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  1. #1
    Banned Dark.Rezzan's Avatar
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    How long of a break can you take before you lose muscle?

    Got really busy towards the end of the semester and somewhat lazy as well. I've been off for about a month now. I dont think I've noticed any size decreases but I do feel somewhat weaker. About how long can you take off without losing muscle, or does that really just depend on the person?
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  2. #2
    Strength Addict ElderJefferson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    Got really busy towards the end of the semester and somewhat lazy as well. I've been off for about a month now. I dont think I've noticed any size decreases but I do feel somewhat weaker. About how long can you take off without losing muscle, or does that really just depend on the person?
    Genetics play a major part in every aspect of bodybuilding, but from what I've read the norm for maximum layoff from lifting is about two weeks. I personally take a 1 week break every 5-6 weeks w/o any effect (my diet has to be on par, though). Two weeks seems excessive. A month is definitely long enough to lose some strength.
    "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38,39

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  3. #3
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    Exclamation

    The correct answer is: It doesn't matter, you shouldn't take breaks that long.

    Sure life gets in the way of things, but you should make time for lifting whenever you can. It's for your health, and if you don't have your health you have nothing.
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  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron View Post
    The correct answer is: It doesn't matter, you shouldn't take breaks that long.

    Sure life gets in the way of things, but you should make time for lifting whenever you can. It's for your health, and if you don't have your health you have nothing.
    Agreed.
    Unless you have a serious injury/health issue, a month off is waaay too long.
    I like taking a week off a few times/yr, but I never take more than that.
    Being busy just means you have to plan better. If you really want to get in there and workout, you'll find a way. Try to think of reasons to go, not excuses.
    You're born, you take sh*t. You get out in the world, you take more sh*t. You climb a little higher, you take less sh*t. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what sh*t even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
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  5. #5
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    While I agree that your break was a little bit long, muscle memory is an amazing thing. It should come back quickly if you lost any muscle
    I was very fortunate to live in this time when bodybuilding was embraced by Hollywood, embraced by doctors, embraced by the world.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    About how long can you take off without losing muscle, or does that really just depend on the person?
    For me, about 6 hours
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  7. #7
    Postural Advocate KopyKat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by W8isGR8 View Post
    For me, about 6 hours
    For me, 6 months lol.

    But since i always eat a good amount, i gain some fat in the process.
    "I'm worried about deadlifts too. I mean the word "dead" has got to be in there for a reason. Are you sure they won't kill me?" - olympic
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron View Post
    The correct answer is: It doesn't matter, you shouldn't take breaks that long.

    Sure life gets in the way of things, but you should make time for lifting whenever you can. It's for your health, and if you don't have your health you have nothing.
    Agreed
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by W8isGR8 View Post
    For me, about 6 hours

    HAHAHA! Mines 9-10 hours, gotta work & sleep
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    High Plains Lifter Mark1T's Avatar
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    One day if I don't eat right or enough
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  11. #11
    Registered User jmusclehead's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    Got really busy towards the end of the semester and somewhat lazy as well. I've been off for about a month now. I dont think I've noticed any size decreases but I do feel somewhat weaker. About how long can you take off without losing muscle, or does that really just depend on the person?
    I'm in the middle of taking a week off after reading an article about rest periods and bodybuilding. The guy in the article says that his best gains were when taking a week off. You will be fresh and he says the weight you were previously using will seem lighter. It sounds like HIT advice to me. I'm willing to try it because I've gotten to a plateau on certain exercises and am trying to break through....
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  12. #12
    No cardio No cry RU4A69's Avatar
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    2 months.

    You lose intracellular water/nutrients pretty quick, but that is superficial. A lifter's nitrogen retention capacities are far higher than a normal persons. This water loss will make you look like you've lost a bit of muscle. After a few sessions, the flood of nutrients (muscle pump) will give you your volume back real quick.

    Don't put your education before teh weights. That's ridiculous.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Traug's Avatar
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    I took a break back at the end of September simply because I got burned out. I originally intended to just take a week or two off until I figured out a new diet (eating the same thing EVERY day gets really old really quick like). But then I got side tracked and those two weeks became a month and a half. Then I blew my ACL and the month and a half because three months.

    Prior to my break/tear, I was sitting at 185. I've dropped to as low as 164, though I've gained back 6-7 lbs in the past two weeks getting back into the routine and diet. And my strength has dropped to as much as 15 pounds on some exercises. Taking breaks are good as they help recharge your body, and more importantly, your mind. But don't expect to do so without some repercussions.
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  14. #14
    Registered User dolz04's Avatar
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    i know technically muscle atrophy (sp?) starts after 72 hours, but i dont think you would feel the effect until around 12-14 days
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by RU4A69 View Post
    2 months.

    You lose intracellular water/nutrients pretty quick, but that is superficial. A lifter's nitrogen retention capacities are far higher than a normal persons. This water loss will make you look like you've lost a bit of muscle. After a few sessions, the flood of nutrients (muscle pump) will give you your volume back real quick.

    Don't put your education before teh weights. That's ridiculous.
    lol ok well maybe you guys are a bit too hardcore for me To me education is far more important than lifting weights. I can still be healthy by just eating right and being active. Without an education it would be very hard to get a good career.

    I work about 30 hours a week and go to school full-time. Believe me I was working out this semester but its hard to do when you are so busy. Dont antagonize me because I have taken a break from working out because I was too busy with school and work and trying to support myself.
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  16. #16
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    Exclamation

    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    I'm a whiny little bitch who likes to make excuses.
    There are plenty of people who are busy in life myself included who make the time to go work out.
    Get up an hour earlier it's not that hard.

    kethnaab has like 7 kids under the age of 5 and he still works out regularly.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Rachel_n_SD's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    lol ok well maybe you guys are a bit too hardcore for me To me education is far more important than lifting weights. I can still be healthy by just eating right and being active. Without an education it would be very hard to get a good career.

    I work about 30 hours a week and go to school full-time. Believe me I was working out this semester but its hard to do when you are so busy. Dont antagonize me because I have taken a break from working out because I was too busy with school and work and trying to support myself.
    it's not that hard, dude.

    i work full time, go to school full time, commute 2+hours a day and have a small child.

    i still manage to work out 5-6 times a week.
    go during your lunch break if you have to.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by RU4A69 View Post
    2 months.

    You lose intracellular water/nutrients pretty quick, but that is superficial. A lifter's nitrogen retention capacities are far higher than a normal persons. This water loss will make you look like you've lost a bit of muscle. After a few sessions, the flood of nutrients (muscle pump) will give you your volume back real quick.

    Don't put your education before teh weights. That's ridiculous.


    Well then. That's explains alot! Good post.
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  19. #19
    High Plains Lifter Mark1T's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rachel_n_SD View Post
    i work full time, go to school full time, commute 2+hours a day and have a small child.

    i still manage to work out 5-6 times a week.
    Pretty awesome, Rachel.
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  20. #20
    isnt a real Dr. Dr. Painburner's Avatar
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    not long at all. i have to keep working out and i have to eat all day long im more of an ecto then any other body type. im naturally small, and its really hard to gain weight and keep it on.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by Mark1T View Post
    Pretty awesome, Rachel.
    thanks

    there's lots of people with a similar schedule too-like CI said, Kethnaab has millions of kids and works full time.

    you just have to be creative with your schedule and it's possible.
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    Registered User pepingtom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rachel_n_SD View Post
    it's not that hard, dude.

    i work full time, go to school full time, commute 2+hours a day and have a small child.

    i still manage to work out 5-6 times a week.
    go during your lunch break if you have to.
    how is that possible ?

    describe your regular day
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    Originally Posted by pepingtom View Post
    how is that possible ?

    describe your regular day
    That would be very difficult for a student that carries (full-time, when I was going to school) 12-17 credits per semester. I don't know when you would have the time to study.
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    time off

    Not really sure about maximum time off, but I'd thought I'd just throw this out there.

    Due to my job, starting back in January 06 I would only work out for 2 weeks (~10 days actual lifting) then take 2 weeks off while at work. During this time of limited lifting, I still managed to make gains every month. I was doing a 3 day split, and first run through, I'd be slightly weaker than when I left. 2nd run would be on par or slightly ahead of when I left, and 3rd run would always be better.

    I just wanted to throw that out there. Seems like alot of people are scared to take time off, but I think it does the body alot of good. In October 06 my work moved close enough for me to commute to a gym, so I went back to steady lifting.
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    Originally Posted by Rachel_n_SD View Post
    it's not that hard, dude.

    i work full time, go to school full time, commute 2+hours a day and have a small child.

    i still manage to work out 5-6 times a week.
    go during your lunch break if you have to.
    Yeah I'd like to see what your schedule looks like. What do you do sleep 4 hours a day? When do you study? What is your GPA? 2.5?

    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron View Post
    There are plenty of people who are busy in life myself included who make the time to go work out.
    Get up an hour earlier it's not that hard.

    kethnaab has like 7 kids under the age of 5 and he still works out regularly.
    You sir can go fukk yourself Dont talk trash about someone you dont even know.

    Yeah I'm sure EVERYONE on this forum works full-time, goes to school full-time, has kids, works out 5-6 times a week, manages to have some free time, has time to go shopping and buy **** you need like food etc. Whatever...
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    Registered User legends159's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    Yeah I'd like to see what your schedule looks like. What do you do sleep 4 hours a day? When do you study? What is your GPA? 2.5?

    You sir can go fukk yourself Dont talk trash about someone you dont even know.

    Yeah I'm sure EVERYONE on this forum works full-time, goes to school full-time, has kids, works out 5-6 times a week, manages to have some free time, has time to go shopping and buy **** you need like food etc. Whatever...
    I was gonna say that people were being too harsh on you, but this post was really harsh. They're just trying to motivate you the best way they know how...tough love. Do you really think bodybuilders get to where they are at by being nice to themselves. NO they push themselves at any and every opportunity. So while I think you should definitely set priorities, maybe school first, work second, and then weight-lifting, you should still set out a plan for the day and be sure to accomplish every goal and follow through on the plans you set for yourself. Just don't start making excuses because no one will regret it later on for you.

    /edit/ Plus I have a feeling RU made a typo and meant for you not to put weights before education. He did say two months and seemed to be hinting at the fact that you should be able to gain the volume you previously had within a few workouts.

    again dont let one excuse pile onto another.
    Last edited by legends159; 12-12-2006 at 08:47 PM.
    TYIA
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    ok i just found this thread, and im taking about a month or two off, due to injury in both my shoulders (reoccuring bicep tendinitis in both arms and shoulders). I'll still contine to lift legs twice a week, and do cardio about 5 times a week. I started my break about a week ago, as i go on through my back will i notice a huge difference in my apperance if i continue to eat right and take my multi vit and fish oils n protein?
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    Originally Posted by legends159 View Post
    I was gonna say that people were being too harsh on you, but this post was really harsh. They're just trying to motivate you the best way they know how...tough love. Do you really think bodybuilders get to where they are at by being nice to themselves. NO they push themselves at any and every opportunity. So while I think you should definitely set priorities, maybe school first, work second, and then weight-lifting, you should still set out a plan for the day and be sure to accomplish every goal and follow through on the plans you set for yourself. Just don't start making excuses because no one will regret it later on for you.

    /edit/ Plus I have a feeling RU made a typo and meant for you not to put weights before education. He did say two months and seemed to be hinting at the fact that you should be able to gain the volume you previously had within a few workouts.

    again dont let one excuse pile onto another.
    I dont care how it sounds, I asked a simple question and people start trying to rip on me. All I wanted to know was what I asked in my original post, nothing more. I am dedicated, if I wasnt I wouldnt have had all the great gains I had. Everyone needs a break now and then. I'm not making excuses when I say I'm busy because of school and work. School is VERY important to me, I will sacrifice time out of the gym to study more or get extra hours in at work. I will not sacrifice studying and trying to make a living just so I can go work out.

    I dont care to be someone like Ronnie Coleman ok. I dont have the need nor want for dedication like that. In terms of reaching my goal for muscle mass I am not that far off. I still have to work on a few areas a little harder but when I have the summer off from school I can hit the gym hard.

    I suppose through all this crap I did somewhat get my answer. So unless anyone has anything worth saying related to my original question there is no reason to post anything else and/or try and haggle me more. If you wanna rip on me some more get over it, you dont know **** about me so stop pretending you do and say I'm making excuses or being lazy.

    Good Day.

    Edit: Thank You to those of you that replied and didnt feel the need to post dumb ****, I appreciate it.
    Last edited by Dark.Rezzan; 12-12-2006 at 09:34 PM.
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    i posted above, n im looking for the same answer as he is, only difference is im taking a break due to injuries, let me know thanx
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    That's how I roll AlxandrTheGreat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dark.Rezzan View Post
    I will not sacrifice studying and trying to make a living just so I can go work out.

    it.



    Probably the most intelligent statement one could possibly make on a bodybuilding message board. Life comes first! Reps to you brother.
    Some times you gotta add that poundage, and beat that muscle up!

    - Kevin Levrone
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