Find the best way to maintain muscle when not working out for a long time. Learn to prevent loss of muscle and weight gain after you stop training or going to the gym.
Life likes to present all kinds of surprises. A break in training can happen for a variety of reasons, you catch a cold, are too busy at work, went on vacation with your family, and maybe got injured. All this can deprive you of morning runs, cancel your visit to the gym and fitness club. You feel vexed and disappointed, because of some trifle, all your recent achievements are about to be brought to nothing. It’s much easier to lose shape than to make it. Today we tell you how much these fears are justified.
What happen to your body if you stop workout
As shown by research people who interrupted their workouts, changes in the body begin rather quickly. Already two weeks after the termination of workout, the level of enzymes that speak about athletic performance is reduced by half. As it turned out, our body does not want to work, if the high efficiency of muscles is not in demand, the body immediately begins to “be lazy.” However, even mild physical activity can slow down this process, maintaining the indicators at an acceptable level for about a month.
Scientists have examined how the composition of muscle fibers varies with those who quit exercising. During the first month, muscle strength decreases not so much, but after a couple of weeks in the muscles, microscopic changes begin that make them weaker.
After a month, the deterioration in physical qualities slows down. Your indicators are still weakening, but not so fast. The key level at this stage is already the existing level of training.
Well-trained people who have been involved in sports for years, even after a break in training, endurance and strength remain at a higher level. In other words, the stronger your muscles and heart, the more “safety margin” you have. This is evidenced by the data of many studies. In one of them, a group of athletes first trained for 9 weeks, which led to an increase in their anaerobic threshold by 70%, and then another 9 weeks of rest. Even after more than a two-month break in training, they managed to save about 40% of the initial progress.
But there is nothing to please the newcomers. People who just started to play sports or attend gym irregularly, such a break in classes would lead to a loss of all results. To make sure of this, the scientists recruited a group of people leading a sedentary lifestyle and arranged a two-month cycle for them. During this time, their aerobic endurance increased significantly. However, two months after the termination of training, all the results smoothly came to naught.
How to maintain muscle when not working out
Regular exercise is one of the conditions for a healthy lifestyle. Those who decided to connect their lives with physical loads know firsthand how hard it is to achieve the desired results and make their bodies perfect or as close to the ideal as possible. That’s why professional athletes try to avoid long breaks between training sessions, since muscles without constant load can lose their form, and their recovery will require a lot of time and effort. However, it happens that there are forced breaks in the sport, which cannot be avoided. If you are faced with a similar situation, do not be in a hurry to get upset, as there are several ways that will help not lose muscle in the absence of training.
Reason to take planned break
The break between training can be carried out for various reasons, the same concerns its duration. As a rule, professional athletes try to avoid long breaks, but, not always in our power to cope with circumstances that do not depend on us. There are three main types of rest from training, this is a planned long rest, a planned short break and unplanned rest. Let’s consider each of them more specifically.
For a long-planned rest, there can be two reasons: achieving further maximum results or preventing overtraining. If you decide to improve your athletic performance, you need to pay attention not only to training but also to rest. Take care that before the start of the rest, the duration of which should not exceed 10 days, your body received the maximum load. During this period, give up too active rest, which will contribute to fatigue and will not allow the body to gain strength. During this period, the level of testosterone increases, and the nervous system returns to normal.
A long-planned rest is necessary not only during the preparation of the organism for intensive loads but also for its overtraining. Often, excessive fatigue and exhaustion of the body, we notice too late, when the body begins to lose strength and weight. Some regard this as a lack of muscle load, but all that is needed to restore them is rest, during which the level of hormones normalizes, inflammation in muscles decreases and glycogen stores are restored.
The next form of recreation is a short planned one. At this time, the interval between training is from one to three weeks, during which there are no special changes in the body. During this period of rest, you will not lose a large amount of muscle mass but get rid of inflammation in the muscles and tendons. In some cases, one week of rest is enough to eliminate the symptoms of overtraining.
As for the unplanned rest between training, it usually comes suddenly because of illness, injury, unexpected event or unplanned departure, which will deprive a person of the opportunity to attend a regular gym.
Let’s start with the fact that each person has a muscle memory, and the more his sports experience, the better this memory becomes, and the longer a person can save the results obtained in the gym. Muscles, getting used to constant loads, gradually hypertrophy and acquire a new, more relief appearance. It is thanks to the memory of the memory that the body, in the absence of training, will strive to save muscles in a trained form by using its internal reserves and processing protein, which enters it with food, as a building material that supports the desired shape.
Note that the longer the training period, the longer the muscles will keep their shape and return to the form that they had before the training stopped. The necessary muscle memory is created for a year of regular and continuous training, during which the load was maintained at the same level or constantly increased. In this case, even a monthly break in sports will not affect the condition of your muscles in any way and will not affect their volume and strength. If the break lasts longer than a month, the muscles will gradually lose their indicators, but will quickly recover after the resumption of regular classes.
Maintain muscle when not working out
The most common mistake among those who were forced to take a break in training, and does not want to lose muscle mass, is the return during this period to the habitual way of life. Many believe that during the lack of physical activity, you can refuse not only from regular training but also from a healthy diet, proper daily routine and proper rest. However, it is these indicators that are the key to maintaining a beautiful and tight body even after a break in classes.
In order for all the internal organs of a person to function normally, the forces did not leave at the most inopportune moment, and the muscles remained in excellent condition, it is necessary to pay enough attention to their nutrition during rest from training. Do not give yourself indulgence and abuse fried, high-calorie food, sweets and flour products that not only negatively affect the course of internal processes in the body but also cause the formation of unwanted fatty deposits, which in the future will be difficult enough to get rid of. Be sure to include at this time in your diet fresh fruits and vegetables, which are natural sources of vitamins and nutrients, consume enough protein, despite the fact that the muscles without physical exertion do not need a rapid recovery. Take care that the break between meals is no more than three to four hours. This will help to avoid a strong sense of hunger and protect against overeating. Try to eat at the same time every day, adhering to a particular regime.
Regardless of whether the planned vacation was or not, try to get your body to get the most out of it. It’s not just about the lack of regular physical activity, but about the sleep regime. Night sleep should last at least 8 hours, which will be enough to restore strength in the body of the athlete. Go to bed no later than midnight, and wake up at 8 in the morning. Create all the necessary conditions for a sound and quality sleep, eliminating any noise that can disturb it, choose a comfortable bed and quality bed linen.
Often during a lack of training, athletes refuse to accept sports supplements, however, do not underestimate their role. Sports supplements support the muscles in the right condition and do not allow them to decrease in volume during rest from playing sports. One of the most beneficial vitamins for athletes considered vitamin E . It helps to strengthen muscle cell membranes so that substances that atrophy muscle cells do not get into them. The approximate daily norm of vitamin E, both during training and when there are no, is 50 to 100 mg. Do not forget about other, no less useful vitamins and minerals, which can be obtained from food, or by using ready-made vitamin complexes that can be purchased at a pharmacy.
A break in playing sports increases the risk of injury when you again take up your workouts after a break. Muscles and ligaments gradually lose their elasticity, and with long breaks in training, even the strength of bones may change.