Recovery, Rest and Deloads: How to Make the Most of Your Training


Recovery is a key part in the overall training process and should be accounted for within all strength, fitness and conditioning programmes. Recovery days, rest periods and deloads are common for high level athletes – but what does recovery involve and how can you implement planned periods of recovery into your programme? In this post we explore this topic in further detail. 

Active and Passive Recovery Methods

There are two methods of recovery. These are active and passive recovery methods. Active recovery involves (you guessed it) activity that helps maintain or improve mobility and range of motion. However, active recovery should feel easy and light and should not add any additional stress or training load to a weekly or monthly training programme. 

Some examples of active recovery include stretching, walking, swimming, yoga or pilates. 

In contrast, passive recovery methods do not require any real effort on the behalf of the participant. Passive recovery options include sauna use, massage, sleep and cold-water baths. 

The Importance of Recovery

When you exercise at a moderate to high intensity microtrauma occurs at the muscle site. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are stressed during exercise and it is only while you rest that your body can begin the repair or healing process. 

This process is essential as it allows your body to build back stronger over time – this is the simple process of how you can gain lean tissue mass and increase your strength over time. 

Without adequate rest or recovery your energy level, feeling and overall motivation to exercise will gradually decline over time. 

How Much Rest Do You Need?

High level athletes build their work capacity over time and can perform as many as 10 to 12 training sessions in a single week period. 

However, if you are in the beginning stages of building a fitness routine my recommendation is that you should have at least two days of recovery each week. These days should ideally occur on non-consecutive days but you can also use the weekends to take time away from your sport or activity if preferred.

Training Deloads

A training deload is a planned brief period of time where you will purposefully decrease your level of intensity. This deload aids in the recovery process and is typically used as part of a longer duration programme. 

A basic deload for strength based training can include a decrease in the overall weight selected for each exercise, a reduction in reps and sets or a combination of each. 

A deload for conditioning or running is typically introduced between weeks 4 to 6 of a running based programme. A deload for running will typically result in a reduction of total running volume throughout a weekly training period. 

Recovery Recommendations in Waterford

The Recovery Lounge is a recovery facility located in Waterford that offers Cryospa, sauna, hot tub and compression boots. You can find more information and book HERE

The Hot Pod is a mobile Sauna and is located in various beaches throughout Waterford. You can view their current schedule HERE.

Our recommendation for Thai Massage in Waterford is Thai Wellbeing. You can find out more information HERE.


Rest days, deloads and planned recovery should be an integral part of a well designed strength and conditioning programme. Yet it can be difficult to know what to do and when to do it. 

Our strength and conditioning programmes vary in intensity throughout a 4-week programme. In doing so, we effectively plan active recovery sessions and deloads into each programme. 

If you want to take the guesswork out of your training and have everything laid out for you- including your fitness days, gym days and recovery days so that you can get stronger and fitter without getting injured- send us a message and we can help develop a sustainable, long term fitness programme for you.