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how many weeks off lifting until you start losing your muscle?

Subscribe to how many weeks off lifting until you start losing your muscle? 7 post(s), 5 voice(s)
Voices: velcrobandits, GimpyGranny, AdamTKincaid, The Fitness Nerd, and yesiamtom

Oct 5, 2008 7:20pm

velcrobandits velcrobandits
33 posts

i was speaking with some veteran lifters and they started telling me that when you take around 4 weeks off from lifting you can expect to lose most of your gains, however once you get back into lifting you will recover faster than you initially gained it. how much of this is true? thanks for the replies guys/gals.

 
Oct 5, 2008 7:32pm

GimpyGranny GimpyGranny
615 posts

Champion Gold Medalist Cruncher Crunch Champion Crunchy nutter! GUNNY 1 Week Lifting Winner Vanquisher Bat Sure-Lift-a-Lot! Crunch Conqueror cholo ABSolute Focus Top Contender Gold Medalist Beach Bum Conqueror Gold Medalist 6-Pack Abs Award Gold Medalist Qi awards ...

I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis) which robs me of muscle mass and strength. With RA, if a person does not weight train for a month, the muscles atrophy. I have noticed though, when I start lifting again, it does seem to “come back” faster than a month.

So what you’ve heard sounds correct in comparison.

 
Oct 5, 2008 8:27pm

velcrobandits velcrobandits
33 posts

sorry to hear that, tho im curious how RA relates to muscle retention and how much more, if any, would be kept without RA. i think im probably going to come down with it in a few years myself.

 
Oct 6, 2008 2:20am

GimpyGranny GimpyGranny
615 posts

Champion Gold Medalist Cruncher Crunch Champion Crunchy nutter! GUNNY 1 Week Lifting Winner Vanquisher Bat Sure-Lift-a-Lot! Crunch Conqueror cholo ABSolute Focus Top Contender Gold Medalist Beach Bum Conqueror Gold Medalist 6-Pack Abs Award Gold Medalist Qi awards ...

RA makes your body think your joints and muscles are the “enemy” so your body tries to destroy them, much like your ammune system tries to get rid of a sore throat or such.

As you age (it seems from age 40 or 50 onward, I don’t remember where I heard that) you gradually lose muscle mass and strength. I’m a believer that with age, RA or fibromyalgia, if you weight train you can at least keep a little ahead of the process.

Some years back in the beginning when I only had RA in my right knee, it went into remission for 6 years. Now I have it everywhere except my left jaw. So I am weight training hard as I can to try to force it back into remission.

Do you have RA in your family? RA is an inherited disease. Hopefully you won’t get it.

I don’t think I answered your question. :-)

 
Oct 6, 2008 6:23pm

AdamTKincaid AdamTKincaid
150 posts

Contributor

I Burned 5,000 Calories!

I have heard muscle atrophy begins anywhere from 2-4 weeks before reversibility kicks in. A wide range sure, but great for motivation, and also nice when you need to take some time off, but not too much time.

 
Nov 15, 2008 6:09pm

The Fitness Nerd The Fitness ...
6 posts

Velcro .. it really depends on your level of experience, how often you lift, your nutrition during the time off, etc.

Anecedotally, 2-3 weeks seems to be the longest period of time that a person can break without seeing some impact on muscle mass and strength. I’ve frequently taken breaks of that duration and never seem much impact. In fact, sometimes I feel stronger and more energized after a break.

What you may lose during a break is some strength in the smaller supporting muscles—especially the triceps, biceps and forearms. Shoulders can also take a hit fairly quickly after an extended break.

Larger muscle groups like the chest, back and quads take much longer to atrophy and experience meaningful drops in strength. In fact, I once skipped leg training for almost 5 weeks with no appreciable change in performance.

What you will experience, however, is a “flattening” of the muscles – but this is usually temporary and you can expect to bounce back fairly quickly – often within 1-2 workouts.

If you are thinking about taking a deliberate break, consider take an “active rest” which substitutes in very light, high rep sets for the heavier stuff you would normally do. This allows recovery, but also keeps your muscles and joints/connective tissue primed and active (and can help reduce the chances of adding body fat during your rest.)

Best of luck!

 
Nov 18, 2008 9:37am

yesiamtom yesiamtom
18 posts

I Burned 25K Calories! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Biked 100 Miles! I Walked 100 Miles!

without trying to hijack this thread – does this also apply to stamina/endurance?

i ask because my bike has been in the shop getting fixed for a month (tell me about it) so ive done a little jogging and replaced all my cyclign to college with walking. But im now getting worried when i get back on my bike i will be frustrated by a lack of fitness.


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