How long does it take to lose muscles?


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Muscle Building
How long does it take to lose muscles?

By Anshul Dhamande Building muscles takes a lot of effort, consistency, and time. So it’s only fair to wonder if you will lose them if you miss a workout. A long break in training could potentially lead to strength, endurance, and muscle loss. Let’s read what research has to say in the next slide. A systematic review in 2013 showed that the muscular strength in athletes was maintained until 3 weeks of detraining but decay rates will increase thereafter. (1)(2) Compared to nonathletes, athletes lose strength and muscles relatively slower. In the first week of de-training, you might feel that you have shrunk or look small. This is due to a reduction in muscle glycogen and not muscle loss. Muscles start to atrophy only after three or more weeks which can vary from person to person as well. It’s not all bad. The majority of studies have shown that once you are back to training again, you will gain the strength and muscle mass in a much shorter term than it did to gain the first time. If the gap in training is due to injury, it’s advisablestill imperative that you stay active and if possibleas complete bed rest has shown to lead to more muscle loss compared to where you at least move around and do everyday activities. (3) Ref: 1.McMaster, D. T., Gill, N., Cronin, J., & McGuigan, M. (2013). The development, retention and decay rates of strength and power in elite rugby union, rugby league and American football. Sports Medicine, 43(5), 367-384. 2. Hwang, P. S., Andre, T. L., McKinley-Barnard, S. K., Morales Marroquín, F. E., Gann, J. J., Song, J. J., & Willoughby, D. S. (2017). Resistance training–induced elevations in muscular strength in trained men are maintained after 2 weeks of detraining and not differentially affected by whey protein supplementation. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(4), 869-881. 3.Cholewa, J. M., Dardevet, D., Lima-Soares, F., de Araújo Pessôa, K., Oliveira, P. H., dos Santos Pinho, J. R., ... & Zanchi, N. E. (2017). Dietary proteins and amino acids in the control of the muscle mass during immobilization and aging: role of the MPS response. Amino Acids, 49(5), 811-820 4.Hortobágyi, T., Dempsey, L., Fraser, D., Zheng, D., Hamilton, G., Lambert, J., & Dohm, L. (2000). Changes in muscle strength, muscle fibre size and myofibrillar gene expression after immobilization and retraining in humans. The Journal of physiology, 524(1), 293-304.
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