in a minute
Have you ever worried about what happens if you have to take a break from the gym?
unfortunately the truth is that if you do take a long enough break from lifting, you will lose muscle/strength. research has shown that by only taking a week off an 11% decrease in type ii muscle fiber size can be caused. in case you’re fully immobilized you can even lose up to 1 kg of lean muscle mass in just 10 days.
however, luckily this decrease in size is mainly due to glycogen (a kind of carb stored in muscle) & water depletion. glycogen & water can significantly increase muscle volume, so if those stores get depleted it causes muscle volume to shrink by about 10% over the course of a month & make your muscles appear much smaller.
to actually lose muscle it takes much longer than most of you probably think: muscle loss doesn’t usually begin until after 2-3 weeks of complete detraining (no weightlifting/any other exercise).
but, after 4-6 weeks the chances of muscle loss increase drastically. the good news is though that you’ll also rebuild muscle much faster than it took to gain it initially thanks to muscle memory. but this assumes that you aren’t taking longer breaks too often & that you’re eating enough calories/protein. your energy balance & macronutrient intake can have a significant impact on your ability to maintain muscle mass. if you’re in a calorie deficit & not eating enough protein, you’ll lose muscle.
➡️3 tips on how to maintain muscle mass:
1) eat enough calories to maintain your weight.
2) eat enough protein (about 1.8-2.6g/kg or 0.8-1.1g/lb)
3) maintain activity levels: strength training isn’t the only kind of exercise that can maintain muscle mass: daily activities like walking or even carrying groceries provide a greater muscle building stimulus than you might realize.
1) if you take 1-2 weeks off, you probably won’t lose strength/muscle mass.
2) if you take more than 3 weeks off, you’ll lose at least some strength/muscle but you’ll regain it quickly when you start lifting again.
3) it doesn’t take much to maintain your muscle mass: aim for 1-2 full body workouts/sessions a week.
happy sunday loves!!☀️😙