It’s going to happen. Sooner or later you will skip a workout. Whether a sick day, holiday, or just a break, there will be times when you can’t make it to the gym for a workout. What happens to your body? At times, this is actually beneficial for your body. However, the danger creeps in on day 3, which easily turns into day 13, when you are doing more damage to your fitness level than originally intended. See how you can stay on track with your fitness routine while using periodic breaks to work for you, not against you.
How Long Does It Take To Lose What You’ve Gained?
James Ting, M.D., a board certified sports medicine physician with Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California, reported that your overall fitness and the type of workout you are missing will determine and impact your losses. Generally, the fitter you are, the longer it takes for muscle loss. If your body is used to consistent exercise and increase in muscle growth, the longer it will take for the body to recognize a new ‘normal’. It typically takes more than a week for the body to begin to lose gained muscle. The Journal of Applied Physiology published a study stating that easing workouts for 14 days or longer can reduce cardiovascular fitness, lean muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity.
Endurance Vs Strength: Which Goes First?
Everyone’s body is a little different, and everyone’s workouts are different as well. These elements factor into the outcome of skipped workouts. Your body contains two types of muscle fibers, type I and type II. Type I are slow-twitch and contribute to endurance performance. Type II fibers are more powerful, and are considered ‘fast-twitch’. These muscle fibers help power high intensity exercise or strength straining. Type II fibers atrophy more quickly than type I fibers. So, if you typically focus on strength training and weight lifting over endurance or long distance training, your bench press will suffer more from a break than your time for a 15K.
How To Use Breaks For Your Advantage
It isn’t all that bad to skip a workout now and then. Here’s why. Brad Schoenfield, Ph.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist and editor in chief of Strength and Conditioning Journal, states that if you train hard, taking a break will improve your strength, muscle development and aerobic fitness. Your body and mind need recovery time to achieve optimal performance. Not allowing the body to rest periodically can lead to fatigue, underperformance, or overtraining. If you are sore for more than 72 hours post workout, or feeling ill, experts agree it is a sign to back off and take a break. Taking a break could be taking up another form of exercise for a few days to 2 weeks, such as walking, pilates or biking.
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