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About Training Breaks
If you got some nice summer trips coming up or perhaps for some reason you need to take a break from training, some people are concerned about muscle loss. Fortunately, your body does not lose muscle overnight. Swipe left for practical muscle maintenance tips.
First, how long can you go with no training before losing muscle? A 2017 study found that when trained individuals take 2 weeks off from strength training, muscle size does not significantly decrease . Another research review takes this a bit further and suggests that training breaks up to 3 weeks do not significantly influence muscle size . The reason you may feel smaller when you take a week or two off from the gym may be related to a decrease in muscle glycogen stores, making your muscles appear somewhat smaller . But in terms of actual muscle size, this can be maintained for multiple weeks without training.
Now, what about if you have a long trip planned, how much training would you need to maintain muscle. In a recent 2021 research review, it was found that with just 1-2 workouts per week, you can maintain muscle for at least 32 weeks. Younger athletes were able to get away with 1 workout per week, whereas older populations may need 2 workouts per week to maintain muscle size. So if you are satisfied with your results and would like to maintain your size, for the time being, aiming to have say 1-2 full-body workouts per week is a good aim.
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