March 27, 2021 | John Paul Catanzaro
This may be a surprise to you, but muscle does not grow in the gym. You can have a great training program in place, but if you’re not able to recover from those workouts, you won’t make any progress and you’ll likely get injured.
Proper nutrition and some light activity are important for recovery, but quality sleep trumps them all!
There’s a right and wrong way of doing things and growing muscle is no exception. You need to eat right, move right, think right, poop right, and sleep right to make it happen.
Focus just as much on rest and recovery as you do on training and you’ll grow like a weed!
With that said, you should alter your training occasionally to keep the process running smoothly.
I’ve found that reducing the volume of training every third week will allow a greater peak on the fourth week, and then switch to a new program after that. I call it a “deset” (as opposed to a deload) because you do fewer sets that week but the intensity remains high.
An average program for an intermediate and advanced trainee will involve 3 pairs of exercises:
A) Primary exercises: 4-10 sets
B) Assistance exercises: 3-4 sets
C) Remedial exercises: 2-3 sets
A typical workout will take about an hour to complete, but during a deset week, it’s cut down to 30-40 minutes because you only do 3 sets for the “A” series, 2 sets for the “B” series, and 1 set for the “C” series.
This approach does wonders for your recovery. It helps to clear up any nagging injuries before they even happen, you get an energy boost, and you’re able to lift some serious weight the following week as you peak before commencing a new program.
And check out what it does to your readiness and sleep scores. You get scores like this from your Oura ring almost every day during a deset week.
Bottom Line: A deset week does the body good. Make sure to incorporate it every third week in your training.