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A long holiday break and a Loss of Progress

Dr. aakash bansal
Dr. aakash bansal
Sharma Ji went on a month long vacation and now he is afraid to start the journey from Zero again 😒
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Do you think you lose your months of progress within a few weeks?
Is it possible to cut down the entire social life and never go on vacations?
If you are into a travelling job, can you skip the official travels because fitness is your priority?
Have you heard the term, Muscle Memory before?

Let's talk about one of the misconceptions that many people have - You lose all your progress if you take a break from your routine for few weeks and then you will have to start from zero again.

Fortunately, this is not the case and especially for someone who has some experience under his belt. It's not only hard to lose muscle suddenly but it's also easy to regain it than the first time around.

Now let's understand the reason behind it, "Muscle Memory"

What it is?

Its a phenomenon of muscle fibres regaining size and strength faster than the time it took before.

For eg:- you have been riding a bicycle from last 2 years and then you took a break of 6 months and never touched it in between. Now you want to start riding it again, do you think you need to start from zero and take all the lessons again or will you be able to ride it comfortably? For a day or two, it might be difficult but after that, it will be as normal as it was before, right.

Similar is the case with your muscles and your workout routine. Here the concern is not whether you will be able to the same workout or not, the concern is the strength and the muscle mass. Question is whether you will be able to regain it fast or you will have to spend 6 months again?

How does it work?

Your muscle cells consist of multiple nuclei, know as Myonuclei that regulates the synthesis of new muscle protein and also regulates the activities that happen within a cell.
In a dormant stage, a cell has a limited number of nuclei to regulate its functioning and has limited potential to grow a muscle. Now in an active stage i.e. a continuous resistance training program your limited nuclei will help your muscle to grow to a certain stage. Now in order to grow further, they will need additional myonuclei. The muscles will get these additional myonuclei from dormant Satellite Cells that lie near muscle cells and thus donates their nuclei when needed, which increases the potential of a muscle cell to repair and thus grow bigger and stronger.
(This is also one of the reasons that why you need to progressively overload your muscles to get fit.)

Now once the satellite cells have donated their nuclei to muscle cells, it will remain there for good even if you are not working out in the current situation. It means even if you lost strength and muscle mass because of your inactive stage, the myonuclei you worked for in the past will still remain there for a longer period of time.

Now next time when you start lifting the weights, your cells already have enough hardware to support your growth. You don't need 6 or 8 months to regain that strength and mass. You will be back on track within a month or so because you already did the groundwork before and now you only need to build on it.

Also, this is the reason why you see some extraordinary transformations within 3 months of the time period. If you ever doubt the 12 weeks transformation of any person, always check the past history. You will see the hard work they have put in the past.

So next time, if you are going out for a vacation and workout is not at all an option because of your occupied schedule, don't worry, your hard work has got your back. You will be back on track whenever you want to.

Fitness is all about the time you have invested in it. If you expect great results after a month of training, you are in the wrong business. Give some time to your fit lifestyle, it will definitely repay you back with much better results. Never ever look for shortcuts, because

Every Decision Matters!!

Have a safe Workout!!

- Dr. Aakash Bansal

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