Maintain the Muscles: Sometimes we stop training for various reasons, and at this stage preserving the muscles from collapse is our only goal.
There is no guarantee that you will not lose muscle mass if you stop lifting weights. But we can slow it down until you come back to exercise and get out of the pause with the least losses.
So if you intend to stop training for a while and are looking for a way to avoid losing the muscles you have built. This article will help you.
How long does it take to lose muscle mass?
In fact, there is no specific period during which you can preserve muscles practicing no exercises, but they relate it to several factors.
But there is a time pattern in which we can determine the loss in muscle volume, and it is this way.
There will not be any significant loss in muscle size, you may feel that the muscles have become a little less, but there is no actual loss of muscle mass.
The reason for this is, first the first three days are normal days during which muscle recovery takes place and the muscles increase because of the stimulation caused by the exercises.
After 4-5 days the blood flow to the muscles subsides, and thus the level of muscle glycogen stored in the muscle tissue decreases. This causes the muscles to appear smaller, but in reality there is no muscle loss.
Conclusion: You can preserve muscle if you stop training for a week with no loss of volume completely.
After two weeks have passed:
This period depends on the size of the training unit before stopping.
What does this mean?? If you exercise hard before stopping, this increases the time to lose muscle mass.
The size of the muscle loss can be from 5% to 10%, but so far we do not consider this an actual loss of muscle tissue.
Rather, this is because of the low level of muscle glycogen and water, as the body stops storing it because there is no longer a need for it.
Conclusion: Until now, you are still safe, you can stop for 3 weeks without significant loss, and once you return to training – you need one week – to return to your level before stopping.
After a month of interruption:
According to research, the actual muscle loss begins if it has stopped for over three weeks.
“Before you worry, remember that there are some ways to increase this time. Just wait for the next part of the article.”
As it is not a general rule, some people can increase this period as it varies depending on several factors:
Factors affecting the amount of muscle loss when stopping training
1- The training period
If you are an old player, you are undoubtedly more fortunate, as one of the largest studies of this has found that experienced weightlifters can maintain their strength after a three-week break from training.
It took a full five or six weeks for their muscles to decrease.
2- The type of training that you were doing
Another factor influencing the speed of muscle loss is the number of repetitions of training.
For example, people who train with a few repetitions, ranging from 3 to 6 repetitions, faster than those who train according to 8-12 repetitions.
Although the method of fewer repetitions is one of the fastest methods of building size and strength, that what comes quickly goes quickly proves itself here.
3- Lifestyle while on break
- The more active you are during the break from training, the longer you will maintain your muscles.
- The more interested you are in your nutrition, the longer you will preserve muscle.
How quickly I can gain muscle again
This is the good half of the article, before moving on to tips that will help you maintain your muscles while stopping training, there is one last point:
Gaining muscle on getting back to the gym will be faster than the first time.
Because of muscle memory – this is not a myth – it is a scientifically proven matter (Study).
Since muscle cells are much larger than most other cells, they are also multinucleated.
With muscles being pressed during training, it adds new cores to the muscle cells, allowing them to grow larger.
In fact, the number of cores within muscle fibers is one of the most important factors regulating muscle size.
Fortunately, these new nuclei do not disappear even when stopping training for long periods, and this helps the body build muscle quickly when returning to training.
In short: If it forces you to stop training, do not worry too much about the muscles you can gain again, especially if this stopping is inevitable.
There are also several tips that will help you maintain your muscles for as long as possible until they come back.
To Read: Growth Hormone and Bodybuilding
How can you preserve muscles despite the interruption of training?
One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when stopping training is to stop everything right that they were doing during training, such as nutrition, rest, massage.
This is a big mistake, because building muscle does not depend on training only, but considered a motivation only.
So if you forced to stop training, do not neglect the following things, start until you return.
1- Don’t skip training completely
The first advice to maintain your muscles is to take any opportunity to train, even if it is only once a week.
Even if it was for half an hour to do some complex exercises that work to target the largest number of muscles in the body.
This will help you keep your nervous system strong, and it will also help maintain glycogen in the body.
Unless you are in a position because of an injury, it is preferable not to train completely until your injury is over, because the muscles are linking to each other, and a muscle cannot be 100% isolate from the rest of the body.
2- Daily calories
This is a very important point, which is not to neglect the amount of calories that enter your body during stopping training.
Some people tend to eat more calories during training, and this is beneficial because it uses the excess as energy for training or for muscle repair and rebuilding.
But since you are not training, this excess will stored as fat.
Also, you cannot eat less than your daily need of calories, as this will cause muscle loss faster to provide the body with energy needs.
So the best range is to take your daily caloric need to keep weight off.
To determine your daily caloric need, use the calories calculator. Or, you can use the formula “Your body weight in pounds * 15”.
For example, if you are 70 kilograms “154 pounds”: 145 * 15 = 2,175 calories per day.
3- Get the right amount of protein
As with protein, it is very important for building muscle and maintaining it.
Because you will not exercise, you will not need the same amount of protein required for muscle gain, but what helps you to keep the muscles from contracting.
The protein needed to prevent muscle loss can provided by eating 6 to 8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Some research also shows that eating more than that will be beneficial.
4- Stay active
Weightlifting isn’t the only way to build muscle.
Simple daily activities like walking, washing the car or dishes, and even cleaning the house provide an incentive to build more muscle than you might expect.
And we should not forget it that there are many exercises that depend mainly on body weight, such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats without weights, and others.
Take advantage of these exercises to preserve your muscles during the break of the gym, and remember that the more active you are, the more you slow down the process of muscle loss.
5- Additional advice
Don’t mentally turn away from training, you can use the read books on exercise and nutrition.
Also, arrange your training program by adding new exercises, improve your diet, and learn about different foods and recipes.
Finally, take a step back and look at your body and find ways that can help you develop the weak muscles in it.
These things will help you more quickly than resume training again.
When you stop training for a week, you will not lose any muscle. If you stop for two weeks, you will lose 5% of the volume, but the glycogen stored in the muscle is not an actual loss.
If you stop for 3 weeks, you will lose some muscle mass.
There are several methods that can help you slow down the process of muscle loss while stopping. Follow them well.
Don’t worry, if you get back to training again you will gain muscle quickly thanks to Muscle Memory.