Hey I have been bodybuilding for about 4 year. I ussually take 5 days straight off every 3 months. Well last week was my 5 day break and then when it was time to start again i had an accident at work that will prevent me to not lift for 10 more days. Should I expect any muscle loss with this 15 day break from lifting??? Im already a week in and my muscles feel flat and not vascular.
you can gain muscle without working out?
If you train hard and regularly, this extended time off (more than 5 days for 90) will likely treat you well and allow you to come back stronger.
As has already been pointed out - as long as you're eating right in this time off, it should be good for you.
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i was out a month and definitely lost but its coming back quickly. i dont think you'll be down too much at only 2 weeks off.
good information guys. thanks for the support!
Weightlifting primarily uses intramuscular substrates to fuel muscular contraction (catabolic). Contractile, structural, and integral proteins ARE NOT broken down during exercise. If the muscle is not stressed, it WILL NOT grow (sarcoplasmic nor myofibrial hypertrophy). I don't know of a more simple explanation of this simple physiological concept.
15 days isnt much of a big deal. You should be fine muscle memory is a helluva thing
Another possible explanation of muscle memory concerns certain changes in your muscles that regular training may produce. Your muscles may adapt in two ways that could translate into faster gains during retraining. First, you may be able to increase the capillary bed surrounding muscle cells, creating a greater blood supply to the working muscle. If this happens, and many scientists believe it does, you would then be able to enhance the nutrient (glucose, branch-chain amino acids, etc.) availability to the muscle cell. Also, you might remove the waste products of repeated muscular work and energy production (lactic acid, heat hydrogen ions, etc.) at a faster rate. Since these waste products can limit performance, with the increased capillary bed, you would be in a position to train harder and longer.
Either or both of these situations would probably enable you to create a more effective muscular stimulus. This is the key in terms of muscle memory. These positive changes from an enhanced blood supply would be restored soon after a comeback since the capillary beds would quickly reopen. Thus you would have the advantage of a greater muscular stimulus from the start of retraining. This would lead to a greater adaptation - stronger and bigger muscles - and give the illusion of muscle memory.
Second, the enzymes that are involved in important bio-chemical reactions may be responsible for muscle memory. For example, we know that enzymes in reactions leading to the storage of glycogen (your energy source during anaerobic work) can be enhanced with training. It is plausible that enzymes involved in protein synthesis may increase in concentration and activity following repeated muscular stimuli and damage. It may actually be those enzymes that have a memory, quickly returning to their former increased concentrations and turning on these processes earlier. If this occurred, you'd be able to work out harder, possibly recover faster, and gained muscle mass more quickly than when you first trained.
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You probably wont gain... you probably will lose a lil but keep your protein intake up and dont do any cardio, should help. Not to break up your strategy if it works but why take 5 days off every 3 months? Are you taking other days off in between?
You should take days off when you feel you need it not just at a set time.
Muscle memory is a term that is thrown around with reckless abandon lately.
Russyruss gave you the true definition, that of neural recruitment/programming, starting in the motor cortex of the brain, and travelling down the spinal cord and to the effector muscles. Beyond the motor programming that occurs in the CNS, adaptations also occur in the periphery. With strength training the motor nuerons can carry impusles of geater intensity, the neuromusclar junction increases in size and efficiency, and that these adaptations appear to be fairly permanant (see citations at bottom).
When it comes to hypertrophy, another explanation that has been suggested (I believe by doggcrap) to explain the quick return in gains following detraining is due to the previous stretch in myofascia. Again, this is just a theory, and would be quite hard to prove or disprove via scientific study.
Russy, with regards to the biochemical adaptation that accomany resistance traning, the intensity, length of sets, and work:rest ratios of the training has to be taken into consideration. Training purely for strength is going to tax the CP system, and the majority of biochemical adaptations that occur will be increasing intracellular levels of creatine phosphate (fuel) and the enzymes creatine kinase, ATPase, and perhaps myokinase.
When sets last longer than 30 seconds, however, and especially when rest periods are short, then there is likely to be a greater adaptation in the anaerobic glycolytic system. As such, you would expect to see increases in glycogen storage, glycogen synthase, and glycolytic enzymes, as well as perhaps an increase in intramuscular H+ buffering.
Deschenes MR, Judelson DA, Kraemer WJ, et al. Effects of resistance training on neuromuscular junction morphology. Muscle Nerve. 2000 Oct;23(10):1576-81.
Deschenes MR, Maresh CM, Kraemer WJ, et al. The effects of exercise training of different intensities on neuromuscular junction morphology. J Neurocytol. 1993 Aug;22(8):603-15.
Deschenes MR, Covault J, Kraemer WJ, Maresh CM. The neuromuscular junction. Muscle fibre type differences, plasticity and adaptability to increased and decreased activity. Sports Med. 1994 Jun;17(6):358-72. Review.
Deschenes MR, Will KM, Booth FW, Gordon SE. Unlike myofibers, neuromuscular junctions remain stable during prolonged muscle unloading. J Neurol Sci. 2003 Jun 15;210(1-2):5-10.
You don't have to eat crazy amounts of food on a break because you're not going to be weight training so you won't need as many calories. Eat well, but you don't have to overdo it in fear of losing mass.
I would recommend eating about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Being that you're not doing any weight training you won't need any more than this. When you lift, you create demand for amino acids. During your off time, you won't have as high of a demand so don't bother eating an excessive amount of protein.
Don't be alarmed if you see the numbers on the scale dip while you're on break as this will most likely be caused by a reduction in glycogen stores in the muscle. Once you start lifting again, you're glycogen stores will go up and you'll plump back up again. Glycogen plays a big role in how you look.
Breaks are great for your CNS so when you finally come back to lifting, though it may take a week or so to get your lifting strength back up, you'll feel fresher with a more "ready to go" attitude.
Anyway, that's my opinion on breaking from weight training. A lot of people fret over a week or two off, but it's not a big deal at all. Especailly if you're eating to compensate. But again, remember you don't have to overdo it on the eating department since you won't have as high of a demand for aminos, nutrients, ect..
Good luck bro! Happy resting!
great answer man! Helped me out alot. Thanks!