Sports break: Do we lose muscle?

Many athletes are worried about losing muscle during a sports break. Several weeks without sport have consequences, but what are they? Are we losing hard-earned muscle? How difficult is it to recover performance?

When should one take a sports break?

When should one take a sports break

When one is on vacation

Vacations are sometimes hardly compatible with workouts. In this case, it can be an opportunity to take a break from sports and thus make the most of this free time to rest or have fun!

Enjoy your vacantion without gaining weight

When one is sick

Do a sport break if you're sick

In case of an illness, it is better to let your body rest quietly to recover faster and avoid infecting others around you! In addition, the disease makes your body more vulnerable, so the risk of injury is greater. It is better to accept not being in good shape and staying at home in a calm manner.

When one has been working out too much

Do a sport break

Excessive workout is often underestimated by sports addicts. However, it is necessary to let the body rest for a few days or even weeks if the workout phase has been very intensive.

When you feel the need

need sports break

Sometimes, you just have to listen to your body. Just because you’re not sick or on holiday doesn’t mean you can’t decide to have a little break.

What happens after a one-week break?

Unless you’re bedridden, there’s not much going on. Good news!

You’re not losing performance. On the contrary, you will come back even stronger on your workouts, since your body will have had plenty of time to recover and optimize its muscle rebuilding.

Nevertheless, you may feel less muscular, or you may feel you have lost your curve. Your muscle tone has slightly decreased because the nervous system is no longer stimulated. In fact, the muscles are no longer inflamed, which usually gives this bulky/bulging appearance to the body. You haven’t lost your muscles, I assure you – they are just resting.

You can therefore take a week off without panicking at the idea of losing muscle!

What happens after 2 to 3 weeks without workout?

© Fitness Coach picture

After two to three weeks without workout, you actually lose a little muscle mass, but it’s just slight. On the surface, you will feel like you have lost mass, but just like after a week without sports, it is, above all, the effect of the curved muscle, “the pump,” that has disappeared. 

On the performance side, you lose between 5% and 10% of strength (before losing muscle mass), but don’t worry, you will quickly regain your performance and muscle volume by resuming your workout. Don’t panic😉

And after more than 3 weeks without sports?

After three weeks without sports, the risk of muscle loss is much greater.

If you’ve been practicing sports regularly for years, then you’re going to lose your muscle mass relatively slowly. On the other hand, if you’ve done quick bulking (over a few months, for example), you will lose your muscle faster.

There is a real correlation between a long-time practitioner and muscle retention.

I’m losing muscle! What can I do?

How does one limit muscle loss?

How does one limit muscle loss
© Fitness Coach picture

If the period without sports is long enough (due to movement, travel, grand vacations, etc.), you can schedule one or two workout sessions per week. I recommend that you choose a full-body workout. The Fitness Coach app allows you to train anywhere, with or without equipment (your choice). No need to charge heavy: It’s just to send a signal to your body. The latter will thus maintain your muscle mass much better.

3 essential rules for building muscle

At the nutritional level, muscles need protein. With or without sports, whether you are on vacation, sick or resting, you need to monitor your diet, especially the nutritional balance on your plate. Don’t remove your protein source on the pretext that you’re not doing any more sports, as your muscles need it. The Nutri Coach app helps you create balanced menus tailored to your personal needs (lifestyle, activity level, sport, etc.).

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