Monday, May 20

Here’s a great post about the science of “losing” your gains. As we approach the summer and people are taking more vacations, you may feel like you lose all your progress if you’re out of the gym for a week.

Luckily that’s not true. The research shows that strength, muscle growth, and endurance gains don’t disappear overnight. In fact, it takes 3-6 weeks for any real decrease in size or strength.

And even if your muscles look smaller after time off from training, it is probably because they’re storing less water and glycogen. But have no fear, those will return as you start training again!

Usually we all feel pretty rough during those first few workouts back from a vacation, but it’s not because you actually lost your strength and endurance. It’s most likely because you didn’t eat as well, traveled and sat a lot, and were in a different routine for a while. It takes a little time to readjust, but luckily all those gains you worked for didn’t disappear in a week, even if it might feel like it when you come back.

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🤕Sometimes life isn't all sunshine and rainbows and we're forced to take time off training. Either an injury might occur to hold us back from our routine or we might get sick because of that friend that suggested to try cryotherapy. A few days pass by and then the fear of losing muscle and training adaptations starts to crop up for everyone. . 🤔But actually, how much time can you take off from training without losing your beloved gains? . 💪🏽We know that in detrained individuals taking a 2 weeks break while following a resistance training program doesn't affect the final outcome (Gentil et al, 2015, Percept Mot Skills). This concept is backed up by another study when novice trainees took about 3 weeks off without noticeable drops in strength (Ogasawara et al, 2013, Eur J Appl Physiol). Furthermore, it seems that beginners definitely lose muscle mass about 6 weeks after stopping training (Ochi et al, 2018, Front Physiol) therefore we can say that the 3-6 weeks time frame is where we can actually pinpoint a loss in both size and strength. . 🤔What changes when it comes to more advanced trainees? It's shown that trained athletes retain muscle mass from a 2 weeks break (Hwang et al, 2017, J Strength Condition Res) and strength levels for up to 3 weeks (McMaster et al, 2013, Sports Med). Now, why do you look smaller even after a week or 2 of detraining? The reason is because your muscle glycogen and water stores become smaller (Nielsen et al, 2010, Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab) but don't panic: they will promptly refill once you start training again increasing the volume of your glorious biceps. . 💪🏽In conclusion, keep in mind that once you start strength training you gather extra myonuclei along with your hypertrophy gains that are going to facilitate your comeback if you take an extensive period off. . 📊Infographic by @eliaolivierobarbon

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Workout for Monday, May 20
20 min AMRAP
5 Pull ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats

CrossFit 616