“Rest day = I sit at home and think about working out”
“Deload week = Rest day on steroids” 

One of my favorite parts about the start of a new week is – surprise – planning my workouts for the week. This week, in addition to figuring out my swim, bike and run combos for my upcoming triathlon, I’m super excited about my leg workout. Why this week? I’m coming off a deload week.

I’ve read about deloading plenty of times (the concept of scaling back the intensity of lifts for a week to let muscles recover and encourage gains) and I’ve done it with my upper body lifting routine and had great results. But because of the cycles I follow with my running training (intensity and speed) I hadn’t really ever actively deloaded my lower body workouts. Then I recently read an article on the Eat to Perform website, which came at perfect timing.

Side note: if you’re not familiar with Eat to Perform, do yourself a favor and check it out on Twitter and Facebook.

Back to the article; the timing was good for me because it forced me to think about the last time I took a week off from hard leg workouts. Not since the two weeks leading up to my last marathon, which itself was about 10 weeks ago, had I done so. And, let’s face it, running 26.2 miles isn’t exactly taking it easy on the legs. I trust what I read on this site so I decided last week would be a deload week for my lower half. And, as much as I hated to do it, I decided I would skip leg day altogether.

There is a degree of deloading that states a person can simply do lower weight and intensity on his/her leg workout. But I know myself well enough to know that strategy wouldn’t work for me (I would end up trying to add another plate to the squat rack or do “just one more” set of weighted walking lunges) so I made up my mind that I was going to forgo it completely. No cheating!

Minnesota-Vacation

As much as I hate rest days, they are easier in the summer

Let me just say this – it sucked. You know that feeling you get on rest day? That guilty feeling of being a slacker and nearly convincing yourself you probably should go to the gym? I can’t be the only one…right? Anyway, deloading is rest day times 10. Just about every day during my deload week, I was thisclose to saying screw it and loading up the leg press machine. I had to fight the little voices in my head that said, “Don’t be a baby, you can handle a heavy lift,” and, “Just a short lift, squats only,” to, “Why are you doing this?! You know you shouldn’t skip leg day!” But I’m glad I didn’t cave because now I’m really excited to see how my leg workout goes this week and, bonus, how good my body feels during running and biking.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? Some people dread going to the gym and lifting – I dread not doing it.

In the spirit of coming off deload week, here are a few older blogs all dedicated to my love of #legday:

Favorite Lower Body Exercises

No Weights, No Equipment, No Excuses Leg Workout

My Ode To Squats

Do you believe in deloading? Why or why not? If you do, how often do you work it into your regime? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.

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