The Image Bank / Getty
The Image Bank / Getty
You do not have to look far to see how much muscle someone can build in a month. But have you ever wondered how long it would take to lose muscle when taking a break from the gym?
"When you stop exercising, it takes about two weeks to lose this trained state," Dr. Connor, aka "Anabolic Doc", who performs in the new Generation Iron 3 film about bodybuilding. "As far as muscle tissue is concerned, the span ranges from one week to two weeks. About two weeks.
O & Connor used his own powerlifting as an example and explained how he would lift himself in 1
"After the week, you are at the peak of winning and losing [muscle]," says O & Connor. "If you're just talking about lifting weights, hold this muscle for at least a week or two. Because of studies, after a week or two, you are out of control and you lose. "
Curious to confirm O & # 39; Connor's reach of one to two weeks – toward two – as a fact Muscle & Fitness plunged deeply into the subject and most agree that it It takes about two weeks for the muscles to lose weight after someone has stopped lifting. A Danish study from the University of Copenhagen in 2015 concluded that a physically fit person needs two weeks without physical activity to start muscle loss.
"Our experiments show that inactivity affects muscle strength equally in young and older men," says researcher Andreas Vigelsoe of the Center for Healthy Aging and the University's Department of Biomedical Sciences. "After a leg has been immobilized for two weeks, young people lose up to one-third of their muscle power, while the elderly lose about a quarter." A two-week immobilized young man loses muscle strength in the leg, equivalent to aging for 40 or 50 years . "
This study was conducted on people whose legs were completely immobilized, so it is at the very end of the rest of the spectrum (although Science Daily compared immobility with" a very restful vacation "). However, the lost muscle mass could not be restored easily. Researcher Martin Gram concluded, "It will take three times as long as you were inactive to regain the muscle mass that you lost."
Another source, the book Physiology of Sport and Exercise (via Live Strong), says that muscle atrophy can begin within a period of two to six weeks, giving a slightly longer outlook on size loss , So one week seems to be aggressive, but two weeks seems to be the magic number for the starting point. Of course, there are variables at the two-week starting point for bleaching the muscles.
"Age is the most important variable," says O & Connor. "The other variables will be what you get involved in (supplements / enhancers), how your hormone status is, if you are sick, if you are a person who has chronic medical problems and of course, always diet and your exercise plan.
In this, O'connor adds that someone who practices aerobics as a fitness form could have a different starting point for muscle atrophy compared to someone exercising their sport, or someone who rigorously raises weights in the body gym.
But from what Dr. O & # 39; Connor says, and from several sources, it's about two weeks before you could start losing muscle if you stop beating the gym.