise vs. going by feel

    I'm curious as to how many of you pre-plan your deloads or cruises (in X amount of weeks, I will back off) vs. how many of you train until you start having symptoms of overtraining, plateau, or worse... regress.
    2014 Greater Gulf States 2nd WPD Class B
    2010 Jr. USA 2nd LHW
    2009 Houston Pro/Am 1st LHW & Overall (Am)
    2008 Jr. Nationals 5th LHW
    2007 Greater Gulf States 1st LHW
    2007 LA Championships 1st LHW & Overall

  • #2
    Definitely a go by feel kind of guy.... However I do see the benefits to both. I feel that for powerlifters, at least from an outsider's perspective, having planned deloads and such is beneficial because you are working with percentages and have weekly plans to hit a certain weight and be able to be at your heaviest lifts by the time a competition rolls around.

    For bodybuilding, my belief is that one should get all they can out of a blast phase before taking off... the same individual can have two completely different blast lengths based on numerous external factors influencing performance and one blast might go on for 14+ weeks while another is dead in the water at 8 weeks... The way I see it is that as long as you are progressing towards your goal in bodybuilding, why should you stop what your are doing (given you are not compromising your health)?

    BUT, I don't think this could work for all because many people simply haven't learned their body and the signs to look for and don't know when they should back off, so for these people, I would say setting a general guide for blasting and cruising would suit them best based on when they planned on competing or wanted to reach a desired physique goal. The alternative for someone who is not in tune with their body is to hire a coach that will ask the questions to determine if that person is burned out and then suggest a cruise.

    My $0.02.....
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    • #3
      I usually cruise every 6-10 weeks. I try to plan when I'm going to take the cruise ahead of time. For example, two weeks ago I knew that I was going to be swamped at work and getting to the gym wasn't going to happen. It was week 8 of my current blast so it worked out perfectly.

      Over the summer I cruise when I go on my family vacation. Sometimes it is at the 4 week mark, other times it might be week 9.

      IF nothing is really going on and I can cruise at anytime I go by feel. Usually a body part or two start to hurt and I know it is time to shut it down. I don't want too long in these situations and try to be more proactive than reactive.

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      • #4
        Those are good points. I've always gone by feel, which over the years has become more proactive/less reactive. A weakness for me has been the tendency to squeeze out one more/a few more workouts when I'm having signs of needing to back off...stopping at a wall moreso than pausing on a ramp. I find it's hard to walk away when progress is peaking, which can be shortsighted.
        2014 Greater Gulf States 2nd WPD Class B
        2010 Jr. USA 2nd LHW
        2009 Houston Pro/Am 1st LHW & Overall (Am)
        2008 Jr. Nationals 5th LHW
        2007 Greater Gulf States 1st LHW
        2007 LA Championships 1st LHW & Overall

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        • #5
          I go by feel now...but it always seems to be in the 8-12 week range (closer to 8 now that I am a little older). After two months, things just start hurting more (and more). I don't take set days off during the blast(s) as I travel at least monthly and have to adjust my schedule, which usually results in a day off (or an extra day off from cardio, etc).

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          • #6
            Well since going the fitness instructor/trainer full time I have learnt (had) to go by feel. So even though I plan to run a blast for 8 weeks then cruise, because I give so much in classes and client sessions my body demands the deload even earlier. I will try to squeeze out a week 7, like last week, but my energy/strength starts to tank and I end up hitting a wall even before the week is done. At that point, I just head right into the deload rather than finish out the week.
            2005 - JABBFA Body Fitness (Figure) Championships - 4th
            2007 - JABBFA Body Fitness (Figure) Championships - 2nd
            2008 - INBF NYC Hercules - 1st Novice
            2009 - INBF Barbados Universe - Open - 2nd
            2010 - INBF Naturalmania NYC- Open - 1st Heavyweight
            2011 - INBF World Championships - Open - 3rd


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