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    Default Accumulated Fatigue

    Ever feel like you finally are “on a roll” with getting to the gym? You work out as many times a week as you have planned and keep making progressions, but soon you feel your body working against you.
    .
    You start feeling progressively more tired and have a hard time increasing weight/volume during your workouts. This is a common phenomenon and is called accumulated fatigue. You cannot constantly increase the demands placed on your body without giving it an equally well planned recovery.
    .
    There are many factors that play in here, but usually sleeping and the hours between workouts ISN’T ENOUGH. In fact, your performance can IMPROVE if you lower the demands placed on your body for a period of time. Athletes do this all the time in order to reach peak performance for competitions.
    .
    The reduction in demands is known as a taper, and for bodybuilding purposes we can call it a deload.
    .
    So how do you taper? The two main types are step tapering and linear tapering. Step tapering involves quickly stepping down to a lower demand and staying there for a period of time. Linear tapering involves progressively lowering the demands placed for a period of time.
    .
    What is the best way to taper? Two two methods haven't been compared in studies, but skipping your workouts, so called detraining, is the WRONG way to go about it as it reduces your performance (1).
    .
    The best way is to reduce your training VOLUME (less sets), while keeping intensity the same (don’t lower the weight). Ideal taper length varies between studies, but a volume reduction of 40-60% lasting 8-14 days should do the trick (2).
    .
    This typically after around 12 weeks of consistent training. You'll notice increased maximal power afterwards, probably because of nervous system recovery and type IIA muscle fiber hypertrophy (3). Note that populations who recover faster, like adolescents and maybe women, may not need to taper as much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drtbear1967 View Post
    Ever feel like you finally are “on a roll” with getting to the gym? You work out as many times a week as you have planned and keep making progressions, but soon you feel your body working against you.
    .
    You start feeling progressively more tired and have a hard time increasing weight/volume during your workouts. This is a common phenomenon and is called accumulated fatigue. You cannot constantly increase the demands placed on your body without giving it an equally well planned recovery.
    .
    There are many factors that play in here, but usually sleeping and the hours between workouts ISN’T ENOUGH. In fact, your performance can IMPROVE if you lower the demands placed on your body for a period of time. Athletes do this all the time in order to reach peak performance for competitions.
    .
    The reduction in demands is known as a taper, and for bodybuilding purposes we can call it a deload.
    .
    So how do you taper? The two main types are step tapering and linear tapering. Step tapering involves quickly stepping down to a lower demand and staying there for a period of time. Linear tapering involves progressively lowering the demands placed for a period of time.
    .
    What is the best way to taper? Two two methods haven't been compared in studies, but skipping your workouts, so called detraining, is the WRONG way to go about it as it reduces your performance (1).
    .
    The best way is to reduce your training VOLUME (less sets), while keeping intensity the same (don’t lower the weight). Ideal taper length varies between studies, but a volume reduction of 40-60% lasting 8-14 days should do the trick (2).
    .
    This typically after around 12 weeks of consistent training. You'll notice increased maximal power afterwards, probably because of nervous system recovery and type IIA muscle fiber hypertrophy (3). Note that populations who recover faster, like adolescents and maybe women, may not need to taper as much.
    Great read!

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    BigZ MC Site Admin Board Certified CPH

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    The thing I hate is that the time you need to recover seems to increase too much as you get older. I have found myself needing up to a week off a lot more often now.
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    Yes it does brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigZ View Post
    The thing I hate is that the time you need to recover seems to increase too much as you get older. I have found myself needing up to a week off a lot more often now.
    Hey there’s nothing wrong with taking a week off once a month or once every two months. I do it at 35 years old and I always return stronger and better. Don’t hate on the rest days lol Accumulated Fatigue

    I do think skipping workouts now and then are called for though I dread of just doing less volume. But Deloading is definitely necessary. Good post!


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    I think time off is a good thing for someone who's been training for an extended period. I always come back rested, recovered, stronger. 1 week off will do you nothing but good.
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    Sometimes we all just need to disconnect and recharge the batteries!!
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    The nervous system really gets hammered in bodybuilding. Especially if you use caffeine or other stimulants. I think the nervous system is the thing that probably needs the most rest.


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    I hate the rest since I work out mostly for the mental benefits, and the fact that I have to adjust my diet when not working out.
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