Got a workout related question?
Then just “Ask Lee”…
What happens when you stop working out?
Do you lose muscle?
How long does it take to lose muscle after you stop lifting weights?
These are some common questions that I get asked. And in fact my most recent Ask Lee video Q and A Dav Harrison asks:
Is it true that if you don’t use the muscle you lose it? I read this somewhere. I haven’t been to the gym in a while and I feel weaker and smaller. If I start working out again will I gain the muscle back quicker?
Click PLAY To Get The Answer…
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You will lose muscle if you stop working out. However, it’s not instant. It’s not like if you stop working out for a week you’re going to shrivel away to nothing. But if you let yourself go several weeks on end with no weight training then you will start to lose your muscle strength and fullness.
If you don’t use it, you will lose it. You have to provide stress and demands on the muscle in order to give it a reason to grow bigger and stronger.
However, the good news is that you can re-gain lost muscle quicker the second time around. This is what’s referred to as muscle memory. It’s easier and faster to re-build muscle that you had previously, then it is to build that muscle mass in the first place.
So while it may have taken you a year or more to build up to a certain level of muscular development. You should be able to return to that level within several weeks of regular workouts in the gym.
The main thing you need to focus on is being consistent with your workouts so that you make regular weight training a part of your lifestyle. And not get caught up in the whole working out on and off again pattern.