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WHAT HAPPENS WITH YOUR BODY WHEN YOU STOP TRAINING?

Blog: 2-3min read

It happens to everyone. You get hurt, sick or a few extra work days happen and you have to postpone training. Also there are holidays when it is easy to over consume food and drinks and skip workouts.

And then a day or two can turn into a week or month without training and you are right back where you started. You lost your conditioning and strength. According to statistics, 25-35% of people who start training, stop after only 2-5 months. How fast your conditioning and strength deteriorates is depending on a few factors.

  1. Cardiovascular endurance drops after one week

Aerobic/Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of our body (especially muscles) to transport and use oxygen from your blood. Your VO2max (maximum oxygen consumption) drops after one week or more of inactivity.

  1. If you’re experienced trainee you’ll lose conditioning more slowly

If you’re new to the training world, training for only a month or so, and then stop, you’ll lose conditioning more quickly than someone who trains longer.

  1. Loss of flexibility happens quickly

After a period of inactivity, muscles and tendons start to revert back to their original sizes, especially if you spend most of the day sitting

  1. Strength loss starts after about 2 weeks

When you stop training with resistance, changes in your muscle happen after only a few days. They start to lose their protein after 72 hours of inactivity. You’ll notice a change in maximal strength after 2-3 weeks when you start to lift the same weight you did before a break from training.

  1. You lose explosiveness faster than strength

This is especially important for athletes. Explosiveness/Power or said with physical formula, strength x speed, drops much faster than strength because it is difficult to keep very high levels of explosiveness without regular training. Simply put, your neurons stop reacting quickly.

  1. Conditioning drops faster when you’re sick

Someone who is healthy and stops training, loses muscle mass and muscle endurance slower than someone who stops training because of illness. If you’re recovering from operation, it could take 12-24 months before you fully recover.

  1. Maintaining is easier than you think

If you’re planning to take a break from training because of vacation, remember that staying in shape is not that difficult. All you need to keep you levels of conditioning and strength is very little time. 2 times per week for 2 minutes of high intensity training is enough to keep you in shape while you travel. Of course this can only last for a week or two.

  1. Getting old affects our shape

Strength and conditioning drops 2 times faster as we get older. Mostly because of changes in hormones, slower body recovery and overall effect of getting old. Old age is a disease and the best way to fight it is to start resistance training.

  1. It takes 3 weeks to replace 1 lost week of training

After longer period of inactivity, your nervous system loses its ability to fire neurons quickly like it did before. To get back into previous condition before inactivity, you need 2-3 weeks.

Try best you can to avoid longer period of inactivity, but life happens and we have to deal with it. Word of advice: after getting back to training, never attempt your old PRs the first training you get back. You have good chance of getting injured. Take is slow and you’ll eventually reach your old PRs and then crush new ones.

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