WILL YOU LOSE STRENGTH IN LOCKDOWN ?

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science

Strength is an adaption to an imposed demand, the SAID (specific adaptation to imposed requirements) principle. In layman’s terms, becoming efficient and strong at a particular skill or lift, one has to practice the particular skill/lift. This is not to say that there is no transfer from skill to skill but to get strong at a barbell deadlift, for example, you have to barbell deadlift. Becoming strong goes way beyond muscle size and muscle hypertrophy, generally speaking,

three significant factors impact one's strength. 1.) Muscle mass and structural adaptions 2.) Neuromuscular Adaptations 3.) Motor pattern/skill As an example, if your 1RM (1 rep max) on a barbell deadlift is 150 kg and you don’t train moderately near that intensity (load) for a while, usually multiple weeks, you will likely “lose strength.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have lost muscle; it means you have lost the ability to generate output for the specific demand and intensity you have chosen. With relation to strength, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Moreover, major barbell movements like the deadlift or squat have immense skill and neurological components, so it’s highly unlikely that a loss in muscle tissue is the driving force when it comes to a decline in strength. A case study will illustrate this further. I had a client who, at the time, had a barbell deadlift 1RM of 80 kg. She went on vacation and was unable to train for three and a half weeks. Upon her return, it took us about two weeks (4 one hour sessions) to get her used to her previous training stimulus and previous 1RM, remember this was over three weeks of zero training. This is different from person to person; genetics, training age, biological age, and programming are all factors that can impact your strength and strength retention. So if you don’t have a gym to exercise in and can’t perform the typical barbell movements you usually do, it is almost a certainty that you will lose the adaption, “lose strength”. As my case study illustrated, it does not take long at all to recapture the previous adaption and if you can somehow find a way to mimic the barbell movements with similar intensity (load) using objects around the house (heavy stones, large lead pipes, etc.) you can mitigate a lot of the potential loss in strength. Research has shown that even one training session a week using loads near your 1RM is enough to maintain your strength adaption. So chill out, it will all be okay. Take Care Stay Home, Stay Safe Reference - https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2011/07000/Exercise_Dosing_to_Retain_Resistance_Training.7.aspx

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