How Fast Do You Lose Fitness and Could Taking a Break Actually Make You Stronger?

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

Today, many go to the gym regularly to keep fit. But in life, events often occur that do not allow you to follow the training schedule - a business trip, injury, vacation. Sometimes the breaks last for several weeks. The question arises: how quickly does muscle tone go away and what period of time can be considered critical? Professional powerlifter, two-time world champion Sergey Skolsky helped us to figure it out.

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

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How quickly does the strength go?

Time , necessary for a tangible loss of strength and physical form, is a variable quantity. And it depends on many factors, including the duration of the training process, your age, health status and some other indicators.

If you are forcedly unable to do strength training, then the first few weeks will definitely not be a cause for concern ... During this period, neither beginners nor experienced athletes will lose muscle strength.

However, the size of the muscles may begin to decrease. This is due to the loss of water in the body. During exercise, glycogen production is activated. It binds water, so the muscle volume increases. And in the absence of physical activity, this substance in the body becomes less, so we begin to lose the fluid accumulated in the muscles. This is what causes the deflation effect. You shouldn't be upset in this case - after resuming classes, the volume will quickly return.

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

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If the opportunity to train is not foreseen for a month or more, do not rush to panic anyway ... You can get back in shape pretty quickly. During regular exercise, muscle fiber nuclei accumulate, which contribute to an increase in volume. When you stop exercising, the muscles themselves decrease, but the nuclei are preserved. And after returning to training, it will be much easier to build up the old muscles.

In general, short breaks in the training process are even beneficial. If you exercise constantly, the body gets used to the load and its response to anabolic signals decreases. If you do not exercise for several weeks, this adaptation will decrease, which in turn will lead to an increase in anabolic hormones. Therefore, after a break, the muscles will even grow faster.

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

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How to maintain strength without going to the gym?

If you cannot go to the gym for 8-12 weeks, but you want to maintain strength indicators, you can organize workouts every 7 days. At the same time, it is enough to perform only a third of the usual volume of loads. An excellent option would be home exercises with dumbbells and an expander, as well as exercises on the horizontal bar. They will provide a sufficient level of activity, which will help maintain strength. If you don't have dumbbells or other sports equipment, you can do bodyweight exercises.

For athletes, who have been practicing in the gym for a long time, compared to beginners, it is more difficult to keep fit in such conditions. They should concentrate on exercises in which the muscles will be stretched and at the same time tense. For example, while pulling up, you can increase the time to return to the hang.

How quickly does stamina decrease?

Stamina is lost much faster than strength. This is due to the fact that in the absence of physical activity for a month or more, the plasma volume decreases. As a result, the blood becomes more viscous, which impairs the supply of oxygen to the tissues.

In the absence of training, the VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen that the body can consume, drops sharply. It decreases especially strongly in the first time after the termination of classes. In 10 days it will decrease by 7%, after which this process will slow down, so by the third month the drop will be only 15%.

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

The coach answers: how to pump endurance?

What to do if the relief appears, muscle mass grows, but endurance is not enough?

However, if you do not do cardio, for several weeks endurance can be reduced by 25%. This is most noticeable in beginners.

How to maintain endurance without training?

To maintain endurance levels, aerobic exercise is essential. Thanks to them, the work of the cardiovascular system improves and the BMD increases. You can ride a bike, run, or do simple activities at home.

High intensity interval classes are recommended. workouts in which challenging exercises are alternated with quieter periods of activity or even rest. Exercises that can maintain a pulse of 130-160 beats per minute for a long interval, and exercises with your own weight are well suited.

When does excess weight appear and how to avoid it?

Need to understand that without training, the body's energy costs will significantly decrease. So, without changing the diet, this will lead to a quick set of kilograms.

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

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To maintain an optimal weight, you need to create a diet that takes into account your current needs energy, and increase daily physical activity.

To maintain a slim figure, it is recommended to stick to short-term high-intensity workouts. This will help you burn calories faster. If you don't like these activities, long-term aerobic training with moderate load is a good alternative.

In general, you shouldn't be upset because of the forced pauses in training. You will not have time to lose shape in a short time. And after the break, it will be possible to quickly return to the previous indicators. In addition, it is quite possible to maintain muscle tone without going to the gym. If desired, you can do the exercises at home, in a hotel room, on the street or even on the beach.

Point of no return: how quickly fitness is lost without training

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If you can't train, do not despair! When you start exercising again, you can quickly regain your previous fitness.

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