Sometimes holidays, an injury, travel plans, or prenatal nausea takes us off the workout wagon. Or maybe it’s that taking the day off turned into a week or more. So how much does this affect your strength training and weight training gains?
According to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, Cardio-respiratory fitness generally appears to decrease only after 2-3 weeks without training. Muscular Fitness (strength/endurance) generally appears to decrease after 2-3 months without training.*
Individuals vary. You may find performance may decrease without a noticeable visual decrease in muscle size for instance. Also, there’s the principle of adaptability – that if you’re used to swimming, you may not see as much decrease in your ability to swim, but you may find a bigger decrease in your running. Some studies show that conditioned exercisers are more likely to gain back the strengths they had more quickly and lose them more slowly than less regular exercisers.
What does this mean? Keep moving! If you’ve fallen off the workout wagon or holidays derailed your workout train just get back on asap.
*Fitness Theory and Practice, 5th Edition, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, ed. Laura Gladwin, p. 186